Friday, March 27, 2015

Is My Child Gifted?

Gifted?
For some reason, I never unsubscribed from BabyCenter alerts. Today this one showed up:
13 Signs Your Child is Gifted

I giggled my way through it because it's about as arbitrary as you can get when it comes to five-year-olds. But I'm sure there are tons of parents out there who obsess about this once they see those two pink lines on a pregnancy test.

I really didn't think I would have to worry about L.E. being gifted until 2nd grade. But what the hell, BabyCenter, I'll bite.

Let's see if L.E. is gifted.

  • Thinks abstractly – that is, she grasps advanced mathematical and linguistic concepts and can talk about such complex issues as ethics, morality, and religion. The other day, she asked me why the sun shines and then said, "It must be because it's smiling so much its face hurts and then it farts so it goes away." Mind-blowing, eh?
  • Has a specific talent, such as the ability to perform mathematical calculations in her head or understand concepts like multiplication before they are taught in school. I asked her what 2 x 2 is and she said 4. I asked what 3 x 3 is and she said 4. I asked 1 x 1 and she said 4. 
  • Is able to concentrate intently on one activity for long periods of time. Give her an iPad and she won't move for hours.
  • Has a large vocabulary and understands words not typically used by her peers. A car was coming as I was backing out of the driveway so I hit the brakes quickly. L.E. yelled, "OH SHIT!" I couldn't even get mad at her because her context was perfect.
  • Is a leader who often organizes group activities, such as initiating games with other children. "Mom, wanna play Hide & Seek? Mom, where are you going? You can't hide in the bathroom again!" Much door-banging ensues.
  • Is confident in her accomplishments and ideas "I'm the best drum-playing ever!" "I'm great at putting my shoes away." "I'm so good at drawing!"
  • Performs well academically. I can read her writing so that counts.
  • Is creative and loves to tell stories, draw, or compose songs. This is the story she told me the other day: "There is a rabbit named Jack. He is not a Jackrabbit. The end."
  • Has a sense of humor and appreciates wit. She giggles at farts. And the Silas Ramsbottom part of Despicable Me 2 reduces her to hysterics.

  • Prefers to spend time with older children and adults. As an only child, she has no choice most days.
  • Performs academic work that is two years ahead of her grade level. I can't figure out how to answer this because I don't know what 2nd graders learn. I'll take a pass on this one. Is this one of those "answer yes to more than five of these?" or is it "answer yes to ALL of these?"
  • Is sensitive to other people's feelings. "Mommy, you know what will make you feel better? Giving me jelly beans!"
  • Memorizes facts easily and can recall them and relate them at appropriate times. "Mom, please don't let George out the front door because then he runs away and you leave me in the yard like you did that one time." That happened over two years ago. And she told the story to my parents during Christmas dinner so she doesn't necessarily have "appropriate" down yet...
So what do you think? Should I be contacting MENSA? Does it really matter if she's gifted?

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