or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parenting the Gifted Child › introducing history to the three-year-old.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

introducing history to the three-year-old. - Page 2

post #21 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpToSomeGood View Post

There's a long string of those suggestions.  


Really? Suggesting "shielding children from reality at all costs"? What thread are you reading? Perhaps you're reading something into the word "redirection" that most of us don't mean when we use it. To me redirecting means making a gentle effort to encourage a child's enthusiasm to move in different direction -- still with the child's enthusiasm as the motive force. It doesn't mean slamming a door shut in a child's face... it means opening another door nearby and trying to encourage your child to take an interest in what's beyond that one instead.

 

Miranda

post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post


Really? Suggesting "shielding children from reality at all costs"? What thread are you reading? Perhaps you're reading something into the word "redirection" that most of us don't mean when we use it. To me redirecting means making a gentle effort to encourage a child's enthusiasm to move in different direction -- still with the child's enthusiasm as the motive force. It doesn't mean slamming a door shut in a child's face... it means opening another door nearby and trying to encourage your child to take an interest in what's beyond that one instead.

 

Miranda


joensally wrote, "Personally, I have redirected (read: redirect, redirect, redirect, repeat...) when I've wanted to avoid something with the kids". 

 

You wrote, "I'm in the redirect camp as well. Best if it's done in a very off-hand way, lest one's kid gets the impression that the topic is tasty forbidden fruit. My ds was fascinated by slavery for a while. I just kept casually telling him that luckily we don't have slavery any more, that owning another person is very sad for that other person because they can't do what they want to, and could he think of anything happy to talk about?"

 

I guess I got the impression mostly from those statements.  They still do seem like repeatedly slamming the door shut, to me.  But if you're saying now that instead of repeatedly avoiding the subject in response to requests for information, you'd actually allow access to the information with some gentle encouragement in a different direction, that doesn't sound too bad.

 

 

 


 

 

post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post




Really? Suggesting "shielding children from reality at all costs"? What thread are you reading? Perhaps you're reading something into the word "redirection" that most of us don't mean when we use it. To me redirecting means making a gentle effort to encourage a child's enthusiasm to move in different direction -- still with the child's enthusiasm as the motive force. It doesn't mean slamming a door shut in a child's face... it means opening another door nearby and trying to encourage your child to take an interest in what's beyond that one instead.

 

Miranda



I haven't been involved in this conversation as of yet but I agree with this. Redirecting doesn't mean witholding and it's an appropriate tool for a 3-year-old.

 

What struck me in the OP is that this girl seems to be seeking more information in an effort to understand the WHY and HOW people could do such terrible things. Fact is, she's not going to understand. Heck, *I* can't understand why so many let such horrible things happen. In this case, I would let this 3-year-old have her interests but instead of focusing on the pain, I'd "redirect" and point her to stories of great courage and love during these periods. I'd be honest that more information isn't going to answer her fundemental question of "why."

 

 

 

post #24 of 66

I posted yesterday, but I can't find my post. I'll post again. My 8 year old loves history and has since he was 6. My younger child has loved history since he was 3 or 4, probably because his brother loves it.

 

We don't shield them from any topic except for the Holocaust and other genocides. And that's because I can't bear to explain to my children that these acts exist. I'm not sure I can  handle explaining it. That topic will wait until they're 10 or so.

 

My  kids have done well by going to the public library. Our children's library has history books on most topics that are appropriate for their age level. They can go through and chose what they like out of the non-fiction section.

 

DS1 spent a lot of time with a book called "The American Story" last year. I'd be comfortable reading most of that to a 3 year old. Even though there are some unpleasant topics in there, the language is appropriate for their age level.

 

The American Girl series, Little House on the Prairie, and Caddie Woodlawn might be appealing to her.

 

DK Publishing has lots of history books.

 

The Step-Into-Reading series has some history books. My kids had one on the first Moonwalk, and one on George Washington,  and one on (nonfiction) Balto, and one on Alexander Graham Bell,  and one Lewis and Clark, and one on Pompeii. I'm sure there are more.

 

There's also a series called "Horrible Histories" that is written for kids. It embraces the gross stuff, though.

 

 

post #25 of 66

I can see where that might be the impression regarding redirection.

