What A Gifted Child Really Needs

Hi, my son is in GEP and enjoying the program. This week, the MOE folks are telling me that he is of a different level, and he will be going to join one level higher for certain subjects as recommended by the school. He will also be doing some advanced subjects at 3-4 years ahead.

Thing is, being #4, I had no time for him. He did not attend K2, just sat around the house, because he was so bored. No enrichment class, no flash cards, no nothing. But, he reads at 3, spoke at 6 months, and could do most things earlier. I believe he learnt to read through the comics at 3, and he learnt secondary school maths by reading his siblings text books. I still have not figured out how he learnt negative numbers and simultaneous equations when he was 7.

Now, a proud mother? No. There are just so many other issues a mother has to handle with such kids. Jealousy from his classmates, expectation of him since he has the brains, his immatured behavior due to his other disabilities and sensitivities.

I know many parents put in that extra effort to ensure their kids get to be in the ‘gifted’ rank. Honestly, giftedness is really what it is, from God. I look at some GEP kids and pity them – for their lack of ability to live with themselves. Being told they are gifted from young, being groomed from young to give smart answers, being always ahead of their peers, have given them an expectation for themselves they sometimes cannot meet.

Friends, if you are grooming a gifted child, or you have a naturally gifted child, do your child a favour, give him lifeskills to live with the world as one. Teach him to be just one of the guys. He will thank you for it. Don’t focus on having him branded ‘gifted’. It is not important, trust me.

For me, I did neither. I did not think he was special (1st mistake) and I did not groom him (not a mistake – he was natural), I did not help him integrate with the world (big mistake). I now have to reteach him what he should have learnt 5 years ago…

But, I’ll do a good job now. It’s late, but not too late.

A gifted child does not need more pushing and more enrichment class. He needs love and know how to co-exist with the world.

Thanks for sharing!

Dear 2ppaamm,

This is a really interesting post, an eye-opener for me!  Thank you very much for sharing!

Cheers.

looking forward to hear

looking forward to hear more story from you

looking forward to hear

looking forward to hear more story from you

Manage expectations

While it is important to help our children do well, it is also equally important to manage our expectations. For example, there are parents who might breathe down harder on children after they "upgrade" to a higher status, be it a better class in school or better secondary school. Sometimes this cause the kids much distress especially when they have conflicting priorities (like a natural tendency to spend more time on a new game).

Hi 2ppaamm, The

Hi 2ppaamm,

The psychologist said he’s not autistic (and he’s mingling better these days :))

But are you serious about contacting MOE if it’s above 145?

what a gifted child really

what a gifted child really need is love and support from parents.

Hi Yogini, That's a

Hi Yogini,

That’s a familiar name. :). Was he tested autistic? If so, he is twice exceptional. You will need intervention if your child is twice exceptional. Don’t deny him a chance to get that.

If it is just giftedness, then remember if it is 145 or 160 and above, contact MOE.

Hi Lydia, You are not alone

Hi Lydia,

You are not alone here. I have many friends who think that I am lousy mother as well. And, to some extent I think so too. But never mind lah. As long as my children grow up happy, I am contented.

I also don’t want to send them to any enrichment or tuition classes. And yes, I don’t really like to see them so busy. But the price of relax, relax is results. Teachers will come after us, principals will tell us the kids are underperforming. But hey, I just like to see their bright eyes and hear their quirky jokes.

Not sure if this made them smarter or because they are smart that’s why don’t need enrichment. Sometimes, I’d rather believe that because they have no enrichment and tuition, they become more alert in class knowing others have. Well, its just a guess. I hope it is a lucky one.

A timely reminder

Hi 2appaamm,

Thank you so much for your sharing! It’s a timely reminder for me since I’ve been fretting over how best to ‘groom’ my son, who’s in K2 this year.

He had a number of behavioural issues at school that we and the teachers could not resolve, and we were so troubled that we sent him to a psychologist, thinking he might be slightly autistic (since he displayed anti-social behaviour pretty often). Turned out his IQ level is very high.

