Highly Gifted & Highly Exhausting.....

Becky - posted on 11/28/2008 ( 47 moms have responded )

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So I'm told my son is highly gifted etc....but I'm just totally exhausted and my nerves are fried all the time. We are in family therapy to deal with it all, but it's not helping as much as I need it to. The suggestions we're getting are not feasible (quit my job to spend more time at home, move my business out of my home(trying), be more patient-take all emotion out of the disciplining etc....)

Has anyone gone through this with a 4 year old before? Help!!

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Robin - posted on 03/28/2010

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One thing I noticed that noone seems to have addressed here is that probably if your child is gifted then you are too. It has to come from somewhere. And that means that you are probably sensitive and easily overstimulated and maybe a bit of a perfectionist...that whole bundle of qualities and difficulties that seem to come with being gifted. I have found that I burn out pretty easily compared to other (dare I say it?) more normal mothers, because my children figured out pretty quickly that if they asked me a hard question, I would lose my disciplinary focus. My point here is: go easy on yourself too. Sometimes don't be the perfect parent, allow yourself some mistakes too. Maybe you get overstimulated by trying to keep him stimulated, and that is OK. Maybe you need more time by yourself than other parents, if it is impossible for you to get that, then you might be a little cranky. it is OK for him to see these real feelings because he needs to know how a gifted adult copes with them, since he will someday be one. I know that doesn't make it much easier in a way, but it helps to know that it really is hard for you and you're not just being a baby. Hang in there!

Jessica - posted on 10/16/2011

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I forgot to mention that I have found a solution to the constant independence struggle that myself and my daughter engaged in. When she is refusing to do something, I give her two choices, the easy way or the hard way. I then explain in detaial what the easy way choice is and how it will impact those involved. ei: you can quitely stand in front of me as I brush your hair. I will be able to be gentle because you will be patiently standing still. Then it won't hurt when I brush your hair and we will both be happy. Then I explain what the hard way choice is and how it will impact us. ei: If you refuse or struggle, I will have to try to brush your hair while you struggle and I won't be able to go slow and gentle. This may hurt and take much longer. We will both end of being angry and frustrated. She always picks the easy way. I just have to make it feel as if the decision was hers, which it was. It can be exhausting to have to explain everything and get her to buy into it but the alternative of constantly fighting is way worse.

Deborah - posted on 05/02/2009

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What a great thread and great input from everyone. Correct me if I am wrong here but it seems that the majority of issues are from boys which makes me wonder if it is the 'boy' high energy on top of highly gifted that drives a lot of what everyone is talking about.

A few of you talked about personalities and thought it might benefit some of you to check out this site:

http://www.personalitypage.com/cgi-local...

The Personality Questionnaire for Kids

I attempted to take the quiz for my 2 yr old but given that she isn't in any school at this point it really didn't work but for a 4 yr old who goes to preschool you might get a sense of where they fall.

Karla - posted on 04/03/2013

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@ Lou, research that has shown boys and girls to present "differently" has been shown to be flawed. My daughter is EXTREMELY intense. These studies have been likened to studies that show differences in intelligence between races of people.

