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Possibly A Gifted Toddler

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: Thank you for your fruitful website that always imparted in us being the great parents we wish to be.

I would like to ask that I have a three year old baby girl. From birth she has always shown the level of intelligence that even the doctors where commenting on it too. How do I help the level of maturity she walks in? At 6 month her memories I have wrote down she was already refusing the child minder to bath her I assumed they were not getting along and I took over the responsibility, I noticed even with me she was refusing to be bathed with moreover even to clean her private part she refused. I thought that maybe she was abused and took her to paediatrician and everything was fine. As year passed by she begun her swimming she didn't want fathers in the water as the mums and dads comes along in the water on training of swimming that also was a worry at her age at one she is not supposed to have knowledge of strangers or some sort.

Up until when she gets two she has the signs of maturity in the house that leaves everyone stunned. She mends she has the leadership that every visitor she has to introduce who she is and allow them to know there names etc. She started playing ballet at two on herself in her room and I had no idea where she got that from as no one does of the sort in the family. I booked her and she got the chance after she turned 3 and on the first day the instructor thought she was doing somewhere because she was doing as if she started long back.

To cut the story short she has so many gifts and talents that I cannot allow her to do all she does in her private moments. With children of her age she treats them as infants that brings me fear that they might take advantage of her as she always do for their best not hers. She started preschool this is January and she already won the miss valentine contest. She plays the role of a doctor in the house and believe me when someone got hurt she knows all the necessary step the doctor does and she makes a follow up with you throughout the day checking how you are doing and encourages the patient to take some rest and gives mature advises. I have no idea what I should do as the school she is she does not like it though I encourage her that it's a good school all she could do when she comes back she starts narrating naming them accordingly this one is good and point that one is cruel.

I tried talking to the school in a soft way but the father does not like her to be exposed as that might cause concerns against her.

Is there a place where children are taken to see how great they are and polish them according to there gifts? Please help. Thanks.

A: Thank you for your kind words. I am assuming that your little one is three years old now and based on your description on her developmental milestones, she is definitely very advanced in comparison to her peers. It is great that you have noticed her gifts at an early age and nurtured them as much as you can.

A gifted toddler is very highly curious and thus wants to learn everything, as in the case of your child. At this stage, all she is doing is exploring and because she is cognitively advanced, she is able to learn things quickly and with deep interest. However, this may not last very long as they may get bored of similar activities especially for prolonged periods. Therefore, expose her to a variety of activities and allow her to indulge in it as long as it is safe. Allow her to explore as much as possible even if you may think she is too young. E.g., introduce her to the world of books, do museum visits, nature walks and chat a lot. If she is interested in music - which she probably would be, allow her to play a musical instrument. Get a toy instrument first or be creative and use pots and pan perhaps to create music. Or get her to compose her own song and recorded it. At the same time, introduce her to puzzles and measurements as an initial mathematical learning. She will learn very quickly. Most importantly, do not hold her back. Allow her to keep learning by making sure her activities are stimulating, accelerated and meaningful. Without challenge, she may get bored.

As much as there are valid concerns from your husband's side, she should not be held back at all. At play school, her teachers need to know that she may be a little different cognitively and requires more stimulating and challenging work. If the school is indifferent towards her needs, you may want to look around for a school with more flexibility - more unstructured and play-based activities. Talk so different school principals to get an idea of how they may be able to further develop her potential. Should they suggest you get her tested to get her the education she deserves, you may want to look into that. However, it is best to hold on with that unless it is the only way to show evidence of high ability to schools.

It would be a great idea to join a parents support group for gifted children to be able to get the much-needed support from similar groups. At this point, take it one day at a time. Allow her to be a child and do what she enjoys without compromising on her learning. Until she goes to formal school, a good preschool would be able to meet her needs at the same time allowing her to enjoy being a 3 year old. Initial social skills are crucial for a cognitively advanced child so make sure she has enough play time in groups - the preschool would be able to play this role.

Your little one is very special and your journey will be a very one too. Here's wishing you all the best in parenting your princess.


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