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Thread: Am i pushing my child too far?

  1. #1

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    Default Am i pushing my child too far?

    Hi,

    My son has turned 6 in March and is going to grade 2. He only did 2 terms of prep and 1 term of grade 2 and was away 1 term overseas on holidays all in his first year at school (last year).

    This year he is in grade 2 and finds the work easy. I don't know if should ask the school whether he should be given grade 3 work as well?



    We want to enrol him in Spanish classes. He already speaks English, fluent Turkish, learns Arabic at school and now may be Spanish too. He will be taking up saxophone lessons at school this term too.

    He doesn't have many friends where we live and his school is an islamic school so no kids where we live go there. We need to occupy his time after school with some extra-curricular activities. he doesn't like sport very much as we tried swimming and he bombed out after a few classes. He is solid for his age but has lost a lot of weight through the help of a dietician. He loves Foxtel and Xbox and the computer, like all kids his age but i don't want to lose him to the TV!
    Am i pushing him to far?
    What other extra activities can he do?

    Thanks for your comments in advance.

  2. #2

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    TD, I would say be guided by your DS. I think some children need constant stimulation and challenges and others don't do well with too much activity. See how he is responding to things and take it from there. I would also say by that age that you could probably start asking him about whether or not he wants to do things. GL, I hope you find the balance that works for him.

  3. #3

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    Hi TD

    Sounds like you have a very bright young boy on your hands!!!

    One of the things I would suggest is ensuring that you are balancing up the 'intellectual' stimulation with 'social/emotional' stimulation.

    I work alot with very bright children who struggle socially. I'm not sure if this is your little boy, and I hope I'm not speaking out of turn, but I think it's really important when you have a bright child to make sure that you aren't 'watering and nurturing just one part of the garden'.

    If possible, I would encourage you to find some way to organise informal play overs where he is just hanging out with other kids. Perhaps have a play over 1x fortnight.

    Social/emotional development is incredibly important. There's a great book called "emotional intelligence" by Daniel Goleman which you may find interesting to read.

    Anyway...again, I hope I haven't spoken (written) out of turn...and I wish you all the very best.

  4. #4

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    With regards to school work his teachers will give him harder work if they feel its needed, they are the professionals and will know what he is capable of and teach accordingly.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the comments.

    MantaRay - i do ask him as to what he wants to do and he says nothing or shakes his head as he finds watching Ben10 more exciting. We found a private tutor who will teach him Spanish and now he doesn't want to do it. I offered to sit in the tutoring with him and that we could both learn Spanish, which has he kind of accepted. He just wants to do nothing after school!

    I, growing up was not given the opportunity to do extra activities as my parents did not speak English that well to enrol me in things like that. I guess in a way, i want him to offer him the things that my hubby and i missed out on.

    Monnie- i will definitely seek out that book you recommended. I truly agree with your comment about not watering only one section of the garden, but that section is the part that flourishes with Devrim. As you said, i don't want him to be a hermit or a recluse or be bright but not be social at the same time. He loves playing with his friends at school and i guess i should have more playtime with his friends on a regular basis outside of school.
    We were going to have his IQ tested but was told not to do it and to let him be a kid. If you spoke to him and heard his responses you would not believe that he was only 6. He had to sit an entrance exam to be able to enter into his school and he got 80% on a grade 2 test when he was 5, then. I want him to be stimulated all the time!

    Mrsmac - the school does not want him to be lifted to grade 3 as they think that he is not socially ready and would be picked on by the older kids, who would be then 3-4 years older than he is. I go to the bookshops and buy homework books which we do together in the evening after his regular homework.

    I don't know....

  6. #6

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    What about scouts? Do you have a local branch?
    Or he might enjoy chess - lots of children do.
    Maybe he could do some volunteering - visit the local old people's home.
    Does he have a bicycle?

  7. #7

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    Dachlostar,

    Thanks for the chess idea. he loves chess. I'll check out if there are any chess clubs in the area. He will be so excited if there is one!

  8. #8

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    Some schools have chess clubs, we do.

  9. #9

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    I really really appreciate all your comments and suggestions. Thank you.

