What if the baby *isn't* gifted? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-15-2006, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This afternoon, my older kiddles were playing with their sister. BeanBean held several linked plastic rings over the baby, and giggled at her, telling her to catch them. Bella didn't even seem to notice them at first. After a while, BooBah put Bella's hand around the nearest ring, and then clapped. They did this for a few more minutes before Bella even made an attempt to grab the rings on her own.

Now, I'm not saying that this means Bella isn't gifted, or anything like that, but her behaviors contrast dramatically in many ways with those of her siblings. Grabbing the rings, for example; BeanBean and BooBah both did that sort of thing very, very early on, well before 4.5 months, but Bella seemed to have a really difficult time with it. Granted, I have some concerns about her eyesight, but she seems to grasp games like peek-a-boo with no effort at all...

At 4.5 months, Bella is definately "behind" both of her siblings, verbally and physically; I'm not sure if she's actually behind the average, but I know that she's behind both kids in both areas. I know it's probably not a big deal at this stage of the game, but I'm starting to wonder-- what if she's just not as bright as BeanBean and BooBah? Will it change the way that I interact with her? How will it impact her self image if she never catches up to them? It's totally been messing with my head. I have to wonder if I am doing something wrong with her, or if this is a result of her (slightly) early birth or the stress surrounding my pregnancy and her first days of life. I never felt like I could take credit for BeanBean and BooBah being the way that they are, but I'm starting to wonder if I am not somehow responsible for Bella being the way that she is. It really worried me that she didn't understand about grabbing the rings.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:49 PM
 
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You would be responsible if you wanted her not to do well and if you intentionally did things to harm her - obviously that isn't the case.

And, if it helps, no way would my PG kid have grabbed the rings. And, he would have likely cried for twenty minutes because he didn't like the way you moved the rings. It is way too early to tell anything.

Have you expressed your concerns about her eyesight to her doctor? My son had something obviously up with his eyes from birth but it took a while to get the doctor to listen to me about that.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:53 PM
 
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I had exactly the same concerns with our younger son. He reached his milestones on time (if not a little late) and I always worried he was a bit 'delayed'. Now, at 6 years old, he's at the top of his class in everything ... but having an older brother whose IQ is insanely high meant that even though he was smart and bright himself, we didn't recognise it. I had a lot of guilt about that.

We let both of our kids explore at their own pace. Our younger boy's pace is a lot more steady and laid back than the older one

And truthfully ... you'll probably *really* enjoy having a child who isn't quite so challenging I know I did. My younger son's 'normalness' is something I really love. It's just so easy to be his mother!!!
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:10 PM
 
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I grew up in a family of 4 - two were identified as 'gifted' and the other two were not. It was never a source of difficulty or animosity between us. My parents made every effort to show us we were distinctly different from each other and *never* compared us to one another, so we never felt the need to compete.

Do you treat your two 'gifted' kids exactly the same as each other? Of course not - they are two different people. It will be the same with your third, whether she is 'gifted' or not. It's just another facet of her personality.
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:42 PM
 
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It's too soon to tell what she'll be, other than loved by her family. Don't go borrowing trouble. She's got her whole life to figure out how to grab hold of those rings (plastic, brass, gold, and otherwise).

Have you read 'Freakonomics'? In it he points out that what children become has less to do with the 'what parents do' than with 'who the parents are'. Check it out.
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Old 08-16-2006, 12:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
what if she's just not as bright as BeanBean and BooBah? Will it change the way that I interact with her? How will it impact her self image if she never catches up to them? It's totally been messing with my head. I have to wonder if I am doing something wrong with her, or if this is a result of her (slightly) early birth or the stress surrounding my pregnancy and her first days of life. I never felt like I could take credit for BeanBean and BooBah being the way that they are, but I'm starting to wonder if I am not somehow responsible for Bella being the way that she is. It really worried me that she didn't understand about grabbing the rings.
well i have had a v. tumultous relationship with my parents. they made such big mistakes that my bro committed suicide. BUT no matter what they did - how hard and mean they were and how messed up we are - we felt safe at home and always knew our parents loved us. always. as we grew up we understood no matter what their actions were their intentions were good. so dont blame yourself. things are the way they are. whether you are to blame or not really doesnt make a difference. blaming yourself is not going to do any good. heck i know what it is like. with my dd's sensitivity and emotional personality i have gone down ur path feeling guilty becaues i had a csection because i was scared of childbirth.

