This blog post has been reposted, with permission, from Bril’s Blog.
The pace at which your toddler learns new things at this age is astounding. If you watch closely enough, you will be tempted to mull over the question of your child being gifted. The term “being gifted”, though is very easy to misconstrue. Whether it is being able to throw a ball like a 5 year old or starting speech earlier than his peers, a definite prognosis of being gifted can only be given by a paediatrician, once the child starts elementary school. Yet, in some cases, it clear from infancy that the baby is learning faster than other of his age.
In some other cases, a gifted child may appear to be the exact opposite of being gifted. Because they are bored at school, they feel frustrated. They may show no interest in academics, underachieve, or are emotionally high strung. This can lead the teachers and caregivers to believe that they have an attention deficit disorder.
If you believe that your child is gifted, here are a few do’s and don’ts that will help you nurture your child’s gift.
- An advanced preschooler, like his peers, needs a lot of exposure and stimulation in the form of free play, physical activity, book reading sessions, downtime and conversations with different people.
- For a gifted preschooler to thrive at school, day-care and at home, he needs ample opportunity to test his skills at whatever he excels in.
- What will not work in favour of your little genius is if you try the ‘learn-and-drill’ method of learning with him. It will stifle his natural talent and actually put pressure on him to excel, which is regressive in the long run.
- While it is tempting to test the farthest limit of your tots advanced abilities, it should not come at the expense of skills that are age appropriate for him right now and cannot be put off.
- Provide plenty of love and security to your toddler during this time.
At the end of the day, always remember that your child cannot grasp the enormity of his skills. It is not right to expect him to understand this and tailor his moods, impulses and desires around the fact. The best thing you can do for your child at this stage is letting him do whatever gives him more pleasure and the rest will follow.