    There is a chess club (but its a bit too far, which provide coaching etc..) but i don't think i'll be able to take him as hubby and i both work. I will definitely enquire with the school if there is a chess club or suggest one if there isn't. I will check with the school as to the extra-curricular activites they offer. Devrim hasn't been at this school for too long (2 terms only) so we are still finding our way around as to what they offer etc..

    Devrim suggested doing saxophone at school so he will definitely take that up this term as well.

    I found a website which is an association for gifted children in Victoria. I will put a phone call into them as to what services they offer.

  10. #10

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    HI TD,

    You must be so proud!
    DSS is not advanced, but is very much so on the bright side - he too would rather watch Ben10 or play XBox, or sit in his room and draw or write stories!
    he has joined a teakowndo club which helps with his socialisation.

    In my opinion, it would be good if you could find something that was team based for him to join, instead of the more antisocial things like music or chess... purely for the fact that as you mentioned above, he will not be put up another year as he is not yet socially ready for it - children that are gifted will be targeted by kids that see him as a threat (even if they dont know that this is why they are picking on him) - getting him to extend himself into something that is more social will not only help him physically but also will help with integration.

    just my opinion thou - hope it helps

  11. #11

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    sorry cant help you much with your DS but just thought I would pop in to see if you were planning on coming to the Berwick meet I will have my DS there ( 8yrs ) who is also in yr 2 like I said cant help with the gifted area but maybe with the social, we have only just moved here so haven't joined any sporting groups yet but hope to next year...If they got along they could join up together...

  12. #12

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    Hi Sehra

    I would tend to agree with the school about not putting him up a grade. Academically primary school is so much more about instilling the basics like reading writing and basic maths and learning the process of learning but most importantly it is about learning the basic social graces and how to get along with other children and how to interact appropriately. I don't think that putting him into a class with kids who are several years older than him will do him any favours in the long run.

    As for extra activities. I think that all the suggestions from others have been great, but remember that kids need down time too. It is hugely important for them to be given the opportunity to occupy themselves and use their imagination and creativity to entertain themselves - things like turning an old cardboard box into a pirate ship or a spaceshuttle or mission control or whatever and letting their imagination run wild with it. If they have activities filling every moment of their day they never have the opportunity to just daydream.

    He sounds like a really talented little fellow

  13. #13

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    Hi,

    Devrim had mentioned Taekwondo but i know that he won't be able to do it. I guess i will have to enrol him and just see how far he takes it. I really hate enrolling him into something, paying all the fees, buying all the stuff he needs and then after 1-2 classes he doesn't want to go and puts up a fight with me when i want to take him. Grrr. We did this when he wanted to go and do indoor soccer and swimming. He only attended one session of soccer and probably 6-7 lessons of swimming.

    He also talks sooooooooooo much that DH and i at dinner sometimes never get to chat about our day as Devrim is the one who does ALL the talking. I spoke to his teacher 1-2 weeks ago and asked what are some of the things that she would complain about him and she said that he talks too much in class and has often had to tell him that she needed to teach the class and then he could put his 5cents worth in at the end after she finishes. He also has very crappy handwriting. I've bought handwriting books to train him to write properly but refuses to do them unless i sit there with him and force him to do it.

    i guess a few of the first things i need to do is, find out about a chess club at school, enrol him in Taekwondo, organise his Spanish classes and enrol him into Saxophone classes at school. I really hope he carries through with the Taekwondo (he isn't like normal boys who enjoy fighting and rough play, so i have my doubts on this one).