Jacqueline - posted on 01/09/2013

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I feel your pain. My 7 year old was just identified as gifted this year by his school. We don't know an exact IQ, but we know an IQ range and it falls into the "highly gifted" category. I would LOVE to quit my job and stay home augmenting my son's education and assisting at the school...but that simply is not possible for me at this time either. I am lucky, however, that I work in the school district (different building) which allows me to keep a good handle on what is going on with my son's education. It seems the older Vince gets the more struggles we see at school. I feel like I have a tiny teenager. He is going through issues and struggles almost identical to what our 16 year old is going through. He hates school work and has become increasingly a discipline problem and a hassle to the teacher as the year has gone on. His self-esteem is suffering as a result. No mother wants to see that. We have tried sending him to a private school, but they did not have a gifted program and therefore did not accept him into their school. They said that they were not equipped to handle his needs. He has been through two rounds of testing and currently sees a counselor. He refuses to do any school work that he deams boring, stupid, or unneccessary. Nothing we say or do seems to make a difference, although I am sure it is making more of a difference than we know. I can teach him anything at home at an amazing rate...in fact, he teaches himself, but send him to public school and he just sits there daydreaming all day. He gets good grades when he feels like it. I know he needs to learn to interact with others, but he isn't doing that anyway because he thinks the other kids are "whiney" and they don't understand him and he doesn't understand them. I often entertain the thought of homeschooling. The only thing I can tell you is that with love and support and consistency, things will get better. He will always keep you on your toes, you will always worry about him, and you will probably have more gray hairs than the other moms, but with the right direction he will turn into an amazing man with amazing potential. I have seen it happen with other members of my family. I still worry myself sick daily, however. It may just be our curse...and our blessing. : )

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Charleen - posted on 10/31/2013

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I so agree! Being home with my HG DS8, is exhausting.. his constant need for attention, creative flow of ideas, not wanting the normal school work, but constantly creating plans for future mind craft servers, (mine craft has replaced LEGOS)... His happy energy.. is great - but I am totally exhausted. When he and dad went on a Scout camping trip.. I just wanted movies, a blanket, and the fireplace.. lights out... when they came home the next day.. I had a refreshed approach.

Charleen - posted on 10/31/2013

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All I can tell you... if you stay home.. you will be even more exhausted! We decided to try it this year... There is not enough of me to meet his giftedness and energy levels and do everything else!

Sherrie - posted on 05/04/2013

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Where does your spend the day while you are working? Is he in preschool? Is he involved in activities? I don't know where you live or what is available. Is he involved in activities such as swimming lessons, library programs, music etc?
Sherrie

Shauna - posted on 11/07/2012

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I love this idea of making up binders of info. Our 5 yr old gifted visual spatial son has a few passions in life so far. One being vacuum cleaners, another being Star Wars, and the last is building and tools.



He LOVES information. He never stops learning. I need to keep him busy all the time, or else his mood and behavior goes downhill fast. I think I will help him start a binder w/ all of the brands of vacuums, models, etc..And make some posters as well.



Perhaps we'll do one for building too..he loves architecture, so we could make one w/ various types of buildings including famous ones- he loves the Eifel Tower.



Thanks so much for this suggestion. Home schooling one of these kiddos is NOT easy..but it's just what seems like the best option for us. Slowly learning what works. Keeping my sanity one shower at a time.

Sharon - posted on 05/29/2012

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Oh god, I feel so much better now that I know a neuropsychologist cant deal with the behavioural issues either! Our 6yo son is just being formally tested for giftedness, but we have known since he was about 18 months that he was a special one. His behaviour is diabolical unless he is completely focussed on something intellectual. And that is exhausting, because he wants us to be involved in that activity with him. At the moment it is intense board games. Lots of chess. Sit him in front of the telly for a break and he loses the plot and jumps all round the house and acts like a maniac. At wits end here too.

Lou - posted on 04/26/2012

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I was recently told by an Ed Psych that boys and girls present quite differently when it comes to giftedness .. both of my boys are typical gifted boys.. intense, exhausting, overly sensitive and defiant... my daughter however is quiet, reserved, patient and introspective... interesting the differences in the sexes of gifted children :)

Jessica - posted on 10/16/2011

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Its posts like these that are exactly why I joined this website! I have two daughters, 4 and 20 months. My four year old is the same child that you are posting about! She is EXTREMELY active both mentally and physically. She has always needed less sleep than other children. She gave up a daytime nap at two. If she did happen to fall asleep for a nap, she would be up until 12 or 1 a.m. She walked at 9 months and didn't seem to care about the concept of no. She is also very verbally precocious. A lot of her "bad" behavior I attriuted to normal toddler behavior. She was just a "busy" child. As she has gotten older, I have realized that she has not outgrown a lot of these toddler behavior. She still rips pages out of books, about 5 months ago, she smeared toothpaste all over the bathroom. She just can never seem to get enough stimulation.

