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Addressing the Special Needs of Gifted Children, #6 - Page 2

post #21 of 776

Gifts

As a child, I honestly didn't know how to accept a gift graciously or well. I tend to be very direct, honest to the point of bluntness, and I've always been this way. As a child (really until I was an older teen, but I've always been socially inept) I could not really wrap my head around the difference between an acceptable and an unacceptable lie. I always thought that the truth was preferable, even if it hurt people. In part, I know that this had something to do with my own personal ability to percieve the truth more readily than my peers, and with my own desire for knowledge and understanding. The way I saw it, lies only really counted as lies if the person listening to them didn't know that they weren't hearing the truth. I was very concerned with truth and justice and fairness, much moreso than with politness.

I guess what I'm saying is, I can relate both to your embarassment as parents and to your childrens' tendancies to express themselves honestly and directly, with little apparent concern for the feelings of those they may offend. I was exactly the same way. I suppose it's lucky that I was rarely given gifts of any kind.

Interestingly, this problem hasn't come up with BeanBean. He's still very young, but he seems to be far more concerned with the way that people feel than he is with the reality of any given situation. His social skills are better developed now than mine were at 14 (honestly; I'm not trying to exagerate about either of us ) and he really seems to empathize with others. He hurts when others are hurt, he wants to make it better. If he were to recieve a gift which he did not enjoy, he might (at this age) make the faux pas of letting his displeasure be known, but he would immediately be aware of the reaction of the person who gave the gift and would probably apologize, if not offer hugs and kisses. He doesn't like to offend people, it hurts him as though he himself was the injured party. I'm not sure where he learned this, I think that it must be part of his own innate personality because he certainly didn't inherit it from me.

I don't think that it's teaching, I really think that it has a lot more to do with a child's inborn personality and their own priorities. For me, it was very important to tell the truth at all costs. I've learned better, and when I'm out and about in public (or even on the net) I make an effort not to hurt people. I'm not great at it, but I try. I have managed to outgrow my tendancy to be blunt, or at least I've learned that bluntness does not always serve as well as a less direct approach might. I think that your kids will get there, too. In the meantime, why don't you try roleplaying? Perhaps actually stepping into the shoes of the people they offended might help them develop better tools for dealing with unwanted gifts.
post #22 of 776
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
For me, it was very important to tell the truth at all costs.
YES, this is my ds exactly! He is honest to a fault. For example, he has always told me everything he did "wrong" each day at school, like he needs to confess and get it off his chest or something, or like he would be committing a lie by omission (he also has tremendous gulit, but that could be from being half Catholic and half Jewish- laughing smilie won't work!) He tells me when he thinks people are ugly, and apparently it really bothers him (like the swim teacher at camp, for whom he REFUSED to perform because he couldn't stand to look at her face!) He won't play with a girl at school because he doesn't like the sound of her voice (it is annoying...). He is very attuned to how HE feels, and he can explain it to me easily. But it makes me feel he's kind of shallow sometimes, to hear how he's judging people on external qualities...

Also, this is a big one, he always cries about lying after having accidentally told someone something wrong. For example, this weekend, he came in crying from the backyard and said, "Mom, I lied to someone." When I asked what the lie was, it took forever to extract, and it turned out to be something that happened at school- which ended more than 8 weeks ago! He had accidentally told his teacher that his grandfather was Japanese, when in actuality, he's Chinese. I guess that spending time with Gung-gung brought that memory into his mind, and he felt so upset that he'd "lied." This type of thing had happened before- in his mind, if he says something that isn't true, he lied, and he's going to feel very upset. Now, why he didn't feel at all upset about hitting his 1.5 year old ds in the face with a belt buckle today is just beyond me!
post #23 of 776

Gifts and schools

I think we tend to forget that a gift entails a debt. If you receive a gift, you are indebted to the person who gives the gift. I remember reading great Norwegian stories about this very topic. Who wants to be indebted to someone for something they detest?



Well, we had ds#1 tested for this school---which was supposed to be great. Hmph. Turns out they (no surprise) exaggerated their own greatness, as well as the generosity of their scholarship program.