    Thank you to each and every one of you

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turkish Delight View Post
    Hi,
    I really hate enrolling him into something, paying all the fees, buying all the stuff he needs and then after 1-2 classes he doesn't want to go and puts up a fight with me when i want to take him. Grrr. We did this when he wanted to go and do indoor soccer and swimming. He only attended one session of soccer and probably 6-7 lessons of swimming.
    I think that you need to persist with most sports until they pick up the skills they need to enjoy it.
    Yasin wasn't too keen on his first soccer classes but after a month or so he started to pick up the skills and understand the game play and now he's right into it. Same with skiing - he wasn't sure after his first class and kicked up a fuss about going to the second class but when I took him to the third class he couldn't wait to leave me and get into the class.
    One lesson isn't really giving it a chance. Maybe you should cut a deal where he's only allowed to enroll if he commits to the whole term.
    I think that Muppity is totally on the mark about children needing down-time. We won't have an x-box etc in the house because we want to force the boys to find their own fun. I'm a bit of a meany with the DVDs too. They have to have a few TV free days every week.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by dachlostar View Post
    I think that Muppity is totally on the mark about children needing down-time. We won't have an x-box etc in the house because we want to force the boys to find their own fun. I'm a bit of a meany with the DVDs too. They have to have a few TV free days every week.
    DSS rarely watches TV with us as we are always doing something, he watches ben10 sat mornings then the TV is off and we are usually renovating the house or busy catching up with people, he has grown to love this time (didnt to start with) so will either now help or play outside. Some weekends, we will sit down Sunday night and he will say "wow, we havent watched TV since Ben10." i asked if he missed it and he said that he didnt even think of it until now!

    He also was not a kid that was into play fighting or anything like that, but the taekwando has helped him be more of a little boy and enjoy these things.

    As for the equipment, it comes with the lessons as they are earnt. ie he cant get leg guards yet as he isnt up to that stage, when he is, they are supplied as part of the fees.

    At dinner time, why dont you take turns asking a question of each other? after the question has been answered its the next persons turn to speak. Its great that he is so articulate, but also needs to learn that other peoples POV is also important...

    HTH

  16. #16

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    I agree with broadening his social skills AND having down time as well. I think Scouts/Cubs would be really worth a go as its got lots of different things that appeal. I'll be putting Ds into Cubs as soon as he is old enough.

    I also agree with not putting him up in primary school. I was always younger than everyone and that just annoyed me. The work was easy and (guess what!) ended up talking though everything. I ended up being given extra work to shut me up.

    I also lept a year in high school, but at my own insistence. I left one school to skip a year at another but it didn't work out as I ended up sick and lost my entire last year at school. It would have been far better for me for my original secondary college to have put me up a year there. No one (except my homeroom teacher) noticed that although I was always kicked out of my yr 9 classes, I was totally at home in the yr 12 classes that my homeroom teacher used to drag me to so I wasn't clowning around outside the room....

    So maybe look at advancement in yr 9-10, where you (now) can take extension classes. My DD was doing yr 8 maths in yr 7, it was no big deal...

  17. #17

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    I think if the only focus is academic/physical improvement then yes you are pushing him too far... sowwie I think all kids need down time, and not just using their imagination. Television isn't the evil box, nor are digital games brain numbing. A recent study in the UK showed that children who used DS's before school for 10 mins had a 16% increase in concentration and the ability to learn. Yes I'm not one for First Person Shooters or violent games, but I think some console games are not mindless, just as TV isn't. Try not to focus too much on activities that are only to help excel. Its been proven that plain old fun is a very big necessity, and too many parents these days feel the need to push for activities that only benefit the brain or the body... sometimes just a bit of silly fun or a little wind down time in front of the TV is ok. I totally agree with Lulu's post. And keep in mind that often schools do not like to put a child up a few years when if they are suffering socially it can stop the urge to learn or enjoy school.

    Please remember children are only children once, and how boring life would be if we learnt all we needed to in the first 20 years of our life!

    I think its wonderful that you questioning this, and it shows you really care for your sons future

  18. #18

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    Hi,

    Niliac - i know that i might be pushing my son too far or asking him to live out my dreams as a kid which i never got a chance to do. Many people have told that i am a nasty mum, in the sense that i don't allow my son to be a kid and that i give him more "homework" than what the school just provides. He is on holidays at the moment and i have bought educational homework books to complete whilst i'm at work. I may be just providing him the work because i know that he is capable. i want him to be "the best". i guess i am the one with the problem, being a perfectionist.

    I spoke to my son re: Taekwondo as i was going to start phoning around for classes but when asked him AGAIN whether or not he wants to go to Taekwondo his remark was simply "i don't want to get bashed by other kids". i guess he does not know that Taekwondo is not about bashing other people up. I've explained what is and he still doesn't want to go. He wants to learn to play chess.

    What am i going to do with this kid?? He doesn't want to do anything.

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