She started school a few months ago. We are fortunate to have a school for gifted kids in our area. She works with the pre-K, K and 1st grade groups depending on the activity. The other kids are also gifted in various ways. Her teacher mentioned to me that she noticed a few sensory things with her and that I might want to mention to her pediatrician sensory integration dysfuction. I have since looked into this and realized that she fits the "sensory seeking" profile. She loves to walk on loose gravel and crunch things under her feet. She loves to get dirty and loves any activity that allows her to squish things in her hands. She is a picky eater and hates certain textures to the point of gagging and/or throwing up. She craves constant touch and doesn't seem to respect people's personal space. She seems to be over sensitive to visual and auditory stimulation. When she is over stimulated is when she behaves at her worst. She seems to act out her anxiety in a physical manner. These are the times that some would think she is ADHD. She will fidget and be in constant motion. She won't focus on anything for too long. She walks, paces, jumps, opens and shuts things, takes her shoes off only to put them right back on. She avoids eye contact and seems to not be listening. She would be argumentative, angry, defiant and oppositional. I was concerned about this, worrying that she be in fact be ADHD. I read the book, "The Out of Sync Child" and this helped me understand her. When removed from this stimulis, she calms down quite quickly and the problem behavior goes away. Since sleep has always been problematic with her, we have developed a rigid bedtime routine. Every night we do bath time and then a long message with lavender lotion. The touch is very soothing to her.

It is very tiring because there are many days when I life gets crazy and hectic. On these days it is downright impossible to attend to her constant needs. Add to this that we have another daughter who is 20 months old. She is a much easier child but my oldest didn't start getting overwhelming until she was two so we shall see.

I'm not saying these are your child's issues. I'm just sharing our family's issues.

I truely believe that same thing that makes my daugher smart, is the same thing that makes her challenging. It is something to be celebrated! I just need to teach her how to channel her energy and talents in productive ways.

Laura - posted on 04/06/2010

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My daughter is 5yr old, and from all indications, has ADD, quite posibly with the hyperactivity thrown in there. She's extremely intelligent, high spirited, bossy, and stubborn as a mule(oh and had already become an expert at emotional manipulation). Lately, she's started with these screaming tantrums when she doesn't get her way. It's kinda scarry, tho i know it's only because my mother in law gives in when she has a tantrum, so she obviously thinks if she turns it up a few notches the same thing will work on mommy and daddy. (my husband thinks she's psychotic) but aside from that show of wills, we also have issues with preschool. We live in SC and they have this stupid law that if you're 5 yr old (or soon to be) is born after Sept 30 of that school year, they cant start k-5...no exceptions... and my daughter was born oct 9, so she had to go back to preschool this year because her elementary school doesnt have a k4 program. and now she's so incredibly bored with school, it's all we can do to make her go. she cries every mornin cause she doesnt want to go because it's boring. i mean, what do you say to that? "sorry honey...the school system doesn't care how smart you are, you were'nt born a few days to late"? and the teacher she had at the begining of the year had promised to do extra work with her during the day to keep her interested, such as teaching her to read, working on math, etc.. but we have gone thru 4 replacement teachers so far this year, and only the first 2 promised to actually work extra with her, this last one can't even keep control of the class long enough to take care of scheduled lessons, so the first 3 months after the "i'm bored with school" started, things got much better with the teachers working with her, but it didn't last long :( i'm at a loss.

Cheryl - posted on 04/05/2010

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Just for the record, I found 4 to be a very hard age for both of my kids. I don't know why, but they both became quite pig-headed and tantrum-prone at 4. So maybe I can encourage you by saying that it does get a little more manageable as they get older...

Heather - posted on 03/18/2010

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My daughter is now 10....she is the same way. It takes sooo much energy to deal with her on a daily basis. I don't think being at home with her more would help anything. If I spent all day, every day with her, i would go nuts! I just have to try to keep her busy doing things so that she does not drive me too crazy! You are not alone.