 

If it was my 3 year old, we'd be discussing it regularly as my child tried to process the information.  So, I would be doing my best to answer my child's questions in some way that tried to satisfy them while not overwhelming them.  And then changing the subject or activity to something that my child typically finds just as engaging as the problematic topic ((ie genocide).  If the topic became preoccupying, I'd be doing what the OP is doing - trying to find developmentally appropriate materials.  I'm not clear how redirecting a 3 year old means closing the door on a topic forever.  If it's an abiding passion, it will come up again.

 

I agree with whatnextmom, it sounds like OP's child is trying to get to the why, while also liking the details (isn't this our presidential expert?  smile.gif).  The why is fairly unintelligible.  Would she like greek mythology, where it has some of the same elements, but is fictional?

 

 

post #26 of 66



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post

I posted yesterday, but I can't find my post. I'll post again. My 8 year old loves history and has since he was 6. My younger child has loved history since he was 3 or 4, probably because his brother loves it.

 

We don't shield them from any topic except for the Holocaust and other genocides. And that's because I can't bear to explain to my children that these acts exist. I'm not sure I can  handle explaining it. That topic will wait until they're 10 or so.

 

My  kids have done well by going to the public library. Our children's library has history books on most topics that are appropriate for their age level. They can go through and chose what they like out of the non-fiction section.

 

DS1 spent a lot of time with a book called "The American Story" last year. I'd be comfortable reading most of that to a 3 year old. Even though there are some unpleasant topics in there, the language is appropriate for their age level.

 

The American Girl series, Little House on the Prairie, and Caddie Woodlawn might be appealing to her.

 

DK Publishing has lots of history books.

 

The Step-Into-Reading series has some history books. My kids had one on the first Moonwalk, and one on George Washington,  and one on (nonfiction) Balto, and one on Alexander Graham Bell,  and one Lewis and Clark, and one on Pompeii. I'm sure there are more.

 

There's also a series called "Horrible Histories" that is written for kids. It embraces the gross stuff, though.

 

 



I wouldn't go with Horrible Histories.  It's pretty horrible :).  My kids love them, but they are GROSS.

 

post #27 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpToSomeGood View Post


As the parent of a profoundly gifted child (and a profoundly gifted person myself), I've taken the time to learn about giftedness-- both the reality and the unfounded claims about giftedness.  You can cite nothing to support the idea that the "typical" gifted child would be harmed by, for instance, reading the book to which I linked, or learning about WW II in general.  It's fashionable to talk about overexcitabilities, sensitivity, existential depression, etc.-- but if there were in reality any substance to the idea of gifted children being in general so fragile, there would be ample support besides moms on a board talking about redirection and their personal choices.

 

I guess we might say that existential depression is a real risk for everyone, and that quite young gifted kids are also at risk for being hit by meteorites.  What percentage of quite young gifted kids would be actually harmed by learning about the historical events of WW II, instead of being guessed at potentially being harmed?  Do you have stats to share?

 

There is no actual need for the OP to censor her child's chosen learning topics via "redirection".  Until a child shows actual emotional oversensitivity issues, there's no need to treat her as abnormal.
 



 


It sort of sounds like you are saying that you want to see research showing how kids react to the WWII book you linked. That seems like a highly specific and unrealistic request. If you wish to read about existential depression in gifted individuals I'd suggest starting at the SENG site or put it into google and you'll have a couple of hundred thousand hits to keep you busy. Therapists who work with gifted individuals find that existential depression is more common in this group and that it can start very young. For me this finding makes sense because as a child I experienced negative outcomes from overly early exposure and dwelling on similar topics (wwII, nuclear weapons).

 

I'm wondering if there is any place you would redirect your child. If your three year old was fascinated with serial murderers would you figure that was fine as long as they didn't seem upset about it?

 

As far as the statement "there is no need to treat her as abnormal", it isn't an issue of normalcy. I suspect most of us who suggested redirection would make the same suggestion for a three year old who didn't seem gifted. The thing is that most likely these interests and the ability to accumulate so much information them so early in life probably would not come up if not for giftedness. It is that asychrony that is the challenge. A child can accumulate intellectual information that they are not emotionally ready to process. Most children, gifted kids in particular, do not mature evenly across the board. The issue isn't that the child is excessively fragile or unduly sensitive, it is that these these topics can be emotionally overwhelming even for adults to process.

 

Finally, I must say we gently redirected to milder historical topics during the preschool years and it worked out just fine and we have a teenager who continues to have a deep interest in history. It seems like you are suggesting that children are so fragile that if cheerfully redirected they can't return to an interest later. Perhaps you should show some data on that.

