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Gifted but Bored

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My son is 7 years old and is in 2nd grade. He was diagnosed with an IQ score of 130. His teacher says that he is always daydreaming in class and is not able to go to 3rd grade because he can not focus on different activities. Should I keep him back in 2nd grade in order for him to develop his focus?

A: It is quite obvious that your son is bored, hence the daydreaming. It may be possible that the lessons at school are not challenging enough for him. Gifted children need to find their work meaningful to be able to enjoy learning.

Keeping him in 2nd grade is not going to solve the problem, in fact, if he is tested gifted, it would actually slow him down further. Your son appears to have absorbed the knowledge that is required to score well on tests, indicating at the very least that he has understanding and mastery of the subject matter.

You need to come up with a plan that balances your child's individual needs. You may also want to speak to a few of his teachers (rather than only one) about his academic capabilities and potential. This will help with specific suggestions on ways in which your son's needs can be accommodated and catered for instead of keeping him back.

Punishing your child for daydreaming will not force him to become focused or excited about school. It will most probably anger him and breed even more resistance toward his schoolwork. Speak to the school counselor to determine if there is something else (a learning disability?) bothering him or keeping him from focusing. You may need to get him tested. Best wishes.


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