He easily qualified for the school which was no surprise really. They seemed quite surprised that for a 5 year old he knew what "indigent" meant. When I gave the guy a look like, of course he knows that, he gave me the definitiion "hobo" I guess thinking that I didn't know the word, not that I didn't know why they were confused. The test-giver said that she was sure he could have done the "high school" words had he not gotten tired and hungry.

It was also no surprise to me, but a surprise to them that he can't add and subtract or read yet. I guess they are used to seeing otherwise. THEN the kicker happened: "Evidently the preschool he has hasn't been academic. And I don't want to scare you, but there are things they can only learn beteween 4 and 7 years of cage, and after that the mind SNAPS shut." Ummmmm HUH?

There was also some nonsense about whole language which I didn't like: "we use phonics to sound out words"; canned cirriculum; and oh yeah "obviously everything he knows is from 'home enrichment'"---Uh doesn't most if not all of our learning come from relevant applications no matter where they occur? :

So we're sending him to the Sudbury school which has just moved into town. I'll leave coercive and fear-based education for others.

mv
post #24 of 776
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post #25 of 776
mamaverdi, what a bummer! I swear, everyone has a different idea about when kids are "supposed" to learn things. Heaven forbid anyone goes outside the box in either direction.

I have a question that's only somewhat gifted-related, but maybe more so than I realize. My husband's father is very ill, and will probably pass away in the next month or two. DD (19 months) saw him quite recently, and though he could barely interact with her (at the time he was still at home, though; now he's in the hospital) she took to him. Since our visit, she has been talking about him a lot. Actually, without sounding like a huge flake, I kind of think she "knows" he's not doing well. We rarely talk about his health issues around her, and when we do, we certainly don't call him "Grandpa"; yet she's been bringing him up constantly, saying "Hug Grandpa" and "Want to see Grandpa" out of nowhere and spontaneously mentioning him as someone she loves. She has only seen him three times in ther whole life, once she was a tiny baby, once at 9 months, and then last month, so it's not as though they have a long-term close relationship, but she is quite aware of who he is and that he is DH's "dada."

I have no idea when and how to approach the idea that Grandpa is ill and will soon be leaving us. Should we wait till he passes away? I am also not sure what to say when we go up for the eventual funeral. Given her memory and understanding, I am 100% certain that if we go up to their house again but Grandpa is absent, she will ask for him and ask where he is, repeatedly. (I see this being very upsetting for Nana and others, too.) What should we tell her? How do we explain death without scaring her or confusing her? I know some gifted kids get very anxious about death when they learn about it. Again, her level of comprehension and understanding is very high, but we haven't talked at all about how bodies work or what sickness is or death.
post #26 of 776
Hi everyone! Thanks for the fascinating read!

I have a question....this has never happened with my other two children but seems to be with Sophia

Fears...she is extremely fearful and anxious. Day before yesterday there was a whistling sound in the pipes when she flushed...she decided it was a whale and became extremely afraid.(We watched Finding Nemo a few weeks back and she loved it and has been "talking whale" ever since) It was a rough night and although she finally got to sleep for the first time since she moved into her own bed she woke up with bad dreams about a "whale in the house" and came into my bed..no problem, she's really cuddly, then talked(obsessed?)about it all day. She was particularly afraid in the bathroom although she would go if I was right there.

I finally think she understands now that whales live in the ocean and we are far away from the ocean and have warned her siblings not to mention that her grandparents all live within a few metres of the ocean or we may never be able to go!

I had to get a map out..show her where we live, and where whales live and the obsession seems to have faded somewhat(it was an obsession..she was upset and jumpy all day)

This is just an example...every few days she finds a new fear and becomes extremely focussed on it until somehow we manage to explain it away.

She is still absolutely petrified of the vacuum cleaner(of course I am not fond of it myself and may be projecting :LOL )

Any experience with anything like this?