 

post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpToSomeGood View Post


 

I guess I got the impression mostly from those statements.  They still do seem like repeatedly slamming the door shut, to me.  But if you're saying now that instead of repeatedly avoiding the subject in response to requests for information, you'd actually allow access to the information with some gentle encouragement in a different direction, that doesn't sound too bad.

 

 

 

The biggest part of redirection at that age at our house would likely be a distraction. My child sounds intellectually similar to the original posters in some ways. I could guess pretty well what he might become obsessed with and I kept a little treasure trove of items I found at yard sales, etc. put away. The few times he was getting stuck, the next day something appeared that took him in a new direction - off to space, sea travel, stock market, limericks, etc.  He was not even aware he was being redirected, he just found a new direction and he was off.

 

post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post

Finally, I must say we gently redirected to milder historical topics during the preschool years and it worked out just fine and we have a teenager who continues to have a deep interest in history. It seems like you are suggesting that children are so fragile that if cheerfully redirected they can't return to an interest later. Perhaps you should show some data on that.

 


My experience is similar. My 14yo ds has become quite a history buff, who for example has this week spent his leisure time reading about the Gunpowder Plot, Oliver Cromwell, the Meiji Restoration ... and he was the kid whom I suggested he play "monastery" rather than "slavery" when he was three. 

 

Miranda

 

post #30 of 66

Of course not; I'm astounded that you could think that I was requesting such statistics from what I wrote, and don't think anyone else would have jumped to that conclusion either.  What I'm asking for, of course, is some sort of showing that the OP's child realistically stands to be harmed by indulging her historic interests.  If in your parenting wisdom you wouldn't do that, that's fine, but invoking a parade of horrible effects, as if that is what "typical" gifted kids would all suffer after learning further about WW II, without any actual support, is not fine.

 

Or, if you like, that's fine too.  It's just completely unreliable and unbelievable.  :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post

It sort of sounds like you are saying that you want to see research showing how kids react to the WWII book you linked. That seems like a highly specific and unrealistic request.

 



 

post #31 of 66

In the end I guess you probably didn't do much if any harm to your son, although you didn't encourage his self-chosen interests all the time either.  My son wouldn't have given up so easily, I think.  But in the end the main difference between us may be what we consider to be harmful material.  There are certainly some topics I'd refuse to let my son learn about, whether or not he happened to encounter them by chance.  Drawing the boundary line of acceptable vs. offensive material is inevitably going to be based on individual parent views. 

 

With WW II and war in general, though, I just wanted to present a counterpoint.  A highly gifted little one that shows signs of intense interest in war as a general topic, without apparent signs of distress, might well be ready emotionally and intellectually to learn more.  My son first watched "The World at War" at the age of four and loved it.  Is it for everyone?  Of course not.  Some sensitive adults would have trouble watching parts of that documentary, and many events of WW II were undeniably horrific.

 

I also let my son play with toy weapons, FWIW.  Different strokes.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post

The biggest part of redirection at that age at our house would likely be a distraction. My child sounds intellectually similar to the original posters in some ways. I could guess pretty well what he might become obsessed with and I kept a little treasure trove of items I found at yard sales, etc. put away. The few times he was getting stuck, the next day something appeared that took him in a new direction - off to space, sea travel, stock market, limericks, etc.  He was not even aware he was being redirected, he just found a new direction and he was off.

 



 

post #32 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpToSomeGood View Post  If in your parenting wisdom you wouldn't do that, that's fine, but invoking a parade of horrible effects, as if that is what "typical" gifted kids would all suffer after learning further about WW II, without any actual support, is not fine.

 

Or, if you like, that's fine too.  It's just completely unreliable and unbelievable.  :)



 


You may be unaware this is a support forum, so we want to keep the tone supportive.

 

My concern for this material is based on 1. my own personal experience. 2. Common sense understanding of emotional abilities of three year olds, gifted and otherwise. 3. a reading of the literature about gifted children. For the later again I'd suggest googling existential depression gifted and checking out the SENG site.

 

post #33 of 66

Harm?

 

Anyway, I've been doing some digging in research journals and maybe my search terms aren't great.  The literature on gifted is replete with references to the additional level of sensitivity noted in many gifted children.  This is largely observational and I'm not finding anything that indicates that any research has been done using scales to measure "sensitivity" in preschoolers.  There's a whole bunch of stuff on school-age children and adolescents which indicate that gifted children/adolescents score similarly or well relative to their typical age peers and relative to older individuals in a variety of social-emotional and functioning domains.  This is good news, but does not take away from the fact that various experts working in the field of giftedness (Webb, Eides, Silverman and a host of others) expend a lot of ink and thoughtfulness on the topic of sensitivity in gifted individuals.  This is also a feature of the lived experiences of many of the adults posting here, as well as their children.