you know your job as a mother is right now just to provide love, love and love. and make her feel wanted and that mommy is there for her always no matter what. providing a secure atmosphere where she can truly develop who she is.

now how you behave as all your children grow up is all upto you isnt it. and no matter how you feel reading from your previous posts i cant imagine you messing up big time. of course you will make mistakes. but i cant imagine you affecting her self image. and since that is one of your concerns you will always be aware not to make that mistake.

i wanted to share with you the story of my cousin. her elder brother as a young child was undiagnosed and so was treated as dumb. not so much by the parents but family adn friends all around. not only did my friend do well in school she passed him in grade. the thing here is both the self images were affected. till he was diagnosed in middle school and so there was a reason of why he was who he was. not only was he made to feel like an idiot but she felt v. v. guilty for being the smart one. and that persisted all her life. everytime she succeeded and she did even today - she always feels the pain of being the smart one. so it affects really everyone in the family.

being who you are and being a part of the AP philosophy i cant see you 'failing'.

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Old 08-16-2006, 02:53 AM
 
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Oh, I hope you don't mind I have two kids. I'm gifted, I'd guess that dh is gifted. ds is clearly gifted. dd is average. I think for lots of reasons...regression toward the mean being one of them, lots and lots of medical issues that, in and of themselves were not so awful but piled one on top of the other almost contrived to keep her behind, perhaps a little less stimulation from a stressed out mama and unavailable dad who was in graduate school at the time, loving but less than gifted caregivers during the day while mum and dad were at work, loads of factors.

Even if there is only one of those, it's all luck of the draw ultimately, you know? We're talking about one or less percent of the general population and to have two of three is, well, maybe lucky maybe harder than hard, depending on your viewpoint (: : ). I'm learning that it doesn't make my dd bad or less than, it makes her her. Actually, I think she'll be the more successful student. She's the one likely to go into her room and look at a book. She's motivated, she wants to please, blah blah blah. Ds? Couldn't care any less than he does.

It's not what you do or don't do. It's the way their brains are wired.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:40 AM
 
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Ya know, I don't know if Bella is going to be as incredibly, freakily gifted as your older two (and I mean that in a loving, not mean way, just that your kids seem to be profoundly, unusually gifted), but I don't think you have to worry about her not being gifted. Isn't this the child who woke up at night and asked, "Where Daddy?" at three months of age? May be behind your older kids, but that's pretty ahead of the developmental curve. I think your family's curve may just be really, really skewed to the right!

It does sound like she has some problems with vision. Haven't you been worried about that for awhile? And grasping the rings is going to require more sophesticated visual skills (depth perception, for one) than peek a boo. Coordinating her hand and eye to grasp a ring is going to be very difficult if her vision is even a little bit off, esp if they don't team together properly. She also could be behind your other two on physical skills bc of vision problems. If she doesn't see well, she might not be self-confident or motivated to explore physically, in the same precocious way your other two did. But if she was belly crawling at 2 months, she's not going to be behind any major curves.

What did EI tell you? Didn't they do an evaluation on her?