On the plus side, I am so glad she is verbal...I can't imagine how she would be if she had the same fears and I had no idea what the problem was!
post #27 of 776
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
My husband's father is very ill, and will probably pass away in the next month or two. DD (19 months) saw him quite recently, and though he could barely interact with her (at the time he was still at home, though; now he's in the hospital) she took to him. Since our visit, she has been talking about him a lot. Actually, without sounding like a huge flake, I kind of think she "knows" he's not doing well. We rarely talk about his health issues around her, and when we do, we certainly don't call him "Grandpa"; yet she's been bringing him up constantly, saying "Hug Grandpa" and "Want to see Grandpa" out of nowhere and spontaneously mentioning him as someone she loves. She has only seen him three times in ther whole life, once she was a tiny baby, once at 9 months, and then last month, so it's not as though they have a long-term close relationship, but she is quite aware of who he is and that he is DH's "dada."

I have no idea when and how to approach the idea that Grandpa is ill and will soon be leaving us. Should we wait till he passes away? I am also not sure what to say when we go up for the eventual funeral. Given her memory and understanding, I am 100% certain that if we go up to their house again but Grandpa is absent, she will ask for him and ask where he is, repeatedly. (I see this being very upsetting for Nana and others, too.) What should we tell her? How do we explain death without scaring her or confusing her? I know some gifted kids get very anxious about death when they learn about it. Again, her level of comprehension and understanding is very high, but we haven't talked at all about how bodies work or what sickness is or death.
I personally have a LOT of experience with loved ones dying and was a gifted child myself. My father died when I was 6 (not as young as your dd, but it was my daddy, afterall). It was very important for me to be able to say goodbye and attend the funeral and I was for years and years angry and saddened that I was not allowed to attend the burial b/c I was *too young* to deal with it. I personally feel that if your dd has a connection with her grandpa, is there any way you could spend more time with him before he passes? Take pictures of him holding her or reading to her or her just sitting there next to him? These times and pictures will be cherished by her forever. I always was sad that I had no grandpa (both died before I was born). Even though she is young, her mind is not dull and apparently she feels the connection strongly by asking for him and if at all possible could her feelings be honored?
On the note about upsetting grandma if your dd asks for grandpa, I personally feel it is extremely important not to downplay a loss, especially one so huge in your family even if it invokes strong emotions that would cause crying. It may have grandma crying, but it would be such a wonderful experience for your MIL to get to grieve with her granddaughter over a man that they both love so much. I know that when my brother and sister died, it was a ray of sunlight to have one of their friends call me crying, b/c then I knew that they were as important to someone else in this world and it truly comforted me during the many bleak hours after their deaths. The strongest comfort I had during the days after my sister died of cancer, a bunch of friends called my from Texas, all bright and happy and with the purpose of cheering me up. In midsentence they all broke down crying and were super embarrassed and said "well how's that for trying to cheer you up". And really, it was the MOST comforting thing they could have done for me! To know they cared so much and that I wasn't the only one crying alone, it truly helped the healing.
I send my deepest sympathy to you and your family on this time of illness. Sickness affects the entire family unit in so many ways. After your FIL passes away, if he has a burial, it might be nice to allow your dd to take a flower to his grave once in awhile so she can at least have some peace in knowing where he is resting. All IMHO.
post #28 of 776
Quote:
I personally feel it is extremely important not to downplay a loss, especially one so huge in your family even if it invokes strong emotions that would cause crying. It may have grandma crying, but it would be such a wonderful experience for your MIL to get to grieve with her granddaughter over a man that they both love so much.
This is a powerful point. I would feel a little better about it if I knew that DD were going to understand the finality of Grandpa being gone. Like, if she asks for him once, okay...if she continues to ask for him and we continue having to explain, that might be rough for everyone. I am also just trying to think about language that will not be euphemistic or scary that she can understand.

"Grandpa had lived a long time, and his body stopped working. We can't see him anymore, but he will always love you." ??? Something like that? I have no idea how to introduce the concept of "his body is still here, but his spirit is gone." (Not spirit in a religious sense--his essence, if you will.)

We don't believe in God or heaven, so I don't plan to introduce any of that, although it is possible someone else will say something like that..."gone to be with Jesus" or the like. Oh dear. She doesn't even know who Jesus is, except that it's a word mommy says sometimes when annoyed. :

I'm wary of introducing the idea that he was sick and he died, in case she starts to worry that every time someone gets sick, they might go away forever.

