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#1 of 16 Old 03-29-2007, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been reading through the archives of posts and generally lurking, and I just had to share the very unusual (it seems) situation for our children.

Our three boys are very young, but obviously advanced. The most common difficulty we've experienced is that because our children are giants- huge, really huge- most people expect them to behave socially (and sometimes academically, but they usually meet that challenge) several years ahead of their development, and then condescend to them because they don't.

An example: When our eldest son was 16 mos., we went to an early years centre and some poor child was being drilled on his numbers and told, 'Come on, you're three; you should know this!' whenever he made a mistake (although I could see the little grin on his face when he said the wrong number- I think he was doing it to get a rise out of his grandmother... ).

Anyway, our son walked up and stood beside the boy and watched them count ants and grasshoppers on flash cards. The woman looked at my son and asked, "And how many do you see?" My son, who would never speak to someone he didn't know, ever, just looked at her and then at me, and then at the boy. The grandmother picked up a toy and a ball that is hammered into a hole and said, 'Here. You can hammer the ball in!' My son looked at me sort of perplexed, took the toy and proceeded to put it back in its place. He never played with baby toys. He had no interest in them, but preferred real things that he saw me using and lots and lots of books, all the time.

AAaaaaaah!!! This happens a lot because, for instance, right now, our three yr old is the same size as most six yr. olds. Our 2 1/2 is the size of a four yr. old, and our fifteen mo. old who has been speaking in full sentences at home since he was 11 mos. old ('I wanna look ad dat book!', 'Time a go-go up da deard!' -stairs ), and looks the height of a 2 1/2 yr. old, but still has baby features, is the only one anyone can see as being gifted, or just as competent as he is, at least some of the time.

Socially, I have watched on as parents who are happy at how well their children are playing with my 3 yr. old son, immediately remove their children when they ask me how old he and discover he's so much younger than their's. This behaviour really baffles me; is my son's age going to contaminate your children? It's so bizarre! And of course, my son is hurt by this rejection, and sadly, because he observes a child for a long time before approaching, he generally gets on very well with the ones he's chosen, but it's their parents who do the rejecting. Sad. And frustrating. My children also don't know the 'rules' of socialising that public school children seem to have in common- which is fine with me- so their parents seem to react as though they're strange, which is when they ask me their ages and then the situation unfolds as above.

So, I guess it's a mixed blessing for now. Our children are assumed behind instead of ahead, which our eldest now finds really upsetting, but the others don't seem to mind, which lifts expectations from burdening them, I suppose, but does cause me a lot of grief sometimes. In the future, our children's size won't be relied upon as much by others for age-indication, so I hope that that will alleviate some of the trouble we've found so far.

Hm. I guess that was a bit of a rant. Sorry. Any comments?

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#2 of 16 Old 03-29-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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I guess I'm going to be a cup half full instead of half empty person here. Our kid is really big for his age too. I think most of the time it has made things easier for him. He can blend in more easily with older kids because he is taller and the looking a bit bigger makes the physical outside closer to the intellectual inside. Too often parents of gifted kids are told they shouldn't grade skip or whatever because they'll be the shortest one in the class.

I'd just try to cultivate friendships with people who aren't so obsessed with age and realize that not being fully understood by random strangers is more the norm the exception in this world.
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#3 of 16 Old 03-29-2007, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good points, Roar. We've moved to a remote town in the north hoping that this would help us de-stress and allow for closer relationships with friends, but have found that this particular town has a lot of walls. Not against us, but just in general. There are definite 'groups' and segregation is clearly protected. Since we're not interested in the 'groups' and our children will be homeschooled, we're a little concerned about how they will form friendships, but I guess we'll just have to wait it out. We're willing to relocate (again) if that is necessary.

Our eldest son plays best with children who are 5, 6, and 7, but they are in school (or homeschooled or parish-schooled and VERY closed) during the day and nobody does anything together here in the evenings, especially those who have lived here for a long time. Young new-to-the-town families are happy to meet and be together, but they all have babies. Our 2 1/2yr old is fine with babies because he is really interested in relationships and loves to play pretend with them. Our youngest is fine with or without other children around, but our eldest is suffering. It doesn't help that he and his brother have developed a pseudo twin-speak since our second began to speak (4 months). Breaking the strange language stuff is difficult if he's only ever around children younger than himself. Aah, well. Wait and see, wait and see.

We're torn about whether to live a life in the woods up here, or move to a city. Each has obvious benefits. Does anyone here find it easier or more beneficial to their gifties to live in one or the other?

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#4 of 16 Old 03-29-2007, 02:31 PM
 
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We've got a few kidlets around us here that are very big for their age, and I have to keep reminding myself why they are acting half the age they look! And I know them...

I think I would rather be in a city for the opportunities available and challenges from other gifted peers (as opposed to being the only one in town).

