To embrace or deny??

Elizabeth - posted on 05/25/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I admit that deny may not be the most accurate word, but its the best I could come up with.

My husband and I are struggling with how to approach our sons intelligence. We have twin boys who are 32 months old. All indications point to them being somewhere in the gifted range. They knew all of their colors, shapes, and letters before 18 months. Just before they turned two, they knew all of their letter sounds and all of the states and capitals. Just after they turned two, they memorized more than half of the periodic table and all 44 US presidents. At almost three, they are starting to sound out CVC words and memorize simple sight words. They have spoken in full, complete, and often correct sentences since about 18-20 months old. Their speech is really quite striking. And their sense of humor has always been unbelievable.

But here is our question- Do we embrace or deny this??? I don't mean deny in the true sense of the word. Of course we will continue to foster their interests and encourage them to continue to enjoy learning. But should we just let them be unless their intelligence truly gets in the way of something, if it ever does? Or do we embrace their intelligence and try to maximize it? I hope this makes sense, I'm having trouble putting it into words. I guess we're not sure of the benefits of embracing their "giftedness". We want them to be happy, healthy, normal kids. So far we haven't encountered any of the downsides of their intelligence yet, which I know many struggle with and may be in our future... but as of now we haven't seen any of those things. We just want them to fit in with their peers and be normal, but on the other hand we want the to reach their maximum potential. I guess, whats the point of them skipping a grade or two, or being so far ahead of their peers academically? It kind of seems like it could cause more harm than good. Parts of us want to test them (though as a clinical social worker I fully understand the limits to testing this young) but aside from our curiosity, we can't think of a good reason that we should know their IQ.

If anyone else has struggled with this, or has any thoughts or insight, I'd really appreciate the input and conversation :)

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Ginger - posted on 06/03/2012

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Well as long as your boys are interested in learning and excelling, continue to satisfy their thirst for knowlage. Sounds like they have well rounded interests. As long as they get their exersise you have all your basis covered. At that age their social skills are beginning to be apparent and the fact that they are twins actually helps them learn how to communicate well with others. Soo continue to encourage their wonderful acheivments and behaviors. As far as skipping grades. Wait till they get into school and see how well they interact with stranger kids. If anything get them into a school that focuses on academics that they will be interested in. Just don't tell them they are better then everyone else, cause that would impair their ability to get ahead in the real world.

Pamela - posted on 06/02/2012

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At this stage, IQ testing won't really get you anything. Let their interests lead the way. Fill their lives with books, creative play, the outdoors, and exposture to other children. Answer their questions. When school comes, you will need to get them tested in order to access any gifted programs available. Enjoy them - gifted kids are perfectly normal and delightful children.

Louise - posted on 05/25/2012

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My son is 21 and has been on the gifted register since the age of five. I had to fight to get him the standard of education that he needed to keep him interested in school. The problem was that he was exceptionally bright and by the age of 4 he was reading alone and already had a reading age of 10. he excelled in maths and languages. The problem was that the teachers had to teach to the class and not one student so he was often bored and disruptive if the teachers had no extention work for him.

Unfortuately your children need to do each year for their age because if you skip a year or two the basic learning skills are not there. My son loved the academic side of his life but he hated school because he was often picked on because he was different. It was not until my son did hi A levels that he actually begain to get a friend base. He is loving life now as he is a second year student at Edinburgh University studying a dual degree of maths and french. He is now surrounded by like minded people and loves every day of uni.

My advice is see how the twins get on at school, they may dumb themselves down to fit in with the rest of the class or they may excel to be the best. If they do, go into the school and get them to provide extention work for your children so that they are as busy as the rest of the class and have just that bit better knowledge.

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