I have two children so far. My younger is clearly gifted, and while my older one seems quite bright, she doesn't seem to be gifted in the same way as her sister. She does learn in a non-incremental way, though, so that could change. I do feel differently about them, and yes, sometimes I think that does have to do with intelligence. I do take pride in Catherine's accomplishments, although I don't in any way feel responsible for them. But it's gratifying or satisfying or exciting or something to see what she's doing as she grows. "Hey, Mike, did you know Catherine can identify 23 body parts verbally? Isn't that neat!" But, I don't think I love Anna any less. On some days, she is my favorite kid, and other days Catherine is. (I know we arent supposed to have favorites, but I do. Luckily, they seem to take turns being favorites.) Anna has other things that make her stand out, and I'm sure Bella will too. (Anna has a definite thing for books, hugely crazy attention span for reading, very spatially adept, great at drawing, fantastic sense of direction, very very social and extroverted, and is madly in love with Jesus - which is interesting bc I am not particularly religious. And a bit scary since even before she was born, 3 different people told me she was gonna be a prophetess. I laughed it off and said that I sure hoped not, but I'm a bit concerned that maybe they were right. She is a fantastic kid, totally different from her sister.) So, yeah, you will probably feel differently about Bella if she is not gifted (which I find unlikely to be the case). Giftedness has been a huge part of who you are. But if Bella is not as far to the right as are you, it doesn't mean you will love her less, or that your relationship with her will be worse. Just different. And really, that can be a good thing. Socially optimal intelligence as opposed to freakiness, and all that. (Really not trying to be critical or mean, just descriptive about statistical likelihood of such profound giftedness and aberrations from mean.) But, I don't think it's an issue. I think in all likelihood she will be as freaky as the rest of you guys, just probably with glasses. And that's cool too!
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:25 AM
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I was the kind of child (and am still this way) who did not do anything until I could do it well. My child is the same. As soon as we have something figured out, we do it. For example, my dd did not crawl much, started walking holding on to furniture at 11 mos, and was walking without help at 12 mos. Same kind of thing for language development, late start but quick catch up. I was similar as a babe. My younger brother, according to my mother, had no reason to speak or walk early as I was more than happy to do those things for him. Mom was never concerned that he spoke and walked late and did not read as early as me. When he was in 2nd grade and the teachers tried to label him as a remedial reader, she put her foot down and demanded they test him and sure enough he qualified for the gifted program. He did ok, but reading has never been his thing and he is a quiet guy. I went directly to university from school and got stellar grades and a masters right away. Bro took his time in community college, preferred to take loads of time off for surfing vacations, got two bachelors because he changed his mind after the first one, has started and sold several businesses and still does not own much more than he can fit in his old truck. But, he is happy and well adjusted. Do you want to know why? Because my mother and father loved us both for our unique and individual gifts and talents and strengths and weaknesses. They kind of pushed me to go to college but they backed off on him and just let him be himself, knowing that he can do that better than anyone and that loving him for who he is is what parents do best. Comparing children to each other is probably something all parents do but that does not mean you have to focus on the differences. Some children do things early, some late. Some children excel in one area, others in another area. My brother has more friends than anyone I know and has had most of these friends since he was a small child. He can catch any animal, fish, insect, reptile, or amphibian and put them under a trance as they know full well he is not going to hurt them. He speaks very little but what he says is meaningful. He is amazingly talented in every sport he picks up. And, he is great at solving problems and very good at science. If my mother had compared him to me as a baby and used me as her measure, he would have not measured up. But, instead she saw him for what he is and let him flourish and grow.

I think the best gift we can give to our children is the gift of letting them be themselves. Your baby may not be doing things at her age that her siblings were but that does not necessarily mean anything. If you are concerned, talk to her doc at the next checkup. But, don't compare the three kids to each other and think of the baby as possibly not gifted compared with the older kids being gifted. They will all pick up on this subtle differentiation and will see this hierarchy you have created in your mind between them. Thinking of your children as gifted or not does not necessarily help them. It can be very difficult for parents of intellectually gifted children to act respectfully around their other children who may or may not possess the same intellectual gifts. But, it can hurt those other children and possibly scar them to be thought of as less in their parents mind. Schools like to talk about and program for intellectual giftedness. This forum is designed as a supportive place to discuss intellectual giftedness. But, that does not mean that you cannot acknowledge, at home, the multiplicity of gifts in your children and celebrate them all, regardless of whether they are intellectual or other gifts. Your baby will doubtless have her gifts. Celebrate her for who she is instead of worrying about her for what she is not.
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:49 AM
 
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Have you seen the movie "The Incredibles"? Maybe Bella is just like the baby in that movie -- you just don't know what her gift is yet!!

And I agree with boongirl - some of this is personality. Dd is very determined and will practice skills until she gets them (seriously, over and over and over again) -- I'm sure when she decides she wants to read, she will. Ds on the other hand is more of the "I won't do it unless I know I can" kind of kid, which definitely "hides" some of his gifts.

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Old 08-16-2006, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Terabith
Isn't this the child who woke up at night and asked, "Where Daddy?" at three months of age? May be behind your older kids, but that's pretty ahead of the developmental curve. I think your family's curve may just be really, really skewed to the right!
She did... but that single "where Daddy?" and "I love you" have been her only multi-word sentences. BooBah, who was much "slower" verbally than BeanBean (way out there, even I knew that) had a lot more at this age. "Where Mamma?" "want nursz" and such. I've got it all in her baby book. The other thing is that, unlike BooBah, Bella seems *eager* to communicate and interact with everyone, she just doesn't seem to be able to make the words come out. Loads of babbling, but only half a dozen actual words (if you count "I love you" as a single word, which is how it actually sounds ). BooBah wasn't interested in socializing, and she still talked more. BeanBean was very extroverted from the beginning, and he had loads of words and phrases by the time he was 5 months old.