Missy - posted on 02/08/2010

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Jumping back into this post after months... I wanted to give updates.

My son, Jonah is doing amazingly at Montessori - devouring everything they have for him and THEY HAVE MORE THINGS!!!! It's been a really good thing for him.

My daughter is still very tough and both children are very demanding of my attention.

Jonah now has a stamp collection, it keeps him busy a lot. He also has a book of maps and a globe - he's really interested in geography right now. I supply him with as many books as we can afford.

Maeryn is sitting on my lap as we speak, watching me type. She has started memorizing books and reading simple words - like "boo" and "moo". People don't believe me when I say it .

I hope everyone is finding stuff to occupy their children! It is a tough road!

Oh - we also got Jonah an ant farm - very cool stuff.

We have thought about homeschooling but don't think we could afford to supply them with the things they need, which is why we're at Montessori. My son received a scholarship there or there is no way we could afford it.

sigh -well, I need to cut this short, my son just found out the Saints won last night and he was cheering for the Colts, so he's crying (highly emotional) and lying on the couch in the living room. Sigh.

My daughter is putting ear buds in my ears and asking my to "listen, music" BAH!

Heather - posted on 02/06/2010

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Hi! what my dd loved at that age was researching things! find something she likes, take her to the library and let her go to town (and since she can read this is even better) Get her poster board and let her make collages or information boards or charts or whatever she wants with all her information. If you've got a colour printer she can find pictures and info online to put on her boards. My dd loved filling up binders with information as well.



one strange thing she got into (and is still into) was sticker collection. She had a binder full of page protectors and everytime we went out and she was good she got a page of stickers. Then she'd design a background for the stickers, slide it into the page protector and put the stickers on the plastic. When she was bored or having a bad day she'd look at it or make more pages (I had a lot of stickers hidden away) , It was something my Mother suggested that she used with her special needs children (from both ends of the spectrum).

Heather - posted on 02/06/2010

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Go find the book "Raising your Spirited Child" While it doesn't really give you tactics, per say, she explains what's going on in their minds which really does help when dealing with them.



As they get older they really do get better! I promise. My dd is 9 now and a much easier child to live with but I think it's because I learned how to interact with her. I lend that book to each of her teachers at the beginning of the year to help them understamd her.



You might also want to find a care provider who can meet his needs. At that age sensory stimulation is a must as well as lots to do all the time. If he's not getting it at daycare he'll be a handful to deal with there and even worse when he gets home.

Patricia - posted on 01/30/2010

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I can relate but in a rather weird, backhanded sort of way. My daughter is a highly gifted seven year old and so I can feel your pain on that end but from being that kid I can understand from his end as well. No matter what any child therapist tells you your child isn't doing this intentionally to hurt you and a very real part of him doesn't want to be this way. What I always needed in that position was love, support and a clear set of limits with the consequences laid out in stone when I crossed them.

As a parent who's been there? Find a support structure that lets you step away at times and if you already have it in place don't be afraid to use it. There were many nights when I handed my daughter over to her father and informed him I was going to take a hot shower and to please ignore the screaming. I promise you will get through it.

Allison - posted on 01/30/2010

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Have you evaluated his diet? What does your family eat. Maybe he is sensitive to something he eats often. Just a thought.

Allison - posted on 01/30/2010

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Have you ever thought about wearing him out too? He sounds like a kid that would
do well in a swimming program or martial arts. Physical activity helps kids burn off their extra energy. Gifted kids have brains that are going 100 miles an hour ,always working not turninig off. My Dad used to take me for a walk every night before bed, I had way to much energy. I was only two or three. Wish I had that energy now.

Jennifer - posted on 05/13/2009

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My almost 4 year old son is the same. He is in headstart, and that helps my sanity, but I can't get them to believe that he needs to be given more challenging material even though they are the ones who told me that he knew his ABCs.

