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Old 05-30-2004, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
At any rate, Eli is collecting new words again with marvelous speed. It's kind of freaky to watch him, because he seems to sieze on them. For example, I was discussing something with my mother on the phone and the word "guilty" came up (no, I don't remember what). Eli popped off of my breast and said "guilty? guilty!" So I told him what it meant (meanwhile my mom is giggling on the phone saying "Tell him to say "culpable" ) and he went back to nursing. Later that evening, on the Simpsons, Bart was being tried for something and was found guilty; Eli got very excited and started laughing. "Guilty!!" :LOL

I just had to laugh at this. Katie and I were outside in the early evening. I was trying to convince her to go to sleep. She asked where the birds were. I told her they had all gone to bed. The only things that were awake were owls and bats. She knows about owls, but the idea of bats kind of scared her. So I told her that bats were cool, how they flew around at night, hung upside down, and used echo location to find their way around. She looked up and said, "Echo location?" Fast forward to the next day and we are across the street playing with a little friend of Katie's. She runs up to this little girl, very excited, "Bats! Bats have echo location!" :LOL

We also went to the zoo after that and she had a great time in the bat exhibit. I love dispelling fear with information. Not to mention how cute it is to hear my 3yo saying 'echo location'!


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Old 06-01-2004, 01:54 PM
 
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Eilonwy and Bec: I love the way they gather information. We were in Seattle and visiting the aquarium this past Christmas. When we got to the octopus tank, which was surrounded by older kids talking about the "funny fish," dd blurts out loud and clear, "Octopus is an invertebrate. He has no bones." We got some strange stares since she was 20 months old, tiny, and riding on my back.

FreeRangeMama: Your ds's response to having a sibling really resonated with me. Dd, too, knows a great deal of information and loves looking at pregnancy and birth pictures. But, she is very resistant to changes in her system, too. Do you think that being at the birth has made it any easier for him? I am going around and around about dd and the upcoming birth. On one hand, I believe that birth is natural, beautiful, and part of life. I also think that seeing the baby come out would give her a clearer context. On the other, she is very sensitive to things about me being out of place. She doesn't even like it when my midwife checks my blood pressure. What do you think?
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Old 06-01-2004, 02:21 PM
 
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I think he NEEDED to be at the birth. He needed to see where this baby came from (he already knew, but needed to see this specific birth). I am so glad we had a homebirth, but especially a UC because there were no "outsiders". He would not have been comfortable with a "stranger" in OUR house. His characteristics influenced our choices because we really wanted to make it as positive of an experience for him as possible. We knew that it would affect him FOREVER regardless, but just tried to make it as positive as possible. He really should have been an only child, there are many benefits for him having siblings, but ideally he would have done better on his own We still want more children, but the transition will be rough each time. I feel selfish wanting more, its such a hard balance to do what is best for everyone.

Sorry to ramble on and on, its a hard subject for us.


 

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Old 06-01-2004, 02:27 PM
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TEAK's Mom - They are funny, aren't they?

As far as siblings go, we spent a lot of time preparing Katie for the birth. She came to every prenatal appointment, and got to know the doctor. For all his numerous faults that I won't go into here, he was very good with Katie. He let her help him with the blood pressure, and let her listen to the baby with the fetoscope. I think that went a long way of easing her fear.

I showed Katie tons of books with pictures, and read her stories about kids having new babies. I also told her that, no matter what, she would still be able to nurse, and, even though there was a lot of redecorating going on (I think it was hormonal painting :LOL ), I promised her I wouldn't change anything in her room unless she gave me permission.

I also talked about what the birth was going to be like (I was planning a homebirth). We watched lots of birth shows and videos. I practiced groaning with her. I also told her grandma was going to come over to play with her. When things got really rolling, though, I found her too distracting. I needed to really concentrate but she was getting distressed anyway. Grandma took over with her.

I do think that Katie was an integral part of the birth, though. I believe it was her nursing that finally pushed me into active labor. In the early part of the evening, though, we had a wonderful snuggle as a family. It was so quiet and peaceful, Katie finally decided she wanted to nurse, and did for some time before the contractions became too much and I had to get out of bed. I look back on it, and am so glad that we had that last little bit of time. It was a beautiful transition from going from 1 to 2 children.

Katie has been a fabulous big sister. She has been tender and gentle, and I believe truly loves and likes Emily.


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Old 06-01-2004, 06:01 PM
 
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. He really should have been an only child, there are many benefits for him having siblings, but ideally he would have done better on his own We still want more children, but the transition will be rough each time. I feel selfish wanting more, its such a hard balance to do what is best for everyone.
This is one of the reasons that I wanted NewBean and Eli to be close together, age-wise. Eli's a fairly easygoing guy, but I can see things potentially changing as he gets older, and I didn't want that to be a huge issue. I figure that if he's already got a sibling, a new one later one won't be as much of a shock. We actually started ttc NewBean 4 cycles before we got pregnant. My only regret is that I didn't take seriously the idea that my milk might dry up, and I didn't realize how much Eli was still physically dependant on my milk. His little system was just not ready for the amount of solid food he needed, and that was really hard on all of us.

