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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, Everyone!<br><br>
I am new around these parts, although I've been reading MDC boards for about a year now. I am hoping all you parents of gifted children could give me some insights on my 15 month old son.<br><br>
First, I want to say that my husband and I disagree on many things. He believes our son is clearly gifted. I believe he seems bright, but he is much too young to determine whether or not he is gifted. Who knows where his development might go from here, right? My husband wants to get our son enrolled in a variety of "enrichment" type activities because he thinks it'll be good for him. I don't mind maybe one activity a week - such as music class, or swim lessons - because our son enjoys other children so much. But other than that, it seems ridiculous to have him "hyper scheduled" at the tender age of 15 months! My husband is even talking about wanting to enroll our son in a local Montessori school because he feels that he (my husband) cannot give him everything he craves intellectually. (I am not against the school, but I very much disagree with this idea what we aren't equipped to give him intellectual stimulation, if that is what he indeed wants.)<br><br>
I'd love to hear your opinions on these issues. Let me give you a little information about our son...<br><br>
He has been early in meeting all milestones, and I won't bore you all with an exhaustive list of those. Right now, at 15 months, he has about a dozen words. He knows all his letters, and their phonic sounds (although he can't say the phonetic sound for "r" very well). By the way, he learned these from a leap frog refrigerator magnet set we got at a garage sale. We never thought he'd use it at such a young age, much less learn anything from it. He can recognize, it seems, almost any object or animal even if he can't say it. (We know this because we can ask him "where's XXX" and he will point to it in real life, or in a book... even more unusual things like a lemur which he saw at a zoo, and was able to then point to in an animal book.) He does a few animal sounds, which are fun and cute.<br><br>
He has a terrific sense of humor. His favorite joke - which he has been "telling" for several months now - is when someone asks for a hug, he runs up to them like he will hug them and then swerves around them. He hides right behind the person giggling quietly until the person turns around and "finds" him. He's always been extremely social. He's never really seemed to go through a "parallel play" stage. He loves all children, and prefers the company of children 3 and over because they actually play with him. He sometimes gets frustrated how smaller children seem to ignore him. He also rarely sleeps, and seems to require very little sleep to be happy and extremely energetic. He started walking at the pretty average age of one, but quickly went from walking to running well. He's physically very coordinated - excellent at kicking and throwing a ball. He's very tall for his age (off the charts, actually) so that may play into his physical strengths.<br><br>
I don't have a lot of experience with 15 month old children to know what is advanced. I was gifted as a child (159 IQ in junior high, for whatever that is worth. I'm convinced that number has plummeted in recent years. LOL!) My husband was also in the gifted program, but he doesn't know what he IQ was. So, I suppose giftedness is in his genes - for whatever that may be worth.<br><br>
I do think our son is bright. He has a wonderful sense of humor and a good memory. Back to my two questions: In your experience, does our son sound like he is leaning towards being gifted? If he is, is there any value in enrichment programs at such a young age?<br><br>
Thank you for reading this long and rambling post. My husband and I appreciate hearing any and all opinions. Thanks!!!
 

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Yes, I think your son is probably gifted, perhaps highly gifted - time will tell.<br><br>
Does he need some sort of outside enrichment? Well, no I don't think he needs it. Now, you might decide you need it at some point. If because of work or just because you need a couple hours to recharge, Montessori can be a good choice. If he seems to crave more interaction with kids and you can't find suitable play groups, a 'program' of some sort might be helpful for awhile. I would definitely stay away from any traditional 'academic' preschools. Sitting around learning the letter of the week would drive him nuts. A good play based creative preschool can be a great fit for a lot of gifted kids. It was not for mine - she craved the quiet and predictability of the local Montessori.<br><br>
Montessori was a good experience for her, but it wasn't needed for her development - just our work commitments. I believe she still did the bulk of her learning outside of preschool.<br><br>
I think sometimes we get into a bit of a trap thinking that gifted kids come with some extra responsibility. You might google Jim Delisle and profoundly gifted guilt and see if anything in the article resonates with you or your dh. I think it is important to consider intellectual issues and how they shape the kids experience, but basically you are still going to follow their lead and do what you can to meet their needs the same as any other kid. I think sometimes with gifted kids parents worry about missing some fleeting window of opportunity for enrichment and worry more than is necessary. Gifted issues affect many things, so reading up is a good idea. Just don't think you need to carry around some extra parental guilt!<br><br>
My dd is 11 and we have made far from perfect decisions and found far from perfect situations for her. She is still thriving. She is happy, confident, and well aware that she is walking a very different path than most kids her age.<br><br>
Your husband may be right that your son craves intellectual stimulation - our dd sure did. But, I do think you are right - you are perfectly capable of providing all that he needs. As long as you have a happy, curious child, you are on the right track and everything will end up fine!
 

