Your 28-month-old: Gifted kids

Your 28-month-old: Gifted kids

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Your 2-year-old now

Preschoolers seem to learn so much, so fast. Can you know at this age if your child is gifted? Learning specialists say that sometimes it's clear from infancy that a child learns more quickly than others his age. But for many children, signs of giftedness — usually defined as achievement in one area that's much deeper and faster than that of a child's peers — aren't evident until the elementary school years.

There are many different kinds of giftedness. More common than being brilliant at everything is a child whose talents lie in certain areas. Some kids may have extra-strong spatial or musical aptitudes, for example, while others excel in physical activities or are further along verbally than other kids their age.

Try not to get hung up on the "gifted" label. What an advanced preschooler needs is exactly the same as her peers: lots of stimulation in the form of conversation, books, fresh air, diverse and challenging play experiences, and exposure to new people and places — along with plenty of free play and downtime.

At this age, a gifted child can thrive at home or in a daycare that meets those needs, but an environment with an academic, learn-and-drill emphasis, even for the brightest preschooler, is universally frowned on by child development specialists because it emphasizes skills that will be easily learned later at the expense of the creativity, repetitive play, and security that studies show the brain needs most during the preschool years in order to function optimally later.

Your life now

Popping in a DVD or turning on the TV can buy you a precious half-hour to cook, pay bills, or just catch your breath. Small amounts of viewing — under two hours per day for 2-year-olds, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics — won't harm your child. But bear in mind that excessive TV viewing by the very young has been linked with slower language development, obesity, and attention problems.

Stick to age-appropriate, commercial-free preschooler shows. (Cartoons and sitcoms geared to older kids can be frightening or confusing.) As handy as the tube may be, reserve turning it on for those moments when you really have to get something done instead of making it a part of your child's daily routine.

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Watch the video: Gifted Children 2011 Documentary (January 2023).

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