At any rate, I'm thinking that Eli probably won't be at the actual birth. He tends to get very upset when I'm in pain, and he wants to give hugs and kisses which I don't think would work well in labor. I'm afraid I'd squish him too hard! :LOL I would also like for NewBean's very first nursing session to be hers alone, and I know that if Eli sees me nursing her he'll want to latch on right away. I'm hoping to see him about half an hour after the birth, if that; I definately want him nearby, but not in the room.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 06-02-2004, 02:12 PM
 
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I have been thinking about whether or not TEAK would be better as an only child. I know that it would be easier, but maybe not better. In some ways, it is terrifying just how much like me she seems to be at the time (although, she is a little behind where I was on some things if my mother remembers correctly). We are not the same person by any stretch of the imagination, but she does things that others think are bizarre and I understand completely. When she paces around a room staring at a toy or random object and muttering, I know that she is spinning a very private story. I remember doing it and how vital it was to me.

Anyway, where I'm going with this is that, I know that transition to having a sibling will be incredibly hard on her. But, I also know how close my sisters and I are. If we don't talk at least twice a week, it's because one of us is living away from phone lines. We are totally different people, but we need each other almost on an instinctive level.

Sorry to ramble, I'm still working things out.

FreeRangeMama: Your experience is really backing up my gut feeling about TEAK and the birth. She needs to KNOW, not just hear where that baby came from so that she can integrate s/he into her worldview. Since dh is terrified by the idea of a UC, we will have a midwife in attendence, but we are working hard to build a relationship between them. Then, we'll play it by ear.

Eilonwy: Dd and her sibling will be a bit farther apart than yours, but boy do I understand the nursing drama. My problem is that dd seems to have weaned herself. She hasn't nursed (other that what I call 'status check' nursings where she asks, puts her mouth on my breast, giggles, and then goes off to read a book) in almost two months. I always thought (in my biased little mind) that weaning during pregnancy was initiated mostly by the mother. But, she knows that she can nurse if she wants to, so hopefully, that will help.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled thread...
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Old 06-05-2004, 12:12 AM
 
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How goes the preschool search?
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Old 06-05-2004, 12:28 AM
 
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He really should have been an only child, there are many benefits for him having siblings, but ideally he would have done better on his own We still want more children, but the transition will be rough each time. I feel selfish wanting more, its such a hard balance to do what is best for everyone.

Sorry to ramble on and on, its a hard subject for us.


Having siblings is hard. I had ds#2 9 months ago and we're still dealing with a lot of fallout. It isn't that ds#1 is aggressive or anything towards his little brother... quite the contrary. He understands that ds#2 is a baby and needs special attention, but understanding that doesn't alleviate his own needs, KWIM? He is so empathetic that I think he easily identifies with the baby. In fact, that is our biggest challenge right now; ds#1 is acting very "baby-ish" emotionally, even talking more baby-like and refusing to do things he used to do by himself.

Dh wants to have two more kids. When we talk about it, I either laugh hysterically or feel guilty. It is hard enough to meet both sons' needs for stimulation now. Having a gifted child has really given me pause when it comes to having more children. I feel like you need to go above and beyond in order to "do right" by your gifted child, but that doesn't leave much left for other siblings or yourself!
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Old 06-05-2004, 11:48 AM
 
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He is so empathetic that I think he easily identifies with the baby. In fact, that is our biggest challenge right now; ds#1 is acting very "baby-ish" emotionally, even talking more baby-like and refusing to do things he used to do by himself.
Yes!! We have some major regressive behaviour. They crawl around together, ds1 wants to nurse all the time, for a while he even wanted me to feed him (he always insisted on feeding himself as a baby). He seems to be doing a lot of things he didn't even do when he WAS that age just because ds2 is doing it. We are letting him do what he needs to.

He also is so bothered by ds2's cries. Whenever he is upset ds1 collapses in tears. It REAALY upsets him to hear his brother cry Then I have 2 distraught boys to console....... It is a challenge. I am glad he is so empathetic, but it is hard on a very practical day-to-day level.


 

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Old 06-05-2004, 12:00 PM
 
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Having a gifted child has really given me pause when it comes to having more children. I feel like you need to go above and beyond in order to "do right" by your gifted child, but that doesn't leave much left for other siblings or yourself!
I have a slightly different perspective on this, I think, in large part because I grew up as a profoundly gifted child with four siblings, two of whom were also profoundly gifted and the other two... well, the slowest among us leaves "average" in the dust, to put it mildly.