 

My experience as a child included too early exposure for me which leads to visceral reactions as an adult to certain content that I can trace back to those too-early exposures.  WWII/genocide is one of them, as is slavery in the US, among others.  I'm a very strong adult, in spite of these sensitivities.  I am coaching my sensitive children by being gentle in their early years while building their resiliency skills. 

 

I'm glad that you and your child have compatibility in this regard, but I sensed ambivalence on the part of the OP around this issue.  Asynchrony is another common feature of gifted kids, and so it is reasonable to conclude that there might be asynchrony between intellectual and emotional ability, irrespective of particular sensitivity.

post #34 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post




You may be unaware this is a support forum, so we want to keep the tone supportive.

 

My concern for this material is based on 1. my own personal experience. 2. Common sense understanding of emotional abilities of three year olds, gifted and otherwise. 3. a reading of the literature about gifted children. For the later again I'd suggest googling existential depression gifted and checking out the SENG site.

 


 

Is there some actual support for the idea that learning about WW II in general is bad for "typical" gifted children?  Just pointing me at a website doesn't do.  I already know, by the way, that some gifted children are sensitive. 

 

I've probably read every article at SENG at one time or another, so I can tell you before you look what you will find there: references to studies pointing out that gifted children may be senstive, including one study of dozens of gifted psychotherapy clients.  Can you say "selection bias"?

post #35 of 66



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post

Harm?

 

Anyway, I've been doing some digging in research journals and maybe my search terms aren't great.  The literature on gifted is replete with references to the additional level of sensitivity noted in many gifted children.  This is largely observational and I'm not finding anything that indicates that any research has been done using scales to measure "sensitivity" in preschoolers.  There's a whole bunch of stuff on school-age children and adolescents which indicate that gifted children/adolescents score similarly or well relative to their typical age peers and relative to older individuals in a variety of social-emotional and functioning domains.  This is good news, but does not take away from the fact that various experts working in the field of giftedness (Webb, Eides, Silverman and a host of others) expend a lot of ink and thoughtfulness on the topic of sensitivity in gifted individuals.  This is also a feature of the lived experiences of many of the adults posting here, as well as their children.

 

My experience as a child included too early exposure for me which leads to visceral reactions as an adult to certain content that I can trace back to those too-early exposures.  WWII/genocide is one of them, as is slavery in the US, among others.  I'm a very strong adult, in spite of these sensitivities.  I am coaching my sensitive children by being gentle in their early years while building their resiliency skills. 

 

I'm glad that you and your child have compatibility in this regard, but I sensed ambivalence on the part of the OP around this issue.  Asynchrony is another common feature of gifted kids, and so it is reasonable to conclude that there might be asynchrony between intellectual and emotional ability, irrespective of particular sensitivity.


What I sensed from the OP was some combination of discomfort with the idea that her daughter was interested in war, terrorism, etc., and/or discomfort at appearing here that she was okay with it.  There is a notable lack of information from the OP that her daughter isn't okay with it.

 

The fact that you report visceral reactions, and the literature makes reference to some sensitive gifted children, means little to nothing in the context of the OP's experience.  It sounds like her daughter isn't experiencing such reactions, so she is probably not one of the overly sensitive ones.  And I think it would be highly unusual for a young child to seek out information on war without any apparent harm, only to wind up on a therapist's couch as a result after many years.  It just doesn't make sense that one at such a tender age would feel no ill effects until adulthood.  I'm not calling you a liar, but you must be highly, highly unusual.

 

In addition, I would say that desiring to learn about war early may be a hallmark of a gifted child with unusual moral sensitivity.  That's how it is with my son; he didn't want to watch WW II footage to see things blow up, but in large part because he was fascinated by the human motivations involved, questions about death, etc.  He's sensitive; he's just not weak.  Nor do I think that most gifted children are weak, despite the impression that some laypeople may have when reading articles on websites about gifted children, reinforcing each other's beliefs in online fora, etc.
 