Quote:
It does sound like she has some problems with vision. Haven't you been worried about that for awhile? And grasping the rings is going to require more sophesticated visual skills (depth perception, for one) than peek a boo. Coordinating her hand and eye to grasp a ring is going to be very difficult if her vision is even a little bit off, esp if they don't team together properly. She also could be behind your other two on physical skills bc of vision problems. If she doesn't see well, she might not be self-confident or motivated to explore physically, in the same precocious way your other two did. But if she was belly crawling at 2 months, she's not going to be behind any major curves.
She is being followed by a pediatric opthamologist. I wasn't really thinking of depth perception as a separate visual skill (more a neurological one) but I suppose if she's cross-eyed, that would make grasping rings more difficult. What I was more concerned about, however, was the fact that she didn't even attempt to touch them until BooBah put her hand around them. It was like she had no clue that they were there.

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What did EI tell you? Didn't they do an evaluation on her?
That was my older daughter, BooBah. Her hearing is excellent, and they said that her adaptive and physical skills are ridiculous (which I already knew). She just has selective hearing, and it looks like she may have some mild sensory integration issues.

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But if Bella is not as far to the right as are you, it doesn't mean you will love her less, or that your relationship with her will be worse. Just different. And really, that can be a good thing. Socially optimal intelligence as opposed to freakiness, and all that. (Really not trying to be critical or mean, just descriptive about statistical likelihood of such profound giftedness and aberrations from mean.) But, I don't think it's an issue. I think in all likelihood she will be as freaky as the rest of you guys, just probably with glasses. And that's cool too!
This is very difficult for me to wrap my head around, honestly. I don't think that BeanBean is actually profoundly gifted overall, just extraordinarly verbal. He seems to be much more typical in other areas, hitting his milestones right on time or very slightly early; he crawled at six months, walked a week before his first birthday, etc. I knew that the speech was strange, even for my family (which is, in all fairness, completely bizarre), but everything else seemed to make sense. I thought, "Wow, he's just a 'normal' gifted kid, not a 'scary' gifted one like we were, that's fantastic!" I know that my expectations are somewhat skewed, but I thought I was finally getting a grip on things recently. I suppose I could be totally wrong.

I'm worried about the idea of raising an average child, to be honest. Most of the time, I think, "Children are children, and if you love them and you're attentive to their needs, you'll be fine." Other times, I really wonder about myself. I have very, very little experience with average children; the closest would probably be my younger niece who has Asperger's, and she's extraordinary in her own right, just very differently. I've seen, close up, children who didn't say a word until they were three years old, and children who, before their second birthdays, were talking like miniature adults. (This is one of the reasons that I called EI about BooBah; she doesn't pronounce all of her letters correctly, so I was concerned about her hearing. I found out after I met them and they sent me all of their materials that everything I was concerned about was on their list for children who are at least five years old, not two. ) There really hasn't been much in between. I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, but I'm late for an appointment and I've got to run.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:20 AM
 
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I'm concerned that you might have gotten too over-invested in having earth-shattering, world-changing, enormously precocious children. Your baby is four and a half months old. Please try to just allow her to be a infant.

If this really concerns you and you can't let it go, it might be time to talk to a therapist.

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Old 08-16-2006, 11:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Rivka5
I'm concerned that you might have gotten too over-invested in having earth-shattering, world-changing, enormously precocious children. Your baby is four and a half months old. Please try to just allow her to be a infant.

If this really concerns you and you can't let it go, it might be time to talk to a therapist.
Eilonwy,
I agree with the above. And I mean that gently and kindly. Please think about it.
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:25 AM
 
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Rynna, I think you are just used to the crazy verbal precocity in your family. Most people in my family (including me, and my kids!) didn't start putting real sentences together until well past they turned TWO. And as you know, there are some pretty smart people in my family. I don't think either of my kids had any words at all until well into the second half of their first year, even the "scary smart" kid. From what I've heard about Bella, she seems quite intelligent and an awesome baby. Honestly, I would not worry one bit if I were you. Heck, she is army crawling already, how behind could she be?