I'm confident that I know what my children need in order to thrive. My siblings and I all have very different personalities, but we've influenced each other in interesting ways. For example, my younger brother. He was a lot more like the way you describe Akira; very resistant to change, highly observant but not resiliant in any way. When he ran into people out of context, his instinctive reaction was to freak out. I was much more relaxed than that, and in seeing my example he was able to calm down and think about the situation more rationally. It helped him a lot to have someone to talk to who was close to his own age and understood his perspective, and because I was older he tended to follow my lead in unfamiliar situations.

My youngest sister was a much more relaxed, sociable, outgoing person than I or my brother. If I hadn't been around setting an example, I'm fairly certain that she'd have been diagnosed with ADD because her initial instinct was to run around like a maniac. Because I was such a somber little person, and I was the one she wanted to be like, she tended to control herself much better than I think she was naturally inclined to do. I was the oldest child of the four of us (my older brother is an only child) and I was a born leader, so all of my siblings basically fell in line behind me. It was a good influence on them. I needed a better influence, though, and much more encouragement than I ever got from my mother (who was terrified of "pushing" because teachers had frightened her ) to work/learn/etc. (The only thing my mother ever encouraged me to do was play outside. When I was grounded, my punishment was to go outside without a book. The horror!)

At any rate, hindsight is 20/20. Having grown up seeing 5 very different, highly gifted children, I have an easier time understanding Eli than I might otherwise have. I'm not worried about handling difficult situations for him, because I've seen how six different gifted children (including my niece) react in different situations, and I can extrapolate from their similarities to EliBean. (Does this make any sense? My brain feels like it's sliding out again... :LOL)

I guess, in short, I'm saying that I see siblings as a good thing in the long run for the vast majority of children, even those who are resistant to change, because seeing someone else of a similar age and ability level deal with situations in a different way can really help a child, especially one who's having difficulty adapting. Gifted kids really need to be able to relate to someone, and while many of them are quite adept at seeming to relate to adults, it's nearly always easier to relate to a sibling than a parental figure. My niece, personality-wise, is much like my sister was at that age only much more ...bubbly (lost a word. ) If my sister hadn't been around me, a somber, introspective child, she'd have been exactly the same way. (Not to say that 'bubbliness' is a bad thing, but my niece is very close to being diagnosed with ADHD because she gets so bored and wants to socialize rather than do what people ask of her.) My niece spends a lot of time with me, but she doesn't see me as someone she wants/needs to emulate; I'm an adult, and she's a child. See what I mean?

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 06-05-2004, 12:11 PM
 
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What is your mother's perspective on this? No offense, but you only have one child right now. When I only had ds#1, I was a lot more confident about how it would be when ds#2 came along. Ds#1 was relatively easy-going, and I thought ds#2 would be too.

ITA that in the long run, having siblings will probably be good for the kids. But when both your babies are distraught and crying, it's hard to remember that! I wonder if maybe spacing issues are different with gifted kids...? How far apart are you and your siblings?
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Old 06-05-2004, 12:30 PM
 
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I understand the benefits of having siblings, but SOME children really would do better to not be the OLDEST sibling. Akira is a LOT like I was as a child and a LOT like my brother was as a child. I thrived, but my brother did not. Part of that was that after 3 other gifted children and a gifted husband my mom knew better how to deal with me, but also it is 100% different to be a 1st born. There are unique challenges.

My dh comes from a "gifted" family as well. He is a 2nd born (of 5 children) and was often overlooked. They just didn't realize how amazing he was until recently. Part of that was his personality (he is always joking around so people assume he is just a comedian, but he is highly intelligent as well), but part of it comes from the fact that his sister and him were born 16 mo apart and his mom was just so busy with such a sensitive 1st born and a super energetic 2nd born.

My nephew was the same story. He thrived until his sister was born (they are closely spaced as well). Gifted firstborns DO have a difficult time (at least in the real-life situations in MY life). It seems the more "profound" the giftedness, the more likely some of these other issues (Dabrowski's over-excitabilities, sensory sensitivities, different way of seeing the world, extreme empathy just as a few examples) which makes it even more necessary for extra attention from Mama.

I KNOW what my children need to thrive, unfortunately what Akira needs is the kind of one-on-one attention that is difficult to provide with a babe in tow. As prepared as I *thought* I was, actually HAVING 2 was much different than I would have imagined I had to carry a 35 lb 2 yo AND a baby everywhere in the slings because he really needs to be connected to me in over-stimulating situations. When 1 cries so does the other. It is a challenge to sooth both at the same time. My older child's needs were just as intense as the newborn's were. I know when we have a 3rd (and maybe even a 4th) it will be a hard adjustment as well. Each of these scenarios will have benefits, but I would never want to underestimate the downfalls either. I guess I am a realist that way


 

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Old 06-05-2004, 12:38 PM
 
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I also forgot to say that I am glad to have this thread Some of the "gifted" groups I have checked out have been all about comparing children or bragging under the guise of asking questions. It is hard to get support for a problem you might have when most of the other posters just want to tell you how much MORE gifted their child is :LOL That is one of the reasons I would never own up to being "gifted", I just hate the competetion it leads to.

