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I posted here once before about my son Darius, who is not yet 2 1/2 but I suspect is very bright or even gifted. He knows all his letters and sounds, is starting to read some basic words, knows left from right, understands some abstract concepts, got the concepts of addition and subtraction very quickly, etc. etc. and overall meets many of the descriptions of a gifted toddler. No one in our families has ever had formal testing, but I suspect that I would not have been classified as gifted (just a high academic achiever) but that DH (and other members of his family) would be.
Lately Darius has been misbehaving a lot more(hitting, defiance), fussing more about everything, and just overall is acting out. DH is home with him all but 2 1/2 days a week, when he is in day care, and DH works from home. I have been home a little more lately (and less active with him) because I am pregnant with twins, and my instinct tells me that Darius is bored, frustrated, high energy and under-stimulated and that this (along with the usual terrible twos, lol) is why he is acting like this now. He seems mad and frustrated often for no apparent reason, and when I watch him my gut is really telling me its restlessness and boredom (he got bored a lot as a baby too). Needless to say, DH is getting increasingly frustrated, which just adds to the problem.
Were your TAG LO's very high energy when they were little? Darius will often run back and forth in the house for long periods of time pushing a wagon or truck, over and over again, like he has all this pent up energy. I really think he needs more stimulation, because whenever I am around and able to do activities like crafts, baking, reading, puzzles etc. he seems to me to be much better behaved throughout the day. It really seems like he needs lots of stimulation, that it doesn't really matter if its physical or mental. He is just a happier kid when he has more planned activities going on. DH is very resistant to my ideas in general, saying that I'm not around much I don't understand or see what they do day to day. He is sensitive and thinks my opinions are attacks on how he is parenting, though they aren't (overall he does an amazing job). DH does some activities with him, puzzles, blocks, etc. and takes him to the playground a lot when the weather is nice, but from what I have been seeing lately Darius is otherwise mostly doing free play and watching tv (don't get me started) while DH works, etc.
hmmm... maybe this ended up being more of a rant than anything. I would really love to know for those of you that had very high energy toddlers how you handled it. I know this fairly common in gifted kids. Also if you have any ideas of what I can get for Darius that doesn't have to be parent led and would occupy him, I would very much appreciate it! Any other tips for dealing with this are also welcome! Thanks for reading!!
Big Brother Darius excited for the arrival of
Marcus and Sophie
Sounds completely normal to me, honestly. All 2 year olds are like that to some degree. I'm also not opposed to TV. I think it's a wonderful tool (as long as it's not Spongebob or Simpsons... LOL!) Anything on PBS is great, for example. So are classic toys that don't require batteries