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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#5 of 16 Old 03-29-2007, 06:06 PM
 
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I'm sure you can find a good life either way. If your kids really like nature and space living in the rural area might be nice. I've thought though that we are really lucky to live in a university town because it has allowed access to mentors, courses and cultural opportunities that we really enjoy.
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#6 of 16 Old 03-30-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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I can see where your kids being huge could be a disadvantage socially when they are so young. I'm sorry you're having a rough time. *hugs* On the other hand, I think you'll find it more of an advantage as they get older, as Roar indicated. My kids are teeny tiny, and that comes with its own set of issues--like, people talk to my adult-conversant 11yo as though he is 6 or 7, despite what is coming out of his mouth.

I would LOVE to live in the city, but we can't afford it. Bummer.
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#7 of 16 Old 03-30-2007, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lckrause View Post
I would LOVE to live in the city, but we can't afford it. Bummer.
I chuckled when I read this. We had to move to a place 30 hours away and just below the tree line to finally be able to afford living in the 'country'! City living was wrecking us in many more ways than just the financial (which was also a wreck), but now we're so isolated that I'm not sure if it's the best place to stay, although it's fine for now while we get on our feet. I don't think we'll ever live in a big city again, but we've considered moving to a town of several thousand instead and maybe one with a university or college for skills training and facility access.

I once had a lady whose children were also teeny tiny say to me that it's so nice for our children that they're so big. I responded that I think any extreme comes with its own set of difficulties, and we've sure had a lot ourselves. I can sympathise with the opposite extreme from that perspective. I mean, our children outgrow infant car seats before they're four months old. Thankfully, they all were sitting competently by then, so putting them in the upright one wasn't too bad, but not so good for when they slept in the car. Our middle son was 19lbs at his six week checkup. Big big big! The others were within 2 lbs of that at the same time.

Now, the difficulties are less to do with equipment than with socialisation, but like the equipment difficulties we overcame with time and experience, I guess we'll figure this one out eventually too, or time will take care of it.

I'm looking forward to that.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#8 of 16 Old 03-30-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
Our middle son was 19lbs at his six week checkup. Big big big! The others were within 2 lbs of that at the same time.
My goodness. That is pretty darn big. When my kids were 2, they were around 23 pounds or so. My 9yo is 48" and my 11yo is 51" and they are both a bit over 50 lbs. Just for comparison.
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#9 of 16 Old 03-30-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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I think a larger town with a university and an active homeschooling community might work better for your family needs. Sometimes small rural towns are sort of weird socially (I grew up in one), where its really hard to not be an outsider if you are different in any way at all, and that inculudes just not living there for the last 3 generations.

Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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#10 of 16 Old 03-31-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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This is interesting. I always get comments from strangers about how 'big' my DS is. What's wierd is that he is ( and has been for some time) exactly the 50th % for height and weight. I couldn't figure out why everyone kept saying he was big until it occured to me that it was because of the way he speaks. He is very advanced verbally and very outgoing so he will chat will people when we are out all the time. After talking to him they will ask me how old he is and then comes the 'big' comment.
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#11 of 16 Old 04-01-2007, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It is funny how 'presence' can inform reactions regardless of whether or not that impression is accurate. For instance, my brother is immensely confident without being arrogant or overbearing in any way. He walks in and people notice him, even though he is quiet. He speaks only when he really has something to say and otherwise, exudes a calm, steady vibe. When we were in college together, his roommates used to jokingly call him 'dad', and actually relied on him as a sort of gentle authority figure. He is 5'11". EVERYONE who meets my brother and then has occassion to speak to me, exclaims in astonishment that he must be 6'4", and that he's soooo HUGE! I don't know why they think of that number, but it's always the same.

For myself, people usually think I'm very tall and really slim. I am neither. I am 5'6 1/2" and 135lbs. I am neither over nor under-weight. I fit into medium and large sized clothing. I do know a woman who thinks I'm very small, though. She guessed that I was 6" shorter than her! I'm 1 1/2" shorter, but she also has a low view of me, sooo... hmm...

The most common comment about our boys aside from regarding their size is regarding their intensity or 'eccentric' natures. They are definitely those!

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#12 of 16 Old 04-01-2007, 11:01 PM
 
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Having lived my whole life in big cities, I can't really compare experiences. I do think, however, that for me having so much variety around makes things easier. When being different is the norm you don't focus on it so much. Also, when I read descriptions of what gifted is, it seems like most of my friends' kids would fall into that category so it isn't really something people talk about. I also know that living here gives my kids lots of academic/intellectual opportunities.

On the other hand, I see the benefit of nature. Summer in this city is one giant smog-a-thon. I know people who lived for years outside of North Bay, Ontario and home schooled their kids. I think they did find it a bit isolating but as they were in the treeplanting business, they spent their summers in planting camps with lots of people.