This thread is great, we can discuss the challenging aspects honstly and receive only support, not one-upmanship


 

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Old 06-05-2004, 04:58 PM
 
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I KNOW what my children need to thrive, unfortunately what Akira needs is the kind of one-on-one attention that is difficult to provide with a babe in tow....
. When 1 cries so does the other. It is a challenge to sooth both at the same time. My older child's needs were just as intense as the newborn's were.
Yup, this is exactly what we are going through. I notice that our kids are about the same age difference. In my case, ds#1 was born in Feb '01, and ds#2 was born in Aug '03. Pretty close!

I feel guilty because ds#1 needs the one-on-one attention, too. As is typical with a gifted child, right now I am his only friend. As you know, the preschool thing hasn't been working out as well as I had hoped, because he really hasn't found any "peers" in the true sense of the word.

I also fooled myself into thinking that because ds#1 was so intellectually advanced, that he was also much more emotionally mature than he was. It's an easy thing to fall into, yeah? You're discussing such grown-up topics and then - wham! - a melt-down because I put salt on his egg when he didn't want it and I was too busy trying to feed the baby to ask him about it beforehand! ITA that my firstborn's needs were as intense as the newborn's, but I hadn't anticipated that!
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Old 06-05-2004, 08:28 PM
 
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I feel guilty because ds#1 needs the one-on-one attention, too. As is typical with a gifted child, right now I am his only friend. As you know, the preschool thing hasn't been working out as well as I had hoped, because he really hasn't found any "peers" in the true sense of the word.
That is our problem as well. We are homeschooling (well, unschooling most likely) when that time comes because we just know ds could not handle a school environment. He only really associates well with adults, and maybe occasionally older children as well. Generally he just doesn't "get" other kids and prefers to avoid them. It is a challenge to provide the companionship as well as the parenting to him, but I feel right now there is little choice.

I have found that it is getting easier (in some regards anyway) now that ds2 is getting older. He plays with ds2 but gets frustrated with the way ds2 plays with toys. Ds1 hates how he teethes on things because "toys are not for chewing!!" and freaks out if ds2 gets too close to his "very special toys". He wants things used in a specific way and does not want to see them used otherwise Overall it is getting easier though. How are you finding things as they get older?


 

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Old 06-05-2004, 10:03 PM
 
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It's getting easier because ds#2 is discovering ways to entertain himself, without always going after what ds#1 is doing. But, ds#2 is a lot more mobile, so it's harder for ds#1 to keep his stuff away from him, too. I'm reading Siblings without Rivalry and trying to keep those principles in mind when we're all going about the day.

One of my big things is that I am the eldest sibling of two, and although I'd like to think I'm no more neurotic than the next person I do have some issues with being the oldest. I think my mother let me take care of my younger brother much more than she should have, basically placing a lot of responsibility on me at too young of an age. I'm gifted and very responsible, so I guess that's why. But I resented it, I don't feel like I got enough childhood (if that makes sense?) and it damaged my relationship with my brother, I think I'm determined not to place too much of that burden on ds#1, if I can help it.
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Old 06-06-2004, 03:11 PM
 
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You're absolutely correct; I've only got one kid right now, so I'm probably a bit naive about the realities of actually having two.

My siblings and I are painfully close. Earlier in this thread, I mentioned that Eli spoke his first 2-word sentence at 7 weeks, and that I may have as well but my mother doesn't know because she had morning sickness by then. I have a brother who is 10 months younger than I am, a sister 20 months younger than him and another sister 20 months younger than her (if I did my math right. You try: Oct 77, Sept 78, May 80 and Jan 82. Arithmatic is beyond the powers of my tapioca brain for the moment. :LOL) The youngest sister (Jan 82) and my brother (Sept 78) are the "profoundly gifted" ones, though my other sister and older brother (Aug 70/only child) are by no means slow.

So there were four of us, under the age of four, when my mother left my father in April of 82. Single parent family, no money, and a real pain in the butt. My mother's a very smart person, but she spent most of my childhood extremely depressed, and relied on me *way* more than any parent should ever rely on a child. She easily fell into the trap you mentioned of thinking that because I/we were so bright, she could treat us like adults. The problem was, I didn't see anything wrong with that, and I felt that the fault was mine if I was unable to deal with it. So I dealt. Later on, I grew to resent being treated like a small adult because I saw that other children could have fun, could do things with their friends, while I had to take care of my siblings. I also wondered why my mother didn't love me, because she was never as affectionate with me as she was with my siblings. Not to say that she's ever been a touchy-feely person, but I can count the number of times my mother has hugged me since I was 18 months old on one hand.