But, to save sanity at home, I have my house set up so that my kids have a wide variety of activities to entertain themselves with. They have a play room with their own computer, set up with educational activities. They can get to the backyard, which is enclosed, where they can bike, garden and swim. We have blocks, puzzles and all kinds of arts and crafts, as well as a wide variety of books.

What we have a hard time not doing is putting Cade into the naughty boy box and my daughter Moira into the good girl box. But, she wants to please people and Cade doesn't really care. The only thing that got him to be well behaved at school for a month, was the promise of a new puppy. I guess we need to find a new bribe, but then I don't want him to think that he is going to get things all the time for acting like he should act anyway. On the other hand, if they stuck me in a class that was moving too slow, I don't know how well behaved I would be either. (In fact, I just finished law school, and know I still haven't mastered that skill.)

I'm mainly working on getting Cade into one of the gifted magnet schools in my county. Next year will be a bit of a mess, and then I can put him where he belongs, unless I get a great job as a lawyer, and then I can put him in a private school. I don't know if any of this will help anyone, but it helped me to vent. Thank you.

Cara - posted on 05/11/2009

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This is our life story right now. MY 4.5 year old is insatiable. She loves learning and with mild coaching has taught herself to read and is now ready for what is next..well, what is next for a 4.5 yr old??? My preconceived definition of what discipline should look like went out the window 2 years ago and now out of sheer exhaustion have resorted to negotiation and pleading for us to get through one day of calmness and peace. I pray every day for the strength to be able to provide her with the optimum amount of opportunities and ways to enrich her ever-eager approach to life. Has anyone out there researched the DaVinci MEthod? I am considering buying the book and saerching for any new threads of inspiration and insight. THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING PART OF THIS CIRCLE. It is so comforting to know that eventhough your heart is full of love and your mind and body absolutely at the brink of exhaustion, we are all in this together to develop and encourage these wonderful children who bless our lives!

Zoe - posted on 04/29/2009

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Many people suspect I was "over loading" my daughter with all of her activities at this age (preschool offered everything from dancing to Spanish) and we do music lessons (Classical guitar) but.... our spirited extrovert needed all the people time and challenges or she expect me to entertain her. (now she is in first grade and books take up a lot of her focus)
Anyhow, I just had my daughter in all the classes we had time and money for (the city had a good selection as well)

Ellen - posted on 04/28/2009

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6yo is exhausting enough - always feeding that mind. 3yo is more advanced than 6yo and has the "needs no sleep" issue. When the kids spend the night with grandma we literally go home and go to sleep. Then some of y'all spoke about the "I do it!" I can't keep up monitoring them so that they don't do something they really can't..... Off to try to get them in bath and bed though that will be at least an hour or two...

[deleted account]

Missy Bell - we also have the drama thing "Let me do it!" or "I need to do it!" are the most common phrases I hear in any given day.



*sigh*

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Hayley - My son is 2 now (28 months) and my youngest son will be 6 months on the first of May.



We are already seeing signs in the baby that would indicate that he will be the same as his brother.



But yes - I often worry that I am focusing more on Aiden than on Nathan so that I don't isolate him in fvour of the baby. Sometimes though it is unavoidable that I have to do things for Nathan (baby) and then Aiden gets a bit frustrated or even bored.



On the one hand it has been a good life skill for him to start developing - the keeping himself busy / entertained. And he is doing much better at this now. I have arranged his "thinking" toys (puzzles, alphabet toys, number toys, within his easy reach in his room and he now often goes and gets on with something of his own choosing when I am busy with baby (feeding, bathing, etc)



I have now also enrolled with Nathan (baby) in a moms and babes class once a week - where Aiden spends that time with his grandparents. So everyone wins and I get to assuage the guilt I have felt the past 6 months that I am not doing *as* much for Nathan as I did for Aiden at this age ;)