Since then, I’ve been wondering how best to maximise his potential and trying to teach him how to integrate with his friends more effectively. Although I’ve always felt that kids should be allowed to explore their interests and learn at their own pace, I’ve been feeling guilty that I’ve not done anything to ‘maximise’ his potential.

Now I feel so relieved – while I will continue to teach him explicitly how to read body language and how to interpret certain situations, I am now convinced that my gut instinct hasn’t been too far off. Helping him integrate, respecting his interests and letting him choose the activities he enjoys should be the way.

2ppaamm, Thanks for sharing

Hi

You have done a great job!

My girls are not gifted as they only started to read at the age of 5 years plus and younger girl is now 6 years old but still struggling.  However, to me, they are bright and good in different ways.

Some of my friends may think that hubby and I are not good parents as we do not send our children for any enrichment classes.  I ever shared with friends that we believe in building interest in learning.  We will rather let our kids learn through playing and exploring.  However, we have a friend misunderstood us and was upset as we did not accept their recommendation on an expensive enrichment class.  It is not that we cannot afford but we just do not like the idea.  We do not like to see our children pack with classes during the weekdays after their school and worst during the whole weekends.  We want them to have time playing, doing what they like, go for some outdoor activities etc.  This is our way to bring up our kids and there is no right or wrong about it.

Thanks once again for sharing your experiences with us  🙂

Hi poohbear, thanks!

Hi poohbear, thanks for taking the time to drop me a note!

Thanks KSmom8. Yep, we

Thanks KSmom8. Yep, we need to constantly remind ourselves to teach our little ones lifeskills to coexist with the world. In this rush, we tend to forget…

Hey Tiredmom, first of all,

Hey Tiredmom, first of all, I don’t think my son is a genius lah… just good academically perhaps.

Glad you like the post. I was just worried as I read the thread… we as parents sometimes get so excited to nurture our kids academically, we forget their other needs. Just thought I’d share my views/journey.

Not great, but still a lousy mum, learning to be better everyday from all of you!

You never fail me with your

Buds, you never fail me with your humour and great writing skills. Looking to read more of your posts! It’s our blessing to have the banana splitting in our face so often! ;0

Hi Osakachan, if he still

Hi Osakachan, if he still does not speak at 3, maybe help him get some intervention. He may just need that little help to get him started. But really, it does not mean slow in speech = slow in everything. Fast in speech may not mean anything as well. Let’s not get too excited as we often do as parents. Sometimes, it is just great to let nature take its course, sometimes, we intervene when it is necessary. Trust the daddies and mummies to know best!

Thank Harini, you've always

Thank Harini, you’ve always given me encouragement! I do agree that having a normal kid is already a blessing. But, parents will always want more don’t we? We need to remind each other this every day, and to appreciate our little bundles as they are. Autistic, special needs, gifted or not.

Thanks for the feedback

Thank you, Happybirdks, Tree nymph, autumnbronze, ks2me, pecalis,mathspark, foreverj for all your feedback. I didn’t plan for this to be publish… hee hee… just chanced upon the thread and as I read, I got worried about parents so anxious to find out if their kid is ‘gifted’ from as young as 1+.

Tree nymph, my #5 only started to walk at 17 months, while the rest walked at 10 months or so. He also spoke the latest. When I look at him, I get worried, and wondered whether I did not spend enough time with him given the rest took up so much of my time when he was a baby. Recently, he shocked me. He could suddenly read everything phonetically, when he could not just 3 months ago. I have also done some research. Some gifted kids speak late but when they do, it is in sentences. I don’t know or wish that he is gifted. However, I now know that there is hope that he is perhaps not as bad as I thought!

Autumnbronze, I responded to you in the thread.

