How to deal with kids like this?

@mimpi1911 (25479)
India
February 6, 2011 6:07am CST
Pali is a beautiful child. Chirpy, vibrant, loving - all that a five year old should be. She is up to date, smart and more mature than anyone of her age. She doesn't have to be told, she is a doer. Recently when the teacher asked her parents to see her, they were apprehensive. The teacher told them that Pali is non-responsive, slow, lagging behind and doesn't respond to commands. On the contrary, when she is asked to do anything she would not, when all other kids are happily doing it. This did not come much as a surprise since Pali cannot be made to do things if she doesn't want to. She will when she feels like. That is one problem that the parents have been facing. Pali is a normal child and quite intelligent but very sensitive and she never forgets things. This sometimes surprises me how she remembers every little detail. I can see the mother extremely upset over this. She thinks it's a parenting problem. Whatever, at the end of the day they are in distress. How do you think kids like this are to be understood?
6 people like this
17 responses
@Hatley (164448)
• Garden Grove, California
6 Feb 11
mimipi this sounds like my son way way back when he was in first grade.we finally after all sorts of c rap from the school found out he was bored silly,he had already learned to read at home before he started school and he already did math problems at third grade level and fouth grade level but first grade work he did it when he wanted and not when just told to;.so finally we went to a child pscychologist who gave him some tests. we were so nervous. then he said he needs to be in a school where he can progress at his own speed he is way smarter than first graders. So we got a grant and got him in a school for advanced high IQ children and he was a whole different child. He was challenged and he made good grades and even missed a few but he worked at a faster pace than in an ordinary school. He graduated at sixteen with a year of college cresits toward an aa too in junior college.Sadly now he is out of a full time job as computer programmer and doing part time work but it is a job until he can get full time job.Here in C alifornia there are hundreds for every job opening. economy is in the waste basket here.prices out of sight and no jobs.
1 person likes this
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
7 Feb 11
He will get a job soon. My wishes for him. Your son has been lucky to have wonderful parents to understand him. Pali also has understanding parents. Only yesterday my sister was asking me to take an appointment with a psycho-analyst who might help them out. I personally feel homeschooling would be a good option. However, it is a challenge since it's just got governmental accreditation.
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
7 Feb 11
This also was my thoughts and I was going to suggest a child behaviorist or psychologist just for a consult. I know I was smart and bright but was haveing difficulties is early grade school. In retrospect now I know my problems were that I was bored, I was being bullied by the elite clique, I was having abuse problems at home and was just unhappy with my home life. That's a lot of stress for a grade school kid. I turned out alright (or think I did anyway). I kinds studied psychology and did my own therapy for a time and then went thru an organized therapy program for a 3 month run when I had grown a bit and got out of the home abuse situation. One thing that helped me a lot to come out of my shell was reading. I was way beyond grade levels in reading and enjoyed it so. Still do. So why don't you think about and talk with your family about a psychology consult? Medical checkup wouldn't hurt either.
@zweeb82 (5713)
• Malaysia
6 Feb 11
Hmm...do the parents talk to her & communicate with her a lot? I mean although she's very mature, she's still a kid & sometimes they might forget that since she's always a doer & doesn't have to be told. She still needs to be taught what is right & what is wrong & what to do or what not to do, if not, she''l have her own system set up which now has become a problem. She need to understand that we don't only do things when we "feel" like it. Well, just my opinion.
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
7 Feb 11
Thanks zweeb. Her parents are very supportive and spends quality time with her explaining the ways of the world. She apparently understands but when real situation comes she does her mind. She understands the rights and the wrongs and sensitive and sensible but it's difficult in certain situations.
1 person likes this
@zweeb82 (5713)
• Malaysia
7 Feb 11
Hmm.....teenage years come in early? Hahaha!~Maybe she's trying to test her boundaries?
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
7 Feb 11
May be! Who knows!
1 person likes this
@MaryLynn321 (2680)
• United States
6 Feb 11
It could be that the parents need to give the little one praise when she does something that is asked of her. Also to know that there will be consequences if she does not do what is asked of her. Maybe some rewards if she does what is asked of her, to give her incentive to do what she is asked. She is only 5 and should not be choosing what she wants to do. She needs to know right from wrong, and that it is wrong not to do as her teachers ask. Has Pali been tested to see if there are any existing problems. A child needs to have structure and guidance, that is how they learn and also learn to exist in this world.
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
7 Feb 11
You got my point Mary. Children instinctively do what they are asked to. In rare cases we find them behaving differently, which is when we seek consultant's opinion. The mother, one of my cousin sisters, is very sensible and balanced kind never overdoes things. At home she is still OK but in school, which apparently she loves going, things get different. Not all teacher would praise her everytime!
• United States
7 Feb 11
Usually the first year of school is the toughest on the little ones, it makes them more independent and some of them are not real good at handling it. They are confused and not sure what to do. All the parents have to do is sit down with the little one and reinforce things so they know if a teacher asks them to do something they should, within reason of course.
