This imaginative at 2.5....normal/ok? x-posted in Parenting the Gifted Child - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 02-17-2010, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have always attended several playgroups largely because I am very sociable/extraverted (ENFP for those into Myers-Briggs).
Even I am continually suprised by DS and the way he interacts with people. With his peers; wants to greet and part with a hug or kiss, wants to engage/chat, play with rather than alongside.
An adult yawned earlier when we were in the shop and he said, 'oh are you tired?'.
I adore these characteristics in DS but he is definitely different to his peers.

The latest development is his vivid imagination. Personally I find it entertaining but then I also live in my head and had an imaginary friend, Susan, who lived in a derelict house nearby when I was around his age. When we walked past with my Mum, I would stop and play with her in the front garden .

DH wonders if DS's imagination has gone a bit overboard the past few weeks and if we should be playing along quite as much.
When it was -25c here we spent a few weeks indoors. I am pregnant and was tired, DS dropped his nap. Enter DVD time
We soon discovered that DS absolutely loved Dora and Diego.
So much so that he calls me Dora actual lastname (we have similar hair apparently!), DH is Boots (Dora's monkey friend!) lastname and he is Diego lastname. Our housekeeper/babysitter is now Diego's Sister Alicia.
We have had great fun now out in the snow, looking at footprints with our pretend binoculars, trying to rescue the baby animals.
DS takes the conversation and play off on tangents and we're climbing snowy mountains, living in an igloo etc etc etc.

He attends a very small (usually 6 children or less) Montessori toddler group x3 mornings a week. This week he bounded into the classroom on Monday morning and started looking under the bench and in the baskets for the baby jaguar. I explained to the (Russian) teacher what he was doing and she distracted him onto something else.
Same thing this morning. The teacher told me that he only acted like an Animal Scientist at the beginning of the session! Later he had built a farm and was intensely into that for at least 20 mins on his own.

I discussed DH's slight concern with her at pick-up time and she said she had experienced some of the same with her own daughter but doesn't usually see it in the toddler group. One of the pre-primary class teachers is a psychologist and she asked if I wanted to chat to her about it.

My gut tells me that DS is a highly verbal, bright boy and that his imagination is to be celebrated not stifled or humoured. We both love books, I was reading well before 4. I think his imagination can only stand him in good stead for future storywriting etc

What do you think oh wise and experienced Mamas??
Thanks in advance for any input.

Emma - Welsh Wife to DH and Mummy to DS, Lloyd 13/08/07 and Cerys 15/07/10
Living in Russia
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#2 of 11 Old 02-17-2010, 10:32 AM
 
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I think it sounds wonderful! Assuming it isn't interfering with his daily functions or relationships (which it doesn't sound like it is), then what's the problem? As long as you are mindful that he doesn't get too lost in his own world, I think he just sounds beautifully gifted.

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#3 of 11 Old 02-17-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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Sorry, maybe I missed something in your thread? But what is the concern with imaginative play? If anything most of the things I've read said that pretend play is wonderful for children that age and should be encouraged (hence, play based preschools and Waldorf based ones).

DD does a lot of imaginative play and it's wonderful. Just today she spent a good portion of her day trying to feed my invisible food or jumping up and down make monkey noises
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#4 of 11 Old 02-17-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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That sounds exactly like my 2.5 year old. She's bright, sure, but I've never seen anything that would indicate she's gifted.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#5 of 11 Old 02-17-2010, 07:14 PM
 
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My ds is the same way with his imagination - he is always hiding from lions, or making up stories about a turtle climbing on the table, and saying their are buggies in his teeth that he needs to floss out....

He is also very observant, if he saw someone sneeze, he would say 'bless you! Do you need a tissue? Are you sick? Do you feel better now?' And if there was a tissue near by he would go get one for you. He did this at the bank the other day!

I have pretty much the oppsite personality and dont really talk to people unless I know them well, so I dont know where he gets it from!