Missy - posted on 04/27/2009

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I am there - my four year old is HG and my 11 month old (she'll be one on Saturday!) is ALSO insatiable, probably more so than her brother. It's been INSANE. Honestly, insane. She naps VERY infrequently - once a day if I'm lucky and sometimes then only thirty minutes. I make SURE that I do NOTHING while she's sleeping except take time for myself, because that's all I'm going to get for the rest of the day. My four year old NEVER stops talking - mostly asking questions. He's reading now, which is awesome, because he occupies himself with books and computer games some, but he is furious when his sister tears down whatever he has been building or creating in his playroom. We're planning to get a high counter and stool for him there so that he can do his project without her getting in his way. She is bored with every toy out there. I keep trying to think of new things. I've found I can get some piece if I put on some stimulating music - either kids stuff or classical - for both of them. It seems like if they have that to listen to then their brains are a little more engaged anyway and I can have a little peace. I agree with the above several who have said museums and outside trips are awesome. Take your child to NEW places as much as possible. I've found that my son is interested in everything, and we are lucky to live about 45 minutes from DC so we have some access to the Natural History Museum, Air and Space, etc. He doesn't get bored in the museum - but it gets a bit taxing reading everything to him since he's not incredibly advanced with his reading yet and wants to know what everything is and what all of the signs say. Get your preschooler to help you with cooking as well - Jonah makes his own popcorn in the microwave, makes his own sandwiches, things like that - enable him to do things you may not have thought about with a regular kid.

I also have to add that Jonah is the KING of drama. If he is frustrated by something he will not just take a break, he has to DO the task even though he is screaming and tears are rolling down his cheeks. He is very upset when things change, so we've had to be sure he knows the basic plan for each day and prepare him as far in advance as possible for transitions.

Sorry I keep rambling on....

Last thing...

Jonah goes to a Montessori school and they are allowing him to enroll in the all day Kindergarten program this Friday to see if he is more stimulated and able to work at his level there. He doesn't make the cut off for next year's Kindergarten, but they are working with our family as far as where Jonah is ability wise rather than age wise. Since the classes are multi-age at Montessori, he's still with kids his age (4), but able to work on more advanced stuff and stay through the afternoons to work on things in more relative peace (the 3 & 4s generally go home after the morning session).

Hayley - posted on 04/26/2009

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Been there with you'all. I'm glad to see I'm not alone. My nearly 3yo dd is bossy, manipulative, sassy, button-pushing. And yet also compassionate, gentle, caring, sharing. What a dichotomy!

Here's my question:

Do any of you deal with the exhausting toddler/preschooler while trying to encourage, nurture and most of all *avoid doing disservice to* a new baby??? How????????

Robin - posted on 04/26/2009

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The best advice I can give as a working mother of 2 highly gifted children (1 girl, 1 boy) is that they should always be proud of their gifts. My 13 year old son is at a point when he is starting to "act dumb" in class, because he doesn't want to be different. Luckily he goes to a great school where he can take seperate classes and the teachers encourage his individuality. Encourage music as an outlet.

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hehe - Am SOOO glad that someone else understands this emotional see-saw we are on. It makes it easier to deal with when the bad times abound...

Morag - posted on 04/24/2009

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I can totally relate to that Lauryan. Some days I want to strangle lil miss she is such a terror... and other days I think, wow this is so much fun, I really enjoy having her around. Especially when she does something new.. The colour thing has been great.... She only knows her colours in Spanish but wanders around pointing at things and saying in this really cute Spanish accent... rojo or azul... and they are the times I miss her.

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Morag that's how I feel. Aiden at 2 is hectic enough! If I don't send him to grandparents for a morning here and there, or go out so he can do things with friends etc then I go nuts! And thank goodness my husband can come home some days to work from home.



Thinking of him at 4 scares me for how ill prepared I am to deal with it.



Then on the awesome days I can't wait! You know - the days when they are fun to be with, fun to talk to and all that good stuff that makes you happy to know these extra special extra clever extra awesome kids. Then my heart swells with pride and love and I feel sad that he has to go sleep cause I will miss him...