I have found some books on the subject that look pretty good. That's always a good way to get through to DD, so that may help. She's just so young, though. It's hard.
post #29 of 776
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post #31 of 776
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post #32 of 776
When my niece was not quite three, my grandmother died. She freaked out, she just couldn't wrap her head around the idea that grandma was not coming home. If she went back to Florida, why had she left all her clothing? It was really difficult to deal with. A few months after my grandmother's death, one of ChibiChibi's father's cousins was brutally murdered and he had to go to the funeral (to hear Chibi and her cousins talking about this was enough to make your hair stand on end!); Less than a year later, my mother was in the hospital having open heart surgery. ChibiChibi couldn't visit her in ICU, and she had developed a fear of hospitals because grandma had gone into the hospital and not come back. I was worried about my mother dying because I knew that I'd have to be the one to explain it to ChibiChibi. I asked for the chaplain, and the guy who came told me that he tells children about death in terms of nature-- the leaves fall from the trees because they're old or tired or they don't work right anymore, and the tree is naked for a little while but because the old leaf left there's room for a new one to grow. I still like that explanation.

As to school, I just wanted to comment on this:
Quote:
Won't she act up out of boredom? She certainly does at home. I guess my hope is that the novelty of the situation will carry her through.
It would have to be quite novel to carry her through an entire year! I admire your optimism, but I'd be prepared to pull her out if things get too dull for her. I'm a total cynic when it comes to schools, though. :LOL
post #33 of 776
Here's a nice book for children about death that uses the nature analogy Eilonwy was discussing. Your in my thoughts!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...98253?v=glance

Jenn
post #34 of 776
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls
Fears...she is extremely fearful and anxious. Day before yesterday there was a whistling sound in the pipes when she flushed...she decided it was a whale and became extremely afraid.(We watched Finding Nemo a few weeks back and she loved it and has been "talking whale" ever since) It was a rough night and although she finally got to sleep for the first time since she moved into her own bed she woke up with bad dreams about a "whale in the house" and came into my bed..no problem, she's really cuddly, then talked(obsessed?)about it all day. She was particularly afraid in the bathroom although she would go if I was right there.

This is just an example...every few days she finds a new fear and becomes extremely focussed on it until somehow we manage to explain it away.

Any experience with anything like this?
YES! I have posted, at length sometimes, about my son's fears, obsessions and anxiety. He is older than your dd (just turned 5) but STILL has very similar experiences such as the one you described about the whale. He is mostly terrified of death (who isn't?) and had a major cemetary obsession for a while...we've been through a lot, and if you ever want to hear more about it, I'd be glad to share. I have to go do some work now, though, so I'll write more later!
post #35 of 776
Subscribing, because we'll be home in a few days and therefore have access to email again.

Are we still sharing art? I can share some of my ds1's stuff when we get back. Did Luvmypoochie share Sam's stuff? Does anyone else want to share art? I think I might have missed some things on the end of the giant thread.
post #36 of 776
We're very busy these days! I just thought I'd stop in and say hi. :LOL
post #37 of 776
Yeah, we're really busy here, too. I went back to work last Tuesday, after 9 weeks off for summer vacation. So, my family is "back to reality," which entails having my mom watch the kids from 8:30-4:30 Monday through Friday. Ds starts kindergarten after Labor Day! I have heard good things about his teacher from a friend of mine who teaches at the school. My students come back this Wednesday- and for the first time, they're FOURTH graders! I have been teaching second graders for nine years, and this is a very welcomed change. Additionally, I will be teaching one gifted third grader reading this year; our school hasn't ever, to my knowledge, accelerated a student in one subject before, and I'm honored to be the teacher to get to try it out! I met with the educational psych. regarding evaluating ds, and she said she didn't see it as imperative at this time, though "it might be fun" for him, and for us to get the results. I think $2000 is a lot of money to spend for this if it isn't necessary; I am inclined to wait and see how he does in K with respect to boredom and behavior. Though test scores could be good ammunition, if I need it, to justify his behavior...so maybe I should go ahead with it. I don't know.
post #38 of 776
We've got Back to School night tonight for my older dd; kindergarteners are apparently in a week or two. I am hoping to speak with the teacher about assessments and acceleration for dd in reading. I am hoping that our school will be as accommodating at yours is, teachma.