I agree that some children, personality-wise, would do much better in a different birth-order situation than the one they're in. Luckily, Eli is my mother's fourth grandchild so if he needs an "older sibling" figure, we can kind of make one for him. My niece is a very charismatic little person, and she's definately an older child. I was fine as an oldest child, my brother would not have been.

My mother's opinion on very bright children and spacing is that they're somewhat easier to have closer together than other children, because they tend to get out of the infant stage sooner and into the resistance-to-change stage sooner. I think that ideally she'd have spaced all of us about 20 months apart. Of course, Eli and NewBean are too close together because Eli needed more breastmilk than he was getting, but she thinks that personality-wise, and in terms of dealing with them, they'll be just fine (about 19 months).

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 06-06-2004, 05:01 PM
 
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I'm going to jump right in here b/c there are so many things I can relate to. I read up to page 6 and will finish the rest afterwards.

My son is going to be 6 this summer and, although I choose not to "label", it's no secret he's got the goods Our biggest challenge is social skills. We found a great preschool that goes to the 5th grade through an educational counseler (which I highly recommend btw). They taught him that banging another child on the head with a truck was not a good way to get the child to play with him. He's come along way but we're still working on it. For instance, his teacher (I trust her completely) has known him for 3 yrs. and decided he should be evaluated for Aspergers. We're still considering that but since dh dropped the 2nd job his behavior has improved immensely.

I've dealt with competitive moms that force me to keep my mouth shut b/c I don't want them to think I'm bragging. I've dealt with morons that think if I cracked down I could make him follow the rules. And I've also dealt with the people who think I'm exaggerating his abilities (I don't have time for those people anymore) or the ones who think I'm pushing him (like I can actually make him do anything he doesn't want to do).

I'm an unschooler at heart but he needs socialization and I can't provide that at home. I also have 2 other kids - dd#1 2 yrs. and dd#2 6 mos. #1 is developmentall delayed but beautiful, peaceful and full of love. My 3rd is the perfect blend between the other 2 She's so happy but active and curious.

Kids are up!
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Old 06-07-2004, 07:00 PM
 
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Hello all! I just found this thread and have been skimming through it. What alot of bright children we have!

Although he hasn't been formally tested, I'm quite certain ds#1 is gifted. As you can see in my sig, I also have a ds2 who isn't quite 4 weeks old, so I don't have much time to go into detail-maybe later.

What I am wondering is if you have your young gifted dc's in any kind of formal class or lesson?

One of the major problems I face daily with ds1 is boredom. He requires almost constant verbal interaction, which was fine and easy to accomplish when he was my only child, but since ds2's arrival, it has gotten harder for me to give him what he needs. Dh and I had wondered if some sort of lesson or class would give him a way to channel his mental energy. I was thinking perhaps violin or piano, because those are instruments that I can play and could help him between lessons, but I'm not sure that age 2.5 is an appropriate age. We had also thought of dance class or gymnastics, but I'm not sure how he would do in a group setting. I have a feeling he wouldn't thrive unless he could get one-on-one with the teacher. He is very soft spoken and gentle and other kids tend to push him around.

Gotta go for now, babe is hungry.....

lisa

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Old 06-08-2004, 05:37 PM
 
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Hello!

Eli's not in any classes or anything like that, but right now I'd absolutely *love* to send him somewhere. :LOL The most important thing to me, though, would be to follow his interests. Eli loves water, for example, and I think he'd have the time of his life in a father-son swimming class. He also really likes to dance and move around, so maybe a creative motion class. His other hobbies... well, they don't really lend themselves to classes available for kids his age. In fact, I don't think I've even seen a creative motion class for kids under three.. but I digress. If your son is interested in the violin or the piano, I'd definately encourage that but if he's not interested then I can't really see the point at his age, kwim? I definately want Eli to play a musical instrument, but right now he's much more interested in dancing to music and looking at maps. (We watched the Weather Channel for two hours this morning... ) If he hasn't expressed interest in any particular instrument by the time he's 5 or 6, I'll probably start teaching him piano or violin (I play those too! ) but I won't enroll him in formal lessons unles he wants to continue beyond what I can teach.