My ds is very gifted though, but I dont think that has anything to do with the imagination part because its seems that that age is naturally imaginative.
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#6 of 11 Old 02-17-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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This is normal and good. I don't see why there should be concern or a desire to dampen it.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#7 of 11 Old 02-17-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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Sounds normal, and it's excellent that he's just using the DVDs as a starting point and not the be all end all of his imaginary play.

No idea if it's early or what that will mean for him in the future, but it's certainly not harmful.
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#8 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 02:07 AM
 
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Sounds just like my DD! She's now 3 and has a pantheon of imaginary friends -- Gaga, Koolalala, Kandandandan, and the unpronouncable (by adults) Glglllgllgl (sound made by rolling tongue in the side of the cheek) are the most frequent visitors.

Recently, they've started taking the blame when DD does something she's not supposed to... an inevitable (but still not thrilling) product of having imaginary friends!

She also bases some play off some games and movies she's watched. This is something to be careful about, my reading indicates though that it's when they ONLY play based off of movies, only recreate movie scenes, etc, that it's a concern. But it's perfectly normal for them to go through 'obsessions' where EVERYTHING is that movie or that game or that idea for a week or 2 or 3... then it switches to a new obsession.

DD also does imaginative play based on other events in real life. She loves playing 'store', for instance. Sometimes she's the shopper, sometimes she's the "pay lady". The role-playing she does -- and makes us do -- is quite intense and detailed!

We're reasonably sure DD is gifted, though not profoundly so. She knows all her letter sounds, reads a few simple words, counts easily past ten, knew all her colours and shapes before age 2, etc -- but she's not like memorizing the times tables yet lol...

She's also VERY empathetic. She plays imaginatively with her dolls all the time, soothing them when they're hurt, helping them go to sleep, hugging them when they cry, all in her imagination. When her older brother is upset, she tries to figure out how to help him. She loves to bring us snacks and drinks and is such a sweetheart.

We also let her play a-la "free range" most of the day. We don't structure much for her, or helicopter over her much either. She's got a lot of freedom, and she fills her time with remarkably interesting things.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#9 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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Another one with very imaginitive children here - my DS1 is 3 1/2yrs and has always loved imaginative play. He spends much of his day being someone or other else, and even makes up scripted play for him and his just turning 2yr old brother...eg "you're sleeping and you don't know the monster is coming, and I'm going to come and save you and then you have to wake up and we'll have a party with sparklers because I'm a super hero and I saved you." Some days they dress up in all sorts and put bags on their backs and head out the back door, when I inquire what they were up to the other day he said "we're just going hunting" and off they went for a good hour or more. His little brother just loves seeing what DS1 has come up with and playing along!

Today he tried to use it to get out of his sleep - said he was a superhero, and when he's a superhero he has a super hero mum and she gets to decide what he has to do, not me, and SHE said he didnt have to have a sleep. He consoled me by saying that I could still be his mum when he was himself, just not when he's being a super hero!

I LOVE his imagination and DH and I often love sitting back and seeing what he'll get up to, or listening to his explanations. I know I've always had a vivid imagination. He's also very connected to his emotions, expresses them very clearly.
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#10 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 03:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the very entertaining responses!
DH is so logical (he's a Mathematician) that I think he was just *slightly* concerned that DS was too much in his imaginary world. He's feeling reassured now

I didn't mean to imply that DS is gifted because of his imagination. He is certainly verbally/linguistically very advanced but we're not interested or qualified to label him in any way at his age. Just enjoying him and his world!

Thanks again!

Emma - Welsh Wife to DH and Mummy to DS, Lloyd 13/08/07 and Cerys 15/07/10
Living in Russia
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#11 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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JMO, but I would never try to damper the imagination of a child. DD is 25 months and also has a very active imagination. She puts herself into books along side of the characters. I'm not sure if anyone has read Tikki-Tikki-Tembo, but one day she started telling me about how she was eating rice cakes with Chang and Tikki-Tikki-Tembo (the characters in the book) and she fell in the well, which is what happens to each of the little boys at separate times in the book. She also sees hippos and all sorts of animals out the car windows. The only part of this that I am having a hard time with is she sees monsters everywhere and has recently became scared of the dark. Anyway, all this to say I think your DS is perfectly normal.
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