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
8 Feb 11
That's true Mary. The parents have the major role to play for they are ones who understand their children more than anyone else.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
7 Feb 11
Sensitive, intelligent children need very sensitive and sensible handling mimpi. Is the mother a working woman? Is she a very sensitive, caring person who would devote all her time to the child without smothering it? Are the parents totaly intandem in their beliefs about the upbringing of the kid? Tell me the answers and we will take it thereon.I have had one anxious , highly educated parent entrust her child with me quite a few years back and I can remember her problems..SHe was a relative and friend and I helped her out and the outcome was successful .
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
7 Feb 11
One more question--Are the parents very rich or are they both doctors?
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
7 Feb 11
Thanks Kala. As to your quesries: 1) The mother is not working anywhere. She is sensitive and tries her best to devote time to her daughter just as any other mother does. However she never overdoes. 2) Yes they are. The parents have good understanding and decide together. 3) Even though they are affluent the lifestyle hardly reflects that. They live a simple life.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
7 Feb 11
THanks for the answers.Incidentally, now that the child is 5 years old, does she have a brother or sister? THen the problem may be one of attention-seeking, a feeling of being left out because she had been the apple of her parents' eye earlier and now there is another one who is providing greater magnetism at home[now with the little one at home ,I was discussing this issue with my son only yesterday]. I can give one suggestion--try it out. THe child needs a lot of boosting and en couragement.Instead of telling her to do something, the mother can talk to her rationally [treat her as an adult] and tell her how capable she is and what favour she would be doing the parents by doing her work. Secondly, there may be a chance thta the child has not taken to the school and teacher. THere must have been a bit of brainwashing before the child is admitted in school.Now it is not possible to brainwash the kid about what a great place school is. Let the mother sit with ths child , draw pictures and study with her. Ask the child to take two days leave and do work at home.[a holiday where the motehr really talks to the daughte r in confidence and finds out the problem. A five year old can still have some problems which she would share. How was she in her LKG AND UKG? Is there a chance that the child is dyslexic?
@jessxu (35)
• China
6 Feb 11
As you said,the girl is more mature than anyone of her age.I suspect if she think it is too easy to do it.Or she is more mature than other children,resulting in her odd behavior:she doesn't like to play with other children,she just do what she likes.Or if she doesn't like her teacher or a child in her class,so doesn't respond to commands when she feels dislike.If for these reasons that resulting in her odd behavior.I hope the teacher and parents should spend more time with her.It is better to become her friends.She can't tell you the reason since she is too young,but maybe you can get the reason yourself when playing with her.
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
7 Feb 11
Even though she is more mature than children of her age, she is still too young to talk these things out. She doesn't know why she behaves like this or why she doesn't follow the instructions of the teachers. May be she doesn't like the school but then why would she wake up early in the morning and get herself ready for it! She wouldn't miss school even!
@jessxu (35)
• China
8 Feb 11
Yes,she is so young,only 5 years.But,anyhow,spend more time with her.At least,it will not get worse,may it find out the reason.
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
9 Feb 11
Thanks jess.
@JenInTN (27564)
• United States
7 Feb 11
It's tough but she is going to need alot of guidance. When I say that it doean't mean that she is bad..she just has all this energy and opinion and doesn't know how to express it. Her parents are doing what they can but sometimes very smart children can be stubborn too...lol...I think I might try and teach her to focus her energy on accomplishing the assignments given by the teacher...like challenge her. Tell her things like show them how good you can do it. I know you can do it even better than the others....stuff like that. Teach her to be kind with her competitive tools though.
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
7 Feb 11
Yes she is stubborn. She does well when she is challenged. Her mother does all of that. However, the teacher would not. The individual care is difficult to get in schools.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
7 Feb 11
One should tell the child to do something and the child must be convinced that it is her/his duty to do it mimpi. CHallenging the child is never a good strategy .Children are also individuals, have self respect and are extemely sensitive.Getting a child to perform to its full potential is a task thta the mother needs to handle very carefully. Parents should never have any expectations from the child and in this day of comepetiton parents need to be very sensible.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
7 Feb 11
They need to be understood as who they are. I have seen quite a few kids like this (my friends' children as well as students). They cannot be forced to do anything unless they choose to do so themselves. But they are bright and intelligent children. Our academic system has no place for such children. It's not the parents' fault or a parenting problem. But I have no practical solution that can be given besides putting the child in a school which has a little more freedom as far as academics in concerned. A Reggio Emilia or Waldorf approach might work.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
7 Feb 11
I just went through the other comments. If the girl loves a challenge, that's what she needs. Each activity needs to be a challenge to better herself. Have an incentive chart or a level that she is trying to achieve. For example, needs to learn 3 new words a day. Make a chart and keep ticking as she does her daily quota. The mother may have an incentive for the child at the end of the month...a day out at some place the child likes or a special treat.
@elmiko (6640)
• United States
7 Feb 11
i'm confused
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
9 Feb 11
Me too
@shuley (369)
7 Feb 11
I am a mother of boys, so I can relate a little and I guess Pali is a bright girl.
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
7 Feb 11
Yes she is and so are your boys.