I think that where ever you make your home can work. The important question is what makes your family happy as a whole (including you, your partner and your children.) If one part is feeling that they are sacrificing all the time it won't work.
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#13 of 16 Old 04-01-2007, 11:35 PM
 
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My son is very big as well. When he was a newborn, people used to look at me like I was crazy when I told them how old he was. He was 13 lbs. @ 1 month, 18 lbs. @ 3 months, and over 23 lbs. @ 6 months.

Now, he's 20 months, and 32 lbs., and just about 35" tall. It's sort of shocking to see him next to some 3 year olds...

He has also always been ahead of the physical developmental milestones, but is pretty average for his expressive language.

So, sometimes people will talk to him like he's 2.5 or 3, and when he responds in very rudimentary language (he still says one word at a time), they often seem taken aback.

Interestingly, my mom seems more concerned with telling EVERYONE who sees him how old he is. I personally don't care, as long as they don't say anything to HIM about it. If they ask his age, I tell them. And they are usually surprised. But if it's just a quick encounter, I don't feel the need to chase after them, yelling "He's only 20 months, I swear!! He's normal!" lol

It's interesting to hear how others have dealt with this sort of thing!

Mom to two amazing boys, C (July 2005) and D (May 2010)

Founder/leader of a Babywearing group, and loving it!

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#14 of 16 Old 04-02-2007, 05:06 PM
 
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I have a similar issue with my oldest, and to a lesser extent with my middle one (my youngest is very small and petite, so I doubt that we'll have those issues). My oldest is 6 1/2, but is 4'4", and people who see him and speak with him usually think that he's 8 1/2 or 9. However, he's emotionally younger, and can suddenly seem more like 4 or 5, and a lot of people don't have patience for that and think there is something wrong with him if he reacts strongly to a situation.

My middle guy is 3 1/2 but definitely passes for 4 1/2 or 5, height and ability wise (actually all of my guys are ahead on physical milestones), but he has the same clarity of speech issues that my oldest had at that age. He's very verbal and has been using sentences since he was 12 months old, but people don't always understand him (especially if he's excited and speaks quickly or in a higher tone), and assume that there must be something wrong with an "older" child who doesn't speak clearly. They are usually surprised to find out that he's only 3.

We are, however, in a college/university town, with a strong homeschooling/alternative schooling community. Most of ds' friends we've met through a co-op and piano lessons, and most are in the 7-9 yr old range (most of the homeschooled boys I've met seem to be a bit less aggressive than others I've met, but this is just my experience), though he does have a couple of same-age friends.

Anyway, I don't really have any advice, just wanted to let you know that we've had a somewhat similar experience. I don't understand why people have to put soooo much emphasis on age/ability -- if two (or more) children are getting along and relating to one another, isn't that exactly what we want as parents and members of society? :

Amanda and Dh, ds 09/00, ds 08/03, ds 10/05, and ds 05/08, and 3 :
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#15 of 16 Old 04-02-2007, 05:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mrmansmama View Post
This is interesting. I always get comments from strangers about how 'big' my DS is. What's wierd is that he is ( and has been for some time) exactly the 50th % for height and weight. I couldn't figure out why everyone kept saying he was big until it occured to me that it was because of the way he speaks. He is very advanced verbally and very outgoing so he will chat will people when we are out all the time. After talking to him they will ask me how old he is and then comes the 'big' comment.
so THAT explains why everyone thinks dd is so big for her age! She is in the 75th percentile, but isn't huge. But she talks and talks and talks. Well.

Our ds is big for his age (49", size 2 1/2 YOUTH shoes and he's not yet 6), and it's a double edged sword, really. Adults expect a lot more out of him than he's emotionally/socially able to do (he's quite the introvert). At the same time, he doesn't get a second look when he's intersted in things that are more 'appropriate' for older kids.

As someone said, each extreme has its challenges.

In terms of location, I just wanted to chime in that if you're thinking of moving (and it doesn't sound like you are) -- then what I would try to do is avoid 'factory towns'. Farming towns or university towns are likely to be more open. I've lived in factory towns, university towns and several medium to large cities. By far the most closed have been factory towns. It may be a non-issue as they are fast disappearing in North America. We now live in a medium sized city and that's definitely where I feel most comfortable!

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
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#16 of 16 Old 04-03-2007, 10:49 PM
 
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We've run into this. My DD is 95% for height and 75% for weight, so she looks 4 or even 4.5. However, her physical skills are more like those of a 2.5yo. Meanwhile, she talks like a 5yo or 6yo and has the emotional skills of a 3yo...except that often she tantrums more like a 2yo.

: So people really have no idea what to think. I think they suspect she's an uncoordinated, immature, bright older 4, actually.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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