BTW, do you know at what grade level the third grader that they put in your fourth grade class is reading? I don't know how advanced dd needs to be in order to expect some kind of acceleration.

Younger dd's class starts doing reading/letter/phonemic awareness assessments next week. I don't think that they are assessing their number recognition/math for a while. I'll be curious to see how she does, too.
post #39 of 776
Ok, as promised, here is some of my son's artwork. You'll be sorry you asked, though, because I could get carried away with it. He used to draw stacks of things a day, although lately, in our vacation aftermath, he hasn't really been drawing. It worries me slightly, because drawing was how he seemed to process things and I want to make sure he still has a suitable outlet for that. Anyway, I keep all his stuff on a family website, but I've selected some of my favorites for photobucket. I've shared some of these on another site that I love, so if they look familiar to you, that's why.

I think photobucket did the pictures backwards in the slideshow and I can't figure out how to reorder them. Here is the slideshow:
http://photobucket.com/albums/y6/hrk72/
The password is advpre.

and here are some explanations, in reverse order (i.e. how I intended it).

3.5 yrs old:
-Brio car and driver. This is a representational drawing he made of this toy, while examining it. He did add a catepillar track to the wheels, however, because he likes those.
-Crane pulling car out of sticky mud near the crane's home. The crane's home is on the line in the upper right hand corner and it's small because it's further away.

3.75 yrs old:
-House with neighbor's house partially visible. This is a view of our house facing the open garage (with vehicles inside, seen from behind). The squares underneath are the foundation. Our neighbor's house is partially visible on the upper right; it sort of sticks out from an angle.

-Walking clown. I just always liked this one.

Almost 4yrs old:
- Ceiling fan disassembled. He went through a phase of drawing things as though they were taken apart, with ceiling fans being one of his favorite. Everything on that drawing is an actual part of the fan in the correct qty, with the exception of the dots which I doubt he counted. The U's with the line down the middle are the blades. The two large circles are the circular unit that is mounted in the ceiling and the unit that the blades are suspended from. The four circles on the middle left are the lightbulbs. The tiny circle and line on the middle right are the string and the bead on the end of the string. etc. etc.

- Ben disassembled. He drew himself as though he were taken apart. I remember that the two lines on the top are his two forearms. There are huge gloves on the bottom. Some of the squares are the legs of his shorts, sleeves, etc.

4yrs old: These are recent pictures, drawn in the month or two after his fourth birthday.
-Table scene with reflection. This is a picture of Blue and Steve from Blue's Clue's skadooing onto our kitchen table. In the metal bowl on the bottom left of the picture, he drew the reflection of himself drawing, he said. You can see his face and a large crayon on the bowl.

-Planes. He insisted on getting one of those step by step "learn how to draw" books from the adult section of the library, even though I secretly think their step by step thing is uninspiring. He had a hard time following the steps, however, because he doesn't draw things by connecting shapes; he draws whole units, if that makes any sense. After I assured him that he could just draw the final sketch as he saw it, he did so. The plane on top is a Japanese Zero plane from WWII and the bottom one is a Lockheed Constellation. He is all about mechanical things, as you can see. LOL.

-Balloons coming out of open trunk of car. I just liked this one, because the idea of a whole trunkful of balloons seemed so cool and optimistic.

Uh oh. My little one is crying for some reason. Let me run for now.
post #40 of 776
Thanks for posting the pictures! They're really awesome! You have one talented little boy on your hands. Sam hasn't been drawing much for the last month or so, but he did make this for me last week. It's a boat in the water on a rainy/sunny day with a dolphin jumping out of the water (he's almost 3.5).

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b3...6/DSCN3218.jpg

I know a couple of other posters mentioned their dc's artistic abilities, please feel free to share!

Jenn
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