Does your son read? That would definately give him something to do during the day when you need quiet time or time to nurse the baby.. Eli finds merely holding a book to be soothing sometimes (I guess he inherited that from me :LOL) even though he can't read words aside from his name, his cousins' names, and various logos. He's a very active boy most of the time, so seeing him curl up with a book and "read" it is really great. He'll do the same thing with a laminated map, just stare at it for hours, tracing rivers with his little Bean fingers. :LOL

Coloring and painting are also loads of fun, and fairly easy, requiring minimal supervision as long as your supplies are non-toxic. I can hand Eli a crayon and he'll just disappear for 40 minutes. :LOL Crayola's washable crayons really are washable, btw, and the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser really does magically erase crayon marks. Well worth it for the quiet time! If you're really clever, you'll tape paper from a long roll along the wall, so he can color for ages and then you just take it down and turn it over for even more fun. I am not energetic enough right now to do that, but I will be soon enough! :LOL

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 06-10-2004, 07:25 AM
 
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We belong here too. Our oldest ds is 15 and gifted, spirited, and has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. The sensitivity involves a lot of sensory issues like sensitivity to smells, textures, noise. We homeschool our 5 children, and I can relate to the only child discussions, as our ds would have preferred to be an only child mostly because the noise of the siblings gives him a headache. :

Talk about taking a long time to get dressed! My kid used to take a freaking hour to get dressed. FOR YEARS and YEARS. I think he was 11 when he started dressing quicker, but now he doesn't change his clothes for a month, so we have traded dressing issues. :

We also went through the whole parenting shift in attitudes on the grand scale, and while we were having our major struggles, my husband and I were unsupported missionaries, and dh was a deacon in our church. Compassionate parenting was the only way, and it took us quite a few years to figure it all out as we went along. We lived our lives and struggles with ds in a judgemental fishbowl. Once, while shaking hands with us at church after recently seeing the Patch Adams movie, our son who was at that time (10) said "Welcome Gynos at your cervix" to the little old ladies as they came into church. :LOL We laugh hard about it now, but it had to be my most embarrassing parenting moment.

We quit going to church all together over being fed up with the parenting issues about three years ago, and I have really enjoyed hanging out at MDC for the support. Our 15 year old is bedbound most of the time, so he is interested in his computer and considers himself a gamer. He right now is playing halo, phantasy star online, and final fantasy IV. Yes, sadly he likes to shoot things all day. He doesn't just play the game though, he gets obsessed with the game, and currently is one of the highest level dark knights on Final Fantasy in all of America!!

His goal is to become equal with the Japanese Players who have been playing for two years longer because the game came out in Japan two years before it was available in America. He gets obsessed with a game for about six months and then drops it. Just like he was obsessed with 3D Studio Max for a while and then Photoshop. He got frustrated with 3D Studio Max because of Graphics Card problems, and I cannot help him and couldn't really find anyone locally who could help him. He has been more advanced in math than me since he was ten. He is basically on his own with what he learns now. He does what interests him. He was intellectually ready for college years ago, he just isn't healthy enough, and we have been waiting for his maturity level to become college ready. He wants to live in the dorms and attend UCSC if he can get well enough, maybe even next year when he turns 16. That is the age when they do allow underaged students to live in the dorms. Who knows if he can do it though, with his chemical sensitivity being so severe. He could be living at home at age 30 playing these video games and drinking Bawls and that would be just fine too.
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Old 07-11-2004, 02:42 PM
 
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I'm so glad i found this thread! My barely 2yo is reading and its freaking me out. We always knew she was bright and spirited but this is more than we expected. I'm trying my best to keep her occupied, but honestly I'm burnt out and frazzeled right now, so not the best time for introductions... but I'm going to go back and skim the thread and post back soon.

I'm glad to have found this!

Chrys
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Old 07-12-2004, 07:59 PM
 
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I have to tell you that Eli saw more television in the last two months of my pregnancy than he did in his entire life up to that point. Now is not the time to feel guilty about that! I was horribly depressed about it too, until I realized that I was hugely pregnant and it could be a lot worse. I'm glad I took that little vacation, even if it's not the ideal solution (which would involve paying someone lots of money to watch my kid).

The other thing is, (most) children don't need to be constantly entertained. They'd rather talk to you & show you what they're doing, but perhaps if you say "We're going to set aside these two hours to talk, but right now I need rest..." and then get them started on some kind of project (which could be just about anything) they might be able to deal with it. As long as you follow through, they actually get your undivided attention for those two hours each day, they could be pretty happy with that. (In most cases; this didn't work for Eli, who would reset Daddy's alarm clock so that it said three o'clock. )

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 07-18-2004, 04:49 AM
 
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Well, it's already looking like I didn't need to be concerned about Rivkah. She's three and a half weeks old and has already smiled deliberately and rolled over, also quite deliberately. In fact, she did both of those things before she was a week old; these days, she spends a lot of time looking around being very focused and intent and trying to use words instead of wah-wahs. Thus far, she only makes "ih, ih!" noises for everything, but she's making an effort. It's lots of fun to watch!

I felt really funny writing down that she'd rolled over at a week in her baby book, so I waited to see if she'd do it again. Lo and behold, she did. In fact, she's done it half a dozen times since then, each time from back to belly (which is strange in and of itself). She seems to be on a different timetable from Eli thus far, but it's all good.