@jdyrj777 (6556)
• United States
6 Feb 11
I do not know but wish i did. My son was always very much like this too.
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
7 Feb 11
@tutul0045 (2631)
• India
6 Feb 11
Hi mimpi, Hmm.. honestly as u wrote pali is only 5 year old. I dont think there is anything to worry. I love kids a lot and i spend a lot of time with my cousins who are all under 10 yrs of age now. The point is at her age is she is bound to behave odd sometimes. There is no need to worry or panic. When i was of that age i was very much like alice in wonderland. I had a world of my own where i use to get lost and play some very extra ordinary games , LOL. And iam sure iam not the only one. Sometimes parents do act stupid and force things on their kids and it should be avoided. Kids learn a lot quicker and with time they just get normal. I would love to recommend u and pali and her parents to watch the movie " Taare Zameen par " if u have not seen it already Cheers, Tutul
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
7 Feb 11
You may be right tutul. However,the parents are sensible and not overbearing. They understand and do not pamper or ignore her. I just hope it is just a matter of time and things will improve soon. Tanks for your perspective. It means a lot.
@alokn99 (5717)
• India
6 Feb 11
This is a very complex situation for the parents and they can be in a very unsure position of what is to be done. I have seen quite similar situations with some kids, I can only say that since the child is only 5 years old, it may be better to watch for sometime. Things can change pretty fast. Maybe one of the parent whould try and get close to the child to understand her feeling better. She should be encouraged to socialise with friends her age, if not at school then at home. Kids learn from friends very quicky. On getting her to accept commands-maybe a reward for asking her to do things helps. The more someone spends time and talks to her, I think the more she will open out and things will change. As you have described her to be intelligent and mature, I think it is with the patient guidance that this intelligence and maturity needs to be nurtured.
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
7 Feb 11
She is actually 4 year and a few month old and when we are dealing with someone of her age it's sometimes hard to streamline the reasons as to why she is like this. Sometimes it's just her whim. The parents are sensible and know their stuffs. So, I see it more as a case of a different kind of child whose psyche is different than most.
@elitess (5072)
• Ipswich, England
6 Feb 11
Hello mimpi. I am not a parrent, so i don't know how qualified i am on this one, but it sounds to me that this girl is really smart, and smart kids have socialising problems and "keeping up with the herd" if you know what i mean - she sounds more willing to be different and this types of persons usually have great achievements in life so i think their parents should not stress too much about it, and actually try talking to her about it and explain that some things she must do to pass those classes.
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
7 Feb 11
Thanks Alex. Yes she is smarter than most kids of her age. Talking things out and explaining do help but she has to go beyond the family comfort. The teachers have their own set of discipline and rules which she would not abide by.
@drannhh (15241)
• United States
15 Feb 11
Although I realize that kids have to behave properly, I do think having them act like sheep is unhealthy for the kids, their families, and society. Sometimes extremely bright kids are labeled as troublemakers because they do not conform. Sometimes they are just ahead of their teachers and their peers.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Feb 11
With a child like this, a teacher really needs to understand that they can't be too strict with the child. I know this because Pali sounds exactly like my Kathryn. She is a very sensitive individual and at school I actually had to request that she didn't have a specific teacher for first grade last year because that teacher was too stern with her students. If Kathryn has someone guiding her that is softer spoken, she tends to do a lot better.
@dpk262006 (56599)
• Delhi, India
7 Feb 11
Hi Mimpi! Her parents need to remember that every child is different. In a class there would be some slow students and some very sharp. Each child will not top the class, it is for sure. However, they should not under-estimate their daughter. She may be having many other qualities (like a sharp memory) which others may not have. Those qualities needed to be highlighted and developed further by her parents. I feel she (the child) is lacking self confidence. I think parents of Pali needs to instill confidence in her. She needs to be handled very politely and very tenderly and needs to be told the importance of 'performing' in the class. Her parents should devout more time with her and should not scold or scare her for her short comings. Children are very sensitive and tender at heart and if their parents continue to scold or scare them, they lose their self confidence and this causes problems in their performance. All the best to her.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
7 Feb 11
THanks for the answers.Incidentally, now that the child is 5 years old, does she have a brother or sister? THen the problem may be one of attention-seeking, a feeling of being left out because she had been the apple of her parents' eye earlier and now there is another one who is providing greater magnetism at home[now with the little one at home ,I was discussing this issue with my son only yesterday]. I can give one suggestion--try it out. THe child needs a lot of boosting and en couragement.Instead of telling her to do something, the mother can talk to her rationally [treat her as an adult] and tell her how capable she is and what favour she would be doing the parents by doing her work. Secondly, there may be a chance thta the child has not taken to the school and teacher. THere must have been a bit of brainwashing before the child is admitted in school.Now it is not possible to brainwash the kid about what a great place school is. Let the mother sit with ths child , draw pictures and study with her. Ask the child to take two days leave and do work at home.[a holiday where the motehr really talks to the daughte r in confidence and finds out the problem. A five year old can still have some problems which she would share. How was she in her LKG AND UKG? Is there a chance that the child is dyslexic?