Morag - posted on 04/24/2009

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I'm exhausted now... nothing occupies lil miss for longer than 5 minutes, she constantly needs stimulation and I feel that I am just constantly on the go. Even our nursry say she's exhausting and they have shifts & breaks... a 4 year old lil miss strikes fear in my heart.

I'm always having to change my battle plan with her. What works today probably won't work next week... or even the next day. I was hoping that it would get better sooner rather than later but apparently not.

Sejal - posted on 04/22/2009

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ditto!.. the reply posted byrawford is absolutely precise. it cant get any better.

my son is gifted with an iq of 149, very well adjusted. but i had the option of being at home.

but few things i can add .. becky .. take it as a blessing that he is gifted. be proud of him n urself for u r definitely the best for ur child.

as he grows older let him know that he is gifted so that he is comfortable, n proud of himself.

as a parent u have to be very patient n trust me half of the work is done.kjeep stimulating him in diff ways n figure out what works best. again u need to remember what works now will probably change in a year. so be on ur toes.

Kylie - posted on 04/21/2009

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I know everyone is probably over reading books, as we all seem to have read almost everything out there but due to mentioning on another post I revisited personality types - the myer-briggs system and it has helped. My 2 sons are very tiring in very different ways - one intellectually and the other physically and intellectually and it has helped in my understanding of them. Mind you it doesn't help with the exhaustion, I have a protein shake and a berocca half an hour before pick up time and it actually seems to be helping lol. Mind you pre-school and school are a godsend!!!

Jen - posted on 04/21/2009

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i can relate in a way. my 3.5 year old requires a large quantity of my time, patience and energy. there is always SOMETHING wrong or not the way she wants it. My only advice is remember the following "this, too, shall pass" i say it several times a day and am patiently waiting for September when she goes to school 2-3 days a week. It sounds awful, but sometimes 2 people (yes, a 3.5 year old is 'a person' when they are as smart/smarter then you) should NOT spend 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year together....as she is my youngest, i speak from experience when i say some children are harder to raise.

Robin - posted on 04/21/2009

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Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes. Completely and utterly identify with this! Especially, Deborah, we have 4.5 year old with "bossiness" issues and we're out of ideas. He goes to preschool 5 days/week from 9-5. He starts Kindergarten in September where they expect he will be 'exhausted' after a half day of learning. Yeah. Right. There is no way to tire this kid out. He just keeps going - perpetual energy machine - but as he gets more sleep deprived he, of course, gets more emotional, less rationale, etc because he is a 4 year old kid.
Short of harnessing him up for power generation, we are at wit's end. My husband is a neuropsychologist and we still can't cope with him - even knowing what to expect. We've discovered unknown depths of screaming and blackmail that we really didn't think we were capable of and it is making us all MISERABLE. We can't make him any 'busier' or he'll need his own personal assistant to keep track of appointments!
I don't expect that any one has a magic cure but if there are other things mums have tried, please let us know.
Our sanity is in your hands ! *gg*

Kristina - posted on 04/21/2009

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When I first started wondering why my child was different, the book that helped me most was "Raising your Spirited Child." You don't describe the particular challenges you face, but I suspect they are similar to ours - it is a matter of temperament. I just wrote someone a message and dredged up a description of my spirited child - intense, sensitive, energetic, etc.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kpucmuna/22...

Unfortunately that book does not offer very good solutions. To me it was helpful just to understand her temperament so I could adjust what we were doing a little. Coupled with the fact that my daughter has sensory issues, and is very controlling/stubborn, I felt like I was walking on egg shells all the time. It is getting better as she is growing up (4y5m). I do notice that structure helps. When she is at home a long time, like over holiday breaks, her behavior deteriorates, and when she goes back to school it improves. You are not alone. Try to understand your child from all angles - intellectual, temperamental, sensory.

Laurie - posted on 04/21/2009

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What are/were some of the issues you were having. My 2.5 year old has always been very intense and I'm very curious about this aspect of gifted children. This is actually the first time I've seen a reference to this side of the gifted equation on this board.