KS2me, I also did not believe in labeling. In fact, my older kids did not take the GE screening. I put DS2 through because I wanted him to change school. I also believe branding (whether on the good or bad side) cannot be good for the kid, unless we as parents explain what that means exactly. I tell my son that he is the green apple among a basket of red apples. What does that mean, I ask him. He said, “I am also an apple, but I am different in SOME ways.” I’m happy to hear that. How true.

Pecalis, actually, I am not sure if my son is any special or a genius. It simply means I have to be a different kind of parent and take things differently. Ultimately, we will only know a genius by how he contributes to the society. That’ll be my definition. What use is a genius if they do not create useful solutions for the society?

Mathsparks, you are the wise mum around here. I need to learn from you more! It is true that all the kids are so different and we as parents need to adjust accordingly. But most of all, love them unconditionally. It is so difficult sometimes, especially if there are disabilities involved. Nevertheless, you’ve reminded me once again that we NEED to do that, and it is our responsibility to do that!

Foreverj, thanks for sharing. The thing is, once they start to choose and enjoy their activities, don’t you think our jobs become much easier as well? There’s no dragging of feet, and there’s always excitement and enthusiasm each time. What a joy!

Happybirdks, we are the near extinct mothers of 5! Great to know another exists! Let’s share our joys and fears and pain. Yep, don’t you think the last 2 kids get the least attention? Do you feel guilty some times?

osakachan, thanks for the

osakachan,

thanks for the companionship.  

i only hope that our kids just doesn’t want to speak up yet! 

Thank you!

Congratulations to you and ds.  Thanks for sharing.  I have enjoyed reading your views and learning from you. I fully agree with your last sentence…110%! 

Wisdom

Thks for sharing so humbly yet so inspiring . You really put things into the right perspective… Look forward to learning more 

first of all,

first of all, congratulations! your son is truly a rare genius!

more than that, thank for your wonderful post. As before, you have again reminded us of looking beyond academic/ intellectual abilities of the kid. Even as I constantly remind myself, it is sometimes difficult not to wish that my kid is better in her academic/ sports/ musical pursuits. You never fail to help me refocus. And you are truly a great but humble mum!

you’re a gem in this forum 🙂

Book - Ideas for Parents

Hello

Am wondering whether anyone knows where to get (other than online ordering) or already has the book "Ideas for Parents" by Galina Dolya – it’s about how parents can stimulate learning in children.

If anyone have the book, can you tell me how good is this book?

thanks

Sam

 

Great post!

Great post, 2ppaamm.

Blown Away...

You NEVER fail to blow me away with your as-a-matter-of-fact-ness candour and wisdom.

Like i have said before and i will say it again… it is our blessing having you here in KiasuParents. 

 bÜds

Hi, Just to let you know

Hi,

Just to let you know that you are not alone, my DS has not spoken any english word including calling me papa.He is now 22 months old. Like you, we are hoping that he is just late in speech. 🙂

 

 

Wow this was a joy to read ...

Thanks 2appaamm for sharing ur experiences. I have always enjoyed reading ur posts and trying to understand the ‘deeper’ meanings to ur many wise words. You truly are a wonderful mom and very responsible and motivating person.

We all have our challenges with our kids and its nice to read other moms sharing their views and feeling relieved that you are not alone in this. I have friends who have children with many developmental challenges like Autism and Downs, and to them just having ‘normal’ children is already a blessing. Sometimes when I talk to these friends I realise how fortunate we all are and even then find the slightest reason to nag at our kids . I am learning to look at brighter side of kids and YES to love unconditionaly. It’s not easy but surely not impossible…

thanks for sharing

Hi 2ppaamm

It’s me, who wrote to you recently about the ortho-k stuff:)

So glad to come to your blog. I totally agree that teaching kids life skills, how to interact in this world is more important. Many times, as parents in Singapore, we are just too caught up with the enrichment classes don’t waste talents cannot lose out kind of mindset. Our environment is too competitive. It is really good to read your blog, stop and reflect. I am sure many of us do know that essentially, lifeskills is more important than any other knowledge. It’s just that we do not have time in our journey to dwell deeper into it.