I've already realized how much I'm not saying, though. I guess it just comes naturally not to discuss what my kids are doing at this point. I feel kind of strange, my daughter is one of the youngest on the June mommies thread, but I don't want to say anything about her rolling over until one of the other kids does it. I can't help talking about her sweet smile (she's got one dimple! Too cute!) but people can write that off to gas if they really want too. I suppose they could write off the rolling, too. I know, it's not really my problem, but I still worry that instead of saying "Wow, that's so cool!" people will think "My kid can't do that... I wonder what's wrong with him/her." Just the thought makes me feel so guilty! :

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 07-18-2004, 12:03 PM
 
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Congrats on the new baby, Rhynna!

Britishmum, I hear ya on the TV thing. I've been getting so frustrated with DS1, because although he's 3 1/2 yo, he still seems to need so much interaction all the time. Like you said, even when he's drawing or building something, he still seems to want that interaction with me contantly.

One video company we loved is called Bo Peep productions. We have 'Bugs Don't Bug Us' and I can't tell you how much DS1 loved that video when he was younger. Don't know if it will be age-appropriate, though. It's for pretty young ones I think. Very gentle, nothing scary at all. Here's a link:

http://www.bopeepproductions.com/

Oops! Sorry I mispelled your name!
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Old 07-24-2004, 10:36 PM
 
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Well, I have really enjoyed this thread!

My oldest son (almost 8 now) was unusual from birth. He was 11.5 pounds, homebirthed, and I'll never forget the way he looked at me and smirked. He was so 'present', the word "changeling" kept coming to mind. I can't describe it but he kinda freaked me out. He was less than an hour old, laying on the bed beside me, when he totally raised up on his hands and just stared at my face for the longest time.

He was talking by 7 months old, and walking at 8 months old. It was complete sentences and running, by his first birthday.

He was reading at the first grade level, when he was 2.5. (He can now read and understand the Bible and college textbooks. The only thing he lacks is experience; the comprehension, pronunciation, etc. is totally there).

We determined to homeschool him, early on, because I didn't want him to have a clue that he was different in any way. I wanted his character and his physical strength, to be as well-developed as his mind. I don't limit his learning, but I've always emphasized good diet and outdoor exercise. Nate is such good company, but he seems to require near-constant conversation. That's tiring for me, but I stay present for him as much as I can. He's discovered artwork, especially copying plants and animals in the backyard. So he's found a way to turn off his mouth and engage his brain at the same time, which gives me a little break!

When ds#2 came along (Nate was 18 months)...he was sooooo different. He was clear off the charts, size-wise (25# at one month old, and he's never really slowed down, he's 6 now). He had a very sunny personality, and I was gearing up for him to be kinda big and slow. I was fine with that; it was just another argument for homeschooling if he was going to be so different from his brother.

Ds#2 (Jonas) did not say one word until after his third birthday. Oh, I'd hear him, from another room, muttering to himself. Turns out he was unwilling to speak at all, until he was sure that he was doing it right. So he'd practice words and phrases. But he wouldn't talk to us until he was ready. At the same time that he began to talk to us, his math skills became evident. He reminded us of Rainman, the way he would study patterns, and count, and add. So we realized that he was 'gifted', but in different ways. Jonas is also extremely empathetic, possibly psychic. And definitely has some SID issues. I wasn't familiar with the disorder until recently, but when I learned about it it described Jo to a T. I just made up my mind that this is how he was, and even if I didn't understand it, ok. He and I would learn to deal with it, and help him learn to navigate thru the world and make himself more comfortable when he needed to.

Jonas just turned 6, and he's so neat. He can now explain his SID feelings, and talk thru solutions. He can articulate about his emotions, and plan for what to do the next time a certain situation arises. He wanted to learn to read when he was 5, and insisted that I teach him. I tried everything, but I couldn't get thru to him! I began to think that he would read very, very, late. I didn't care if he couldn't read at age 5, but it was really upsetting to him.

Finally I remembered his amazing memory, and I decided to try to get him to memorize phonics. It was sort of a complicated method that I set up, using McGuffey readers and Dick and Jane books and homemade flashcards, but it worked. He's now reading very well. Weirdly, he loved McGuffey and Dick and Jane. He likes quaint things, old language, and good art. He also likes to climb trees and play ball. He's about twice the size of the average 6 year old.

Ds#3, Henry, is almost 4. He's not like either of his brothers. He's a total handful. He's average in so many ways, it seems, and then he'll do something off the wall. He IS Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes. I do not understand the world he has going on in his mind. Thankfully its almost always very funny. I know some kids with an imaginary world, have some pretty scary stuff in it. For Henry its all funny.