 

post #36 of 66

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UpToSomeGood View Post


I've probably read every article at SENG at one time or another, so I can tell you before you look what you will find there: references to studies pointing out that gifted children may be senstive, including one study of dozens of gifted psychotherapy clients.  Can you say "selection bias"

 

 

UpToSomeGood if your basic premise is that you that you don't accept that asychronous development (which can include a conflict between emotional and intellectual maturities) is a pretty typical part of the experience of gifted children, particularly highly gifted children, then I'm not sure where the discussion can really go. That's a pretty basic theme that runs throughout the posts on this board.

 

I agree the gifted research isn't where I wish it was. As is the case in many areas of child development the research could be much better. Personally, I'm not willing to avoid parental responsibility or action and simply say "oh well, the research isn't perfect." So, I read what's out there. I compare it to what I see in my childhood, the childhood of close friends, and look at what I see in my child and work from there. Sure, I'd love more research, but until then we make the best decisions we can looking at what we have in front of us.

post #37 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpToSomeGood View Post

 


Nor do I think that most gifted children are weak, despite the impression that some laypeople may have when reading articles on websites about gifted children, reinforcing each other's beliefs in online fora, etc.
 

 



Weak is a very odd choice of words. I don't at recall ever hearing the suggestion that gifted kids were weak. Rather it is an issue of extreme asychrony. Development that is traveling at light speed in one direction may cause tension with development that is more typical for the age. The kid may be crazy strong and intellectually capable of understanding everything there is about the strategy of how to climb mountains. They may understand how the technology behind the harness and the materials in the waterproof jacket they would wear. That doesn't mean they are actually prepared to climb mountains.

post #38 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpToSomeGood View Post

And I think it would be highly unusual for a young child to seek out information on war without any apparent harm, only to wind up on a therapist's couch as a result after many years.  It just doesn't make sense that one at such a tender age would feel no ill effects until adulthood.  I'm not calling you a liar, but you must be highly, highly unusual.

 

 

That is a distortion of what Joensally said. She said she has visceral reactions as an adult. She didn't say she never had them as a child. She didn't say she's "on the therapist's couch" as a result.

 

How old are your child(ren) UpToSomeGood?  It seems VERY COMMON to me that kids won't react to something at one one and will react to it later. It is something we've seen in a variety of forms over the years.

post #39 of 66

You are coming on pretty strong with the "straw man" mode of argumentation.  I'm not sure where the discussion can go either.  Before you apparently thought I was asking for statistics about a particular book, and now you suggest that I have somehow denied the existence of the phenomenon of asynchronous development-- which apparently is now shorthand for the idea that all "pretty typical" gifted children are harmed by learning about the existence of war at a young age.

 

I just can't believe in supposed harm without any basis.  That's all.  There is no actual basis that anyone's proposed here for the supposition that "typical" gifted children are too sensitive to learn about war at all.  I've been apprised of the existence of the SENG website and now the name "asynchronous development" has been invoked, but I remain unconvinced until I see some sort of actual support. 

 

It's not that the research could support your idea much better; it's that there's no support.  Sensitive gifted kids are not all kids; not all sensitive kids would suffer harm upon learning of the existence of historical facts about war, either.  These are my opinions, and you'll have to deal with them, I guess, until the time that you come with an argument.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post

 

 

UpToSomeGood if your basic premise is that you that you don't accept that asychronous development (which can include a conflict between emotional and intellectual maturities) is a pretty typical part of the experience of gifted children, particularly highly gifted children, then I'm not sure where the discussion can really go. That's a pretty basic theme that runs throughout the posts on this board.

 

I agree the gifted research isn't where I wish it was. As is the case in many areas of child development the research could be much better. Personally, I'm not willing to avoid parental responsibility or action and simply say "oh well, the research isn't perfect." So, I read what's out there. I compare it to what I see in my childhood, the childhood of close friends, and look at what I see in my child and work from there. Sure, I'd love more research, but until then we make the best decisions we can looking at what we have in front of us.



 

post #40 of 66

There's no distortion. I will additionally point out that joensally seems to have been possibly strengthened by her visceral reactions.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post



That is a distortion of what Joensally said. She said she has visceral reactions as an adult. She didn't say she never had them as a child. She didn't say she's "on the therapist's couch" as a result.

 

How old are your child(ren) UpToSomeGood?  It seems VERY COMMON to me that kids won't react to something at one one and will react to it later. It is something we've seen in a variety of forms over the years.



 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting the Gifted Child
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parenting the Gifted Child › introducing history to the three-year-old.