Like you, I have 5 kids, that’s why I can understand when you say you have no time for your #4. I can only attend so much to each of them too, so they have to learn a lot on their own. Your kids are slightly older than mine, I believe. Hope to ‘talk’ to you more often to learn from you.

A wise mum

Hi 2ppaamm, you’re a very wise mum indeed. And even if you don’t find his acceleration a casue for celebration, I would still like to sincerely congratulate you on a job well done (or is it not done?). Sure, there’s catch-up on your part, but like you said, better late than never.

My 2 kids are quite different in terms of their various abilities. While 1 struggles, the other does well effortlessly. Parenting, I guess, is a difficult and challenging job as what works for 1 kid may not work for the other. That’s why there’re more and more parental guide books in the market! We’ve to constantly adapt too as our kids grow.

Over the years, with so many arrogant people around me who never missed an opportunity to brag about their kids’ latest achievements, I’ve learned to accept mine for who they are.

It’s pointless to compare and wish that your child is smarter/taller, wins awards/competitions etc. As long as they stay on the straight and narrow, give their best in whatever they do, regardless of their achievement, I’m contented and proud of them. They know I love them, warts and all!

 

  

hi, thank u for sharing

hi, thank u for sharing your real-life experience as the parent of a gifted child. when dd was young, i was very "on" to flash cards, read to her cos i subscribed to the theory of  ‘window of learning opportunity" before six. come to think of it, sounds really kiasu right? anyway she developed very fast and frankly i didn’t regret doing all those stimulating exercises with her as it was part of our bonding time together as well. i also signed her up for music appreciation classes at 2 hoping she would pick up the keyboard like a genius, haha.

as she grew older, i’ve realised that there’s no pushing her to go for the classes that she has no interest in. i would love for her to play the piano or violin, love for her to dance like a ballerina, draw like an artist and count like a mathematician. however she would have none of that. she’s old enough to know and vocalise what she likes/dislikes and i believe that if the child does not enjoy the class, there’s seriously no point in wasting the time and money.

hence i have stopped most of these classes and only kept those that she enjoys and is willing to put in effort to work on. doing that wil help develop her strengths and potential and build self-confidence and discipline in the child. and that i believe is more critical than getting her into the GEP programme. for many of us who have seemingly "bright" kids to start with, perhaps pushing them to the limit may inch them over the line into the GEP program but i believe more in letting our kids grow up happily n be ready to guide and encourage at the side, when necessary.

Hi 2ppaamm, thanks for

Hi 2ppaamm, thanks for sharing and the timely reminder.

Since your DS "learnt" to read and do all these things by himself, he is truly gifted and a genius. i’ve always suspected my son to be special since he was young but I also know that he is not the genius type – simply advance with the right stimulation at home. My children do not attend pre-school as I enjoy teaching them myself 🙂

I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts and am often wowed by your maturity and the values that you hold dear to imparting to your children and other parents here.

Thanks for sharing your joy with us 🙂

I always say the labelling

I always say the labelling does more harm than good and makes life harder to cope.
Good article 2ppaamm!!

Hooray

Hooray 2ppaamm,

Your post has been published

My comments are in the thread.

autumnbronze

You have achieved success if you have lived well, laughed often and loved much – Anon

2ppaamm, I like to applaud

2ppaamm,

I like to applaud you!  I think you will succeed.  your kids will thank you for being such a great mum!  Yes, being gifted is a gift from God, its natural, not through the very expensive enrichment centres and lots of tuition classes, I can’t agree more to that.  And its all true, gifted child usually are lacking in social skills cos they really don’t know how to interact with normal kids their own age.  

I’m dealing a different problem.  My 18 mth kid still has not spoken a word, has not called us yet and not a single monosyllabus word from him.  I’m hoping and praying that he is just late in speech and that there’s nothing wrong with him.  🙂

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