Melody - posted on 01/04/2009

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yes, I JUST went through this exact same thing with my 4 year old son- is 5 now. What worked for me (along with counseling from a gifted specialized psychologist who also has PG children) was to keep him BUSY BUSY BUSY, physically as well as mentally. Which is very hard to do with a child that is insatiable. Hang in there until KG and then schedule him ALL DAY classes and add enrichment activities at home or at parks, museums, etc... It really helps behavior at home (and school) both to keep their little sponge brains deep in the ocean of information available to them.

[deleted account]

Thank you to Kara for the suggestions and encouragement. We need to get our 2nd daughter tested, there are no programs around here and we don't even know where to start. The public schools won't test until 3rd grade-she's just turned 6 and ready for 2nd grade already (she's only in Kindergarten by state law). Thankfully she is home with me for 1/2 day and we can "home" school some. My 1st child is high special needs on the other end of the spectrum, though, so my mental energy only stretches so far (also have a very active 12mo old). Any suggestions for testing and placement would be welcome.

[deleted account]

Wow! I love this group! I have three children, a girl 14, a boy 11 and another boy 8. All three are highly gifted. They all also have different degree's of ADHD, which is not uncommon for highly gifted children.

When I had my daughter tested, I was told yes, she has ADHD< but that won't be your problem with this child, your problem will be her intelligence and keeping her busy. She has an IQ of 148, (the other two are close as well). At this point in my life, I could write a book about all the things we have been through! My daughter used to wear a bindi to school in the 3rd grade, and when she got tired of that one, she started removing ink from pens to paint with, then she decided she wanted a beauty mark on her face like Marilyn Monroe. It's been one thing after another. When she was 5 she said to me "Mom, how can I be my own person if you keep putting these bows in my hair!" Wow that was well said! I could go on and on.

On one hand its a true blessing to have such gifted kids. I am lucky that my daughter is so self motivated as well. My son's often need to be encouraged to use their minds more. Over the years we have exhausted all kinds of resources to keep their busy brains stimulated. From playing school and giving them writing exercises, like learning to write their letters and numbers (at age 2) to puzzles, and I SPY games, artwork with all different types of media, rice, beans, pasta stringing, paint, play-doh, those brain teaser questions called Brain Quest, and puzzles called Super Mind where they create patterns on pictures, or make their own. Discovery Toys has all kinds of videos that are educational, that my kids love. AND READ< READ> READ!!! Teach them a love of reading, and when they are old enough they will absorb themselves in books to give you some time to get stuff done. There are all kinds of educational computer games, from math, to languages, and even to learn keyboarding. This is a tough time when they are young but so important, and it WILL go by so fast.

I am now faced with the other kids calling my son a Nerd cause he always makes 100's on his tests. Be careful your kids don't try to dumb themselves down to help themselves fit in better. Encourage them to be themselves and to be proud of who they are! Its not easy, and I have shed many tears, but in the end its all worth it!

Let me know if I can help in any way!

Another site of things that can be educational is Fat Brain Toys. I don't mean to sound like you just have to spend money on them to keep them busy, trips to museums and being out exploring nature, and the world are things they love too! Let them help you do everything, cooking, gardening, laundry, they will learn from it. Anyway, hope this is helpful to you!

Deborah - posted on 11/29/2008

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I just joined this group hoping to find other moms in the same situation as I am. I'm a mom of a highly gifted 4 year old and we're in the same boat... family therapy, parent coaching, frequent talks with teachers and administrators at his preschool... We are going through a particularly challenging time at the moment regarding his need for control and anger when he doesn't get what he wants. I've been leaning on friends a lot for support, but have found that people without these special needs children don't really get it. Hang in there...you're not alone!

Debbie - posted on 11/29/2008

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Take a deep breath. Then give him things to do to stimulate him. What are his interests at this point? Drawing, writing, building? Best thing to do is keep him busy!!

Good luck :)

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