ETA: I just looked in my kids' baby books. Neither of them grabbed stuff until 4 months, and they didn't use any words until 11 months! I really think Miss Bella is perfectly on track.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivka5
I'm concerned that you might have gotten too over-invested in having earth-shattering, world-changing, enormously precocious children. Your baby is four and a half months old. Please try to just allow her to be a infant.

If this really concerns you and you can't let it go, it might be time to talk to a therapist.
Well, I am glad someone else wrote this first but that is what I have been thinking as I read. This statement, in particular, had me a bit concerned:

Quote:
I'm worried about the idea of raising an average child, to be honest. Most of the time, I think, "Children are children, and if you love them and you're attentive to their needs, you'll be fine." Other times, I really wonder about myself. I have very, very little experience with average children
One could argue that there are no average children in their parent's eyes. All children have their gifts. But, not all of these gifts are going to be related to intellectual giftedness. What would you do if one of your children, for some reason, was average or below average intellectually? Say the baby never did catch up or there was an accident? If you are so invested in the idea of your children being above average that you cannot foresee how to raise an "average" child, I think you are too invested in that idea. Raise, and love, your children, regardless of their abilities or gifts.

This kind of reminds me of a common scenario in American homes today: the athletic parent paying more attention to the athletic children than the others. The others know their parent does not love them as much. They know athletics is more important to that parent than they as human beings are. They know this and feel it and it affects them deeply. They feel that they are not worthy because their parent has made them out to be so. It is very sad and very damaging to a child to be made to feel less worthy merely because of not living up to a parent's ideals.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:13 PM
 
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My reaction is different than the last few posters. I didn't hear the poster saying she was worried that she wouldn't love her child or consider her worthy if she wasn't gifted.

Rather, I thought it was an honest post and I give her credit for not being afraid to voice her feelings. It is reasonable to ask - will it affect her to have gifted sibs if she turns out not to be so gifted? will it affect how we parent her? Do I need to adjust my expectations? Am I up for the task (something that I hope most honest parents ask themselves from time to time when parenting because it is an awesome responsibility)? and, maybe how will I need to learn to change and adapt if it turns out she's not really verbal early because in a lot of ways it makes things easier.

If on the other hand she posted: my kid seems kind of slow and I'm not sure I can really love a slow kid - then heck yeah, I'd say run don't walk to the therapist nearest you, but that isn't all what I got from her post.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:24 PM
 
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I agree with Roar--I wasn't getting that she wouldn't love or be able to parent a child who wasn't gifted. It seems more like she is questioning her own expectations, which I see as a good thing. Her post might make more sense if you read her other posts--she's been absolutely surrounded by incredibly highly gifted family members her whole life, and often struggles with identifying what's "normal" and "average" and what's not.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:40 PM
 
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I hear your concerns and I've had them too about my youngest. He didn't roll over until he was 5 months old, he didn't sit up unassisted until he was 7 months old, and he didn't walk until he was 14 months old. He also didn't talk much at all until he was closer to age two. Now at 2.5 he still has lots of words that aren't clear. He puts sentences together, but he leaves a lot of the ends of the words off.

My other kids were more advanced. My oldest was the verbal one, saying clear words by 9 months, talking in sentences around age 1, and sounding like an adult before age 2. She had pretty average motor skills, rolled at 4 months, sat at 6 months, crawled at 9 months, and walked at 11 months.

My middle child was very advanced with motor skills. He rolled at 2 months, crawled at 7 months, walked at 9 months, and was running and climbing by 10months. He was a little slower with his talking. He said a few words before 20 months, and then all of a sudden started talking. By age 2 he was talking like most other 2 year olds.

I've often wondered if something was wrong with my youngest, but when I look at his milestones they are all in the range of normal. I'm still wondering if his speech is behind though. My MIL thinks the third child doesn't talk as much because the other two kids talk for him. I honestly don't know what to think. I haven't had him evaluated by a speech therapist yet. I was going to wait until he turned three and see where he's at.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:42 PM
 
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What if the baby *isn't* gifted?
Then the baby isn't gifted in the sense you are talking about. It will be okay. You encourage her strengths and work on areas of challenge just like you do with your gifted children.

It sounds like you have a lot of expectations. I don't think it is very fair to the child to keep comparing her to your other children. I gently suggest you let that go if you can.

When I was teaching infant massage, I would talk to parents of premature babies about how they had a concept of the child as being fragile. They would frequently treat the child as fragile when the child had become very strong. And that shapes the child's experience. "My mom thinks I'm fragile, I must be" type of thing.