I thought we were going to be unschoolers. I read the books, I agreed with the philosophies, and then my children were born. They wanted structure. They wanted to see their own progress. They wanted to learn this or that, NOW. And I couldn't keep up with all 3. So I formally teach reading, writing, math, and Bible. I read good literature to them. For general knowlege, we do kinda unschool, so that each can follow his heart. I keep track of what they do.

I see a day in the near future when I won't be 'teaching' at all, though. Seems like, if they have reading, writing, grammar, and math skills, they will be able to teach themselves. Nathaniel is doing this already, working methodically thru library books, setting up experiments, writing reports....

Sorry, I wrote a novel! I don't usually get to talk about my children like this. Either we're not unschoolers so we don't fit in, or somebody thinks I'm bragging. I don't tell people what my children are doing for that very reason. Also I don't think people realize that there are challenges with gifted children. You have to learn to speak their language. You have to give them tools and tricks. You have to allow them to be smarter than you...you have to go against conventional wisdom all the time. Of course AP parenting gives practice in all these things.

Thanks for listening!
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Old 07-24-2004, 11:04 PM
 
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This touches a bit on something I have been thinking about lately. Has anyone else had those "oops" moments when you're happily talking about your kids and what they are doing, and then you realize the other person is looking at you strangely? Or they start saying things that hint that you are a pushy parent -- "Wow, you must really work with him on that."

How do you handle this? At first I just found myself sharing less and less with people, but that doesn't feel right to me. It smacks of being secretive, or worse, shameful. So now I've decided that if it's appropriate, I just share as much as the next person. I am proud of my kids, and they are who they are. What's been your experiences?
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Old 07-25-2004, 12:43 AM
 
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Both of those experiences are VERY familiar, as a matter of fact. One of my friends "just casually" recommended a book to me fairly recently -- "Einstein Never Used Flash Cards." Needless to say, I wasn't too darn pleased about that one because of the obvious implication. Really, I was tempted to call her up and explain that no, we didn't use flash cards -- we slid workbook pages under the door of the closet we lock her into.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AlohaDeb
This touches a bit on something I have been thinking about lately. Has anyone else had those "oops" moments when you're happily talking about your kids and what they are doing, and then you realize the other person is looking at you strangely? Or they start saying things that hint that you are a pushy parent -- "Wow, you must really work with him on that."

How do you handle this? At first I just found myself sharing less and less with people, but that doesn't feel right to me. It smacks of being secretive, or worse, shameful. So now I've decided that if it's appropriate, I just share as much as the next person. I am proud of my kids, and they are who they are. What's been your experiences?
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Old 07-25-2004, 01:07 AM
 
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Hi, all...this has been a fun read! I am in the camp of I don't know if Erik is truly gifted, but he is very intelligent, and has many of the traits mentioned. He is also very intense, and it helps to understand it in light of his intelligence!

I definitely have the sense I shouldn't mention to people that Erik can read...either because it will come off like I'm delusional and braggy, or because they will think I spent hours teaching him. Well, no. I actually haven't taught him much at all...he's a very self-motivated learner. I laughed when I read about the child who was obsessed with the alphabet, that is Erik completely. He loves it, he loves learning words, he loves writing words. He's also quite good at math, and I certainly haven't taught him that. He counts to 100 now, and is doing some addition/subtraction. So, I only mention it if someone asks specifically what he's up to...

Anyway, at this point we're planning to continue just as we are--unschooling. He would go to K NEXT YEAR (ack! How could it be?) at 4. However, I doubt if he'd be socially ready, though he is clearly academically ready now. So, we'll continue on.
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Old 07-25-2004, 03:13 AM
 
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Britishmum, I can just imagine your daughter, her debating cracks me up! I was such a quiet little girl. She, at least, will never be pushed around!

That's exactly the funny vibe I used to get, AlohaDeb. You hit the nail right on the head. It took me a couple years to figure out that people thought I was 'schooling' these boys all day and night . (I, myself, am not 'gifted'. I'm reasonably intelligent but often slow on the uptake).

The first time somebody thought I was delusional: I took my 2 year old to the doctor for chicken pox. (still our dr., we actually like him quite alot). While we were there I mentioned that Nate could read, and asked if there were resources available for parents of gifted children. Doc said, 'Hmmm...and picked up a pamphlet about something or other and handed it to Nate. My little twerp actually stuck his finger up his nose and just stared, round-eyed. He looked at the paper once or twice, but not a word would he say! So the Dr. said, "Well, I'm sure whatever you're doing with him is fine...yada,yada,yada...."

As soon as we got out to the car Nate read that whole little pamphet to us. I haven't tried the trained seal routine ever again LOL.

Heather, I can not imagine 2 out of my 3 boys, in kindergarten. One would be asleep from boredom, and the other would destroy the kindergarten. I think they would both be recommended for medication or some such.
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