Having a gifted child is truly a blessing, but that doesn't mean that it comes without its woes. Sometimes there's early signs that your child is gifted, and taking notice of them will help you to seek the education your child needs long before they're ever taking the SATs. When your kid grows up faster than expected, it can offer a new and exciting factor to your relationship with them. Suddenly, the two you of can communicate like normal humans earlier than you thought you would be able to (no more high-pitched baby voices or having entire conversations surrounding the sounds of farm animals). It's so awesome and so terrifying all at once.
This is admittedly already a difficult thing to write about because parents are well-trained to feel guilty about speaking bluntly about the fact that they have a smart kid. It's like, OK, yes, all children have their own strengths, and they are all genuinely, honestly beautiful and valuable; I'm not debating that. And when I talk about my super smart toddler, I also understand that his current developmental levels might not be indicative of what kind of grown kid or adult he'll be, nor does, say, his early reading comprehension mean that he's necessarily "better" than other kids, or even that he'll ultimately end up smarter than anyone else. That's not the point.
And (I told you, this is hard, I do feel like I have to say all of this) I also know that talking about the benchmarks my kid is hitting might very well make another parent feel a pang of doubt or insecurity about the fact the her kid of the same age (who is probably totally healthy and fine and awesome) isn't quite there yet. And that sucks. I don't want to make other parents feel that way. I don't want to talk about my kid in a way that makes him feel like he's better than other kids either, but I also want to be able to talk about my kid honestly and openly and without judgment, just like any other parent. I want to be able to celebrate his successes, and complain about the challenges. Because I can assure you, there are challenges that come with having a kid who is smart for their age.
If your child is advanced in any way, you're obviously going to be proud of them. I mean, birthing a genius is kind of a big deal. But sometimes those little Einstein's come with a specific set of challenges. What you thought was a dream come true is sometimes actually a nightmare (an adorable nightmare, but still frustrating nonetheless). These kids are different in the best kind of way but sometimes their antics make us want to pull our hair out.
They Ask A Million Questions
Kids ask a lot of questions regardless of their IQ, but kids who are a bit more advanced tend to communicate solely through questions. It's like once they realized they were capable of understanding everything, they needed to understand absolutely everything in the world, right now, please. And their questions aren't things like, "Can I have a cookie?" It's stuff like, "How do you build a car?" or "How does the world spin on its axis?" or "What is God?"
It's a lot to take in and sometimes we don't even know the answers to their questions. Thank you, Google.
They Know When You're Lying
Nothing gets past these kids. They know when we're lying about being out of ice cream because they know exactly where we keep it, and how to stack enough books so that they're tall enough to open the freezer. They're resilient and will always hold us accountable for what we say and do.
Living with an especially astute toddler is actually sort of like being a teenager again, when our parents would track our every move. Except this time around, it's a tiny dictator that's stalking us, watching for us to try to pull one over on them.
They Know When You're Blowing Them Off
They know when you're using cartoons to distract them, or when you say that you'll play with them in just a few minutes. That's not going to cut it for them. They don't have time for our excuses.
Their Attitudes Leave A Lot To Be Desired
Sometimes gifted children are treated differently by both adults and children. This often results in an attitude. Even if they're not bullied, they might still display some more vivid emotions when trying to communicate, even if they might not even realize it.
They're Little Know-It-Alls
They're not shy in letting you know when you're wrong, and man, do they pay close attention to these details.
They Get Bored Easily
Once they've conquered counting and their ABCs, their curiosity will lead them to more challenging obstacles...like computers and utensil drawers full of sharp knives. Keeping an advanced child entertained is challenging, especially where there's so many other things that parents are preoccupied with.
Things like trying to include them in the cleaning and the cooking work well (for, like five minutes). Not only will it help to keep them entertained but it might actually help you out too. Or it might actually make an even bigger mess; I'm trying to keep it optimistic here.
They Get Frustrated When They Don't Immediately Figure Something Out
Smart toddlers typically catch on to everything fairly quickly. They're accustomed to figuring everything out before everyone else, but they're still toddlers, which means that when they don't grasp something right away, they're very likely going to throw an epic tantrum. They might have mastered basic concepts quickly, but it's doubtful that they've got their emotions under control just yet. (I mean, most adults can't even keep their feelings in check so why would a toddler?)
They Never Want To Nap
Nap times can be hit-or-miss for toddlers regardless of a their comprehension levels, but especially with advanced kids. They're busy exploring and learning and conquering their little world so when we try to get them to lay down for five minutes, all hell breaks loose. No rest for the prematurely brilliant, folks.
It Always Sounds Like We're Bragging
Every parent is proud of their kids and every one of them brags about them. This isn't just the parents of kids that are a little more advanced, but if our kid does something that's a little more "gifted" than another child, it automatically makes us seem smug. This...is really just not fair. Guess what? When I talk about how amazing my kid is, I'm not bragging because it's not me. If a parent of a smart kid takes credit for their kid, then OK, you have my permission to judge and vaguely loathe them. Our kids come from us, and learn from us, but they are not us. So when I put my kid's awesomeness on blast, I'm not boasting so much as I'm objectively appreciating. Like, it's so cool and interesting to me. And it's OK to be proud of our kids no matter what their level of intellect is. It's a universal trait of all parents so there's no shame in it for any of us.
They Act Out When They're Not Entertained
In their defense, a lot of adults sort of act like a-holes when they're not entertained either.
They're So Passionate
A lot of smart children suffer from over-excitability due to their heightened senses. And although having passion in life is so important, it translates a bit differently through a child. It's cute most of the time, but when they begins to feel things so deeply that they act out it's time to get out the wine. I mean, there should actually always be a readily available supply of wine no matter what, but here's one more good reason.