Your thoughts and expectations can influence your baby. I would highly recommend doing some infant massage with her.

If there are no life threatening medical special needs, I would just let it go for now. Enjoy babyhood. Have her enjoy babyhood. There is plenty of time later to figure out what, if anything, is going on.

My opinion, respectfully meant.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:44 PM
 
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Yeah, I haven't seen anything that suggests that she's worried about loving her child. She just doesn't have a lot of experience with children who are average. She's not sure that she would understand them. And I think that is pretty fair; it's sort of the opposite situation of the typical family with a gifted child that they don't know what to do with. But really, I don't think it's an issue. Those phrases, in and of themselves, are incredible. The fact that your young infant, newborn even, can correlate the word "Daddy" with Daddy, say it, and ask a question, "Where Daddy?" That's pretty incredible. I mean, the dr is totally freaked out that my child was saying, "Where ____?" at 14 months. Catherine is very unusually verbal, and she's a good 10 months older than Bella! She may not be as verbal as BeanBean, and perhaps she might wind up just being an "ordinary" gifted child, but I really and truly don't think there is any danger of any child who has *any* words at four months of age not being gifted. Really. And her vision could slow down speech too, depending on how much she relies on watching how you guys form your words with your mouths. It might be harder to figure out how to put it all together.

As for grasping the rings, give her some practice at grasping and reaching for things (and kicking them). I do think depth perception might impact that. She might not have had the idea that she was *supposed* to grasp the rings until BeanBean showed her. Or she might have been enjoying the social aspect of the game. There could be any number of explanations. Give her some practice and some time!
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:04 PM
 
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It is really unusual for a four-and-a-half-month old to talk AT ALL. I'm just afraid that you are setting your beautiful, healthy, normal baby up to fail in your eyes by expecting her to do things that almost no babies do.

"Normal" and "average" are not dirty words. I know you wouldn't, for instance, set out to have a baby going "Oh, I hope it looks just like Elizabeth Taylor circa 'Father of the Bride.' I don't think I could love a child who didn't look like Elizabeth Taylor" or "Wow, I'm really afraid that my child will be shorter than Magic Johnson." Because that's not what we love our kids for, right? You wouldn't worry that you had done something wrong and made your child damaged goods if she turned out to be 5'8" tall instead of 6'8" tall. And I know that you can love and respect and appreciate a child who's smart and healthy and excited about exploring the world, but is nonetheless about where most other children are as far as hitting developmental milestones.
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:41 PM
 
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You are going to love Bella for the things that make her unique, funny, and adorable, just as you love your other two for the same reasons. :-) Abi was so, so far ahead of Nitara in development. In part due to Nitara's health issues but in part just because they are different people. Both are early with things. Abi was WAY early and considered gifted. Nitara is bright.

Abi rolled at 2 mos, crawled at 5 mos, walked at 10 mos (but was afraid to after a bad fall and took a 2 month break). I can't remember when Nitara rolled, but she crawled at around 8 mos and walked at 12.5 mos. Abi didn't make much eye contact with people and was very high needs, didn't regulate her emotions well, and was not the happiest baby. Nitara had health issues but once those were addressed she was an extremely social baby and fairly mellow. I remember in the hospital at 3 mos old the nurses got a kick out her mimicking "hi" back to them when they would say it to her.

Nitara is so much better at some things than Abi was even though Abi was considered at one point profoundly gifted (she's evening out now). For example she's a lot more socially perceptive. She is great at picking up big words and phrases and using them correctly, whereas Abi would memorize whole movies and not really understand all of or be able to use it in the correct context. Abi was trying to sound out words by this age, and drawing pictures that I could tell what they were. Nitara scribbles with great joy and knows most of her letters. But that's okay. Nitara is very brave and willing to try things that Abi was afraid of for a very long time. She started sliding down a slide before her second bday for example.

Nitara is more interested in certain things and Abi is interested in other things. I have a feeling that as they grow up their interests will turn into separate talents. As I look at the big picture and try to envision them as adults, I can see that both of them will be successful in their own chosen paths. What more can a mother ask for?