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I agree with your assessment, Angela. He sounds bright, but it is probably too soon to say whether he is gifted or not. A class or two here & there isn't going to hurt, if he enjoys himself. And all the "enrichment" a toddler really needs is loving, responsive parents and the freedom to explore the world.<br><br>
Welcome to MDC & the PtGC forum. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'm wondering if instead of just being a disagreement about giftedness this is more of a disagreement about childhood, education and how children learn. Classes or preschool can be fun for some kids for social reasons or exposure to new things (like the opportunity to be in the pool or to play with different instruments), but really these aren't the main way that children will learn. It might be worthwhile to talk more about education and how it fits into your broader lifestyle. It is very possible to have a gifted, even a PG kid, and not run them all over town and have every educational toy from the store. Less really can be more. For the long term what matters most are some of those core things - love of learning, attention span, willingness to make mistakes, appreciation for nature, comfort with sensory and motor experiences, persistence, etc. I'm not convinced those things come from classes. So, I would reassure dad that time in the yard with a ball and a stick really is learning.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>no5no5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14729965"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A class or two here & there isn't going to hurt, if he enjoys himself. And all the "enrichment" a toddler really needs is loving, responsive parents and the freedom to explore the world.</div>
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I didn't realize that dd#1 was gifted until she was 6.5 y/o, so I did nothing differently than I would have for any other child based upon her intellectual differences when she was your ds's age. I just responded to her needs and, yes, we did some baby and mommy swim classes or toddler gym classes just so we could get out and interact with the world. I read to her a lot b/c she loved books, etc. Despite some mistakes on my behalf, she's still a gifted child and she's thriving b/c she is loved and knows it. That is the most important thing.<br><br>
Dd#2 is also probably gifted but exhibits it very differently and I did nothing special for her as a toddler, either other than the same stuff I did for her sister.<br><br>
I don't believe that lack of enrichment courses in early life will cause innate brain wiring to be lost or changed. I also don't believe that addition of such courses will create a gifted child. You could probably stunt your child's intellectual capacity through abuse, hunger or other things you aren't doing, but outside of that you aren't going to hurt him by not enrolling him in enrichment classes.<br><br>
If he wants the classes, then it would be a nice thing for him (responsive parenting). I'd enroll in a few things if you think it would be good for you or him and then tell your dh to mellow <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your thoughtful responses! I agree that the heart of our disagreement may not really be over whether our son is gifted - but rather over more basic parenting issues. I lean much more towards the laid back and non-structured ... perhaps to the point that I am missing some "requests" he may be trying to express, like a need for more stimulation or more interaction with older children.<br><br>
Your posts are reassuring, though. My husband and I should both keep in mind that there is no magic formula for perfect parenting. We both adore our son, and he's in a very loving and safe environment. If he is gifted, I doubt we'd have any way of stopping that (short of abuse/neglect).<br><br>
I don't know why my husband feels figuring out whether or not our son is gifted is important. When we talk about it, he says he just wants to make sure he has all the information he needs to make the right parenting choices. I have no doubt that if testing were available at this age, he would be first in line with our son to find out the 'numbers'. He's really a very involved and loving father - we're lucky to have him. I just don't think I need to know whether or not our son is gifted at 15 months in order to be a good mother to him... so I guess that is a major point where we are differing. I am curious to know, of course... just like any parent is curious to know many variables about their child's future (what sports will he play, will he pay a musical instrument, what will he be when he grows up, etc.) I guess deep down, I do suspect he will turn out to be gifted. But I don't know what, if any, significance that has right now.<br><br>
Thanks again for your insights.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>IowaAngela</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14730385"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't know why my husband feels figuring out whether or not our son is gifted is important. When we talk about it, he says he just wants to make sure he has all the information he needs to make the right parenting choices.</div>
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Well, now I sort of identify with your DH. I am always the one telling DH that DD is gifted and we need to think about that. And because he doesn't care much about it (and why should he, really, at DD's age?), I tend to become over assertive about the importance of thinking about it. I wonder if your DH feels that you are being dismissive and he is (perhaps subconsciously) exaggerating his concerns as a result? Once DH & I sat down & talked about it, we realized that we didn't have many of the differences that I perceived.
 

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Personally, I think the "extras" your husband is suggesting can be great for ANY kid- gifted or not, but only if you and the child both enjoy them. I don't know that they are necessary for anyone.
 
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