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:28 AM
 
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perhaps i am a bit off, but myself... i was g/t and so was my brother... my husband is bright but not g/t... looking at who has the ulcers and depression (me) (my brother has aspbergers autism but still classified as g/t in school) ... honestly i hoped my children wouldnt be g/t. perhaps that is weird, but all the other g/t people i ever knew,including myself, we always knew too much/thought too much to actually just enjoy life and be happy. I always hoped my children would be average. Alas, my daughter is g/t and has to see a therapist at age 6 for adjustment disorder. I always tended to wonder why g/t is viewed as such a good thing when all it really seems to do is place one group on a pedastal where they only fall.
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Old 08-17-2006, 04:10 AM
 
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Yep. My eldest is out ahead of his class at the moment, talked and walked early and had many of the hallmarks of a gifted child. DS2 did things at the more normal pace: not gifted, right? Except that he's reading and writing at the same level as his brother (but is 21 months younger), has a similar precocious vocabulary and is better at creating, and imagining, and constructing. The motor delays were down to extreme far-sightedness and a squint.
Neither of my younger two would have paid the blindest bit of notice to a toy strung over their head: it would have been a distraction from the plaything in their way (mummy/daddy/brother) at 3 months. It sounds like you have a daughter who loves her sisters very much, to be honest, and will do things her own way.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 08-17-2006, 05:33 AM
 
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How many familes have kids that are all gifted, let alone gifted in the same ways?

My aunt has a very gifted sister who has four kids and all of them are sharp and smart and all of that, but only one of them turned out to be gifted.

If you've got two kids out of three that are gifted, I'd consider yourself blessed. I'm sure Bella is going to at least be quite bright, if not gifted. Let her make her own way, and let the fun be figuring out who she is, not how she compares to the other two.

Can you tell I'm a third child?
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Old 08-17-2006, 06:04 AM
 
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I guess I can relate somewhat, but in an opposite way. This sounds awful, but dh and I hoped during my last pregnancy that this one would be "normal." M is wonderful and amazing, but she has been challenging to parent. This time around I wanted to have a kid, instead of a miniature adult. A kid who liked to get messy, and wasn't so oversensitive (physically and emotionally), a kid who would just play without thinking it out so much beforehand. I am finding that you just love them no matter what. They are so different, and challenging in different ways.

Others have said this, but I agree that your baby seems gifted. Talking so early is amazing. And even if she isn't, I'm guessing she will prove to be exactly what you need.

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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Old 08-17-2006, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Katana
How many familes have kids that are all gifted, let alone gifted in the same ways?
This is probably what's wrong with me. My entire family is very gifted. The "stupid" people have IQs above 150. The *only* likely exceptions to this in all of my mother's extended family are a single nephew who is living through a miserable situation and my niece with Asperger's, who may still turn out to be that bright but was tested as part of her kindergarten evaluation and came out around 125 (though the test was, for several reasons, invalid; not least being the fact that it only had scoring for ages 5 and up, and she was 4.5 at the time).

Don't get me wrong, I do love all of my children, and I'm not concerned about my love for Bella! She's a dear, round, roly poly muffin of a baby, I can't kiss her enough. It's just that I have a certain level of understanding about what children, and mine in particular, need; if I'm being honest, I have to admit that I'm not entirely sure about the needs of more average children. I know that every child can benefit from certain things, but on the other hand some children seem to derive more benefit from some parenting styles than others. A child who is verbally inclined, for example, might be thrilled with a parent who keeps a running commentary of everything that they do, but a child who has SID might completely *flip out* if their mom didn't shut up and let them have some quiet time.

For the most part, I'm confident in my ability to respond to my children as individuals; I know that BeanBean needs to hear words all the time and to be bouncing off of people (preferably as many as possible) constantly in order to be happy and satisfied with life. I know that BooBah doesn't mind when lots of people are around, as long as they don't bother her, but that she'll be much happier if she has quiet time with one or two calm, easygoing people. I've learned this simply by being around them, they taught me these things when they were little and it's all good, it's just sort of happened. I have to wonder, though, if the situation would be different if I couldn't relate to them on an intellectual level. If I didn't remember being frustrated with my baby body and unable to do things that I wanted to do, would I be so effective at dealing with BeanBean's meltdown when he can't make the swing move all by himself? If so much of my childhood hadn't been spent trying to avoid unpredictable, wild people (read: children my own age) would I have such an easy time understanding why BooBah finds the park overwhelming sometimes when it's crawling with kids? How much of it is my responsiveness to their needs, and how much of it is based on my own personal understanding of the situations in which my children find themselves?

That's what I'm worried about potentially missing with a more average child-- being able to relate on a personal level to experiences that I may not have had myself. It's not an issue of love or caring, I don't find myself thinking "Well, if she doesn't turn out to have an IQ over 145 I should put her in foster care," or anything remotely like that! Keynahara!! I'm just worried that I won't necessarily be able to relate, and that it will make me a less effective parent.

It's not really about me being invested in my child being gifted, more about me being invested in the ability to relate to my kids and give them the things that they need to help them grow into fabulously happy adults. I feel like I have a vested interest in that, absolutely. I want to do a good job. It's like, if I want to put a desk together so that it does what it needs to do and stays in one piece, I read the instruction manual. I'm worried that I don't have a built-in instruction manual for children who are too different from myself, so I'm wondering a) if I actually need one and b) where I'd find such a thing.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:57 AM
 
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That's what I'm worried about potentially missing with a more average child-- being able to relate on a personal level to experiences that I may not have had myself.
I think you are underestimating your abilities. Also, children are so complex that it's impossible to personally relate to all their experiences. When BeanBean became obsessed with planes, was that a personal interest of yours and did you have experience with the subject? But you still met him where he was at and found the resources for him.

I'm surrounded by machine mania in my house and I just cannot relate to that. But I seek out resources to feed these interests and I learn new things. My oldest is an introvert like me and I can really relate to that. He's very innocent and gentle and I can also relate to that. But, he's had a strong sense of caution and risk-evaluation that I just cannot relate to at all. But I've learned to "learn him", so to speak, let him know that I think he's wonderful, and meet him wherever he's at. My dh, OTOH, really relates to the caution, because he had that personality trait as a child as well. Also, my oldest is not very physically-inclined or coordinated. As a child, I was always climbing and running. I had stitches twice at age 4, resulting from my dare-devil exploits. So, I can relate to some things and I cannot relate to others; but it doesn't stop me from meeting needs or appreciating them.

Once you get past basic milestones of the first few years, things get really complex anyway...kids develop their own interests and hobbies...I think it gets less cut and dried at that point. I think it would be impossible to compare them, because you can't compare airplanes to bones. You could have a typical child who you can relate to more than the others, based on having similar personalities and interests.

I think you will do fine.
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:34 AM
 
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I agree with Leftfield that you are underestimating your abilities as a parent. Have I experienced giftedness at the same level my son has? No. Have I ever had that inner drive to dance and perform the way my daughter does? No. But that doesn't mean I can't seek out knowledge and the experience of others to help me understand and parent my child. Parenting isn't about relating on a 1:1 level with every single thing your child experiences; it's about helping your child as best you can to be him- or herself and accepting him for who he is. I think you are doing a fine job. Don't fret!
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:46 AM
 
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but I'm starting to wonder-- what if she's just not as bright as BeanBean and BooBah? Will it change the way that I interact with her?
Well, of course it will! And it should! A good parent doesn't have a one-size-fits-all, let's-ignore-individuality policy of how they're going to interact with her kids. This doesn't mean you'll love her one jot or tittle less than her sibs -- but then, you know that better than I do.
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How will it impact her self image if she never catches up to them?
Don't siblings in a family usually find their own niches in which they can form their identities (and their successes) separately? That stuff about "the smart one" or "the pretty one" or "the athletic one" isn't just coming from the parents, but from the children's choices as well.
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It's totally been messing with my head. I have to wonder if I am doing something wrong with her,
No. Hey, I know my data's limited as I know you only OL, but with that data available, I'll say it again: a categorical NO.
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or if this is a result of her (slightly) early birth or the stress surrounding my pregnancy and her first days of life.
I could say something really helpful like, "Stop beating yourself up," but I'd rather say something more helpful like, "Statistically, children tend to be within 10 IQ points of each other," and "Younger children tend not to present as gifted to the parents, but they still are. They're 'stealth gifted.'"
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I never felt like I could take credit for BeanBean and BooBah being the way that they are, but I'm starting to wonder if I am not somehow responsible for Bella being the way that she is. It really worried me that she didn't understand about grabbing the rings.
I can see a number of explanations:

1. Vision issues
2. If #1 is correct, hand-eye coordination would suffer.
3. Peek-a-boo doesn't involve hand-eye coordination.
4. Maybe she just doesn't feel like it. I have, personally speaking, no interest at all in nuclear engineering. Can you safely draw any conclusion about my overall intelligence?

And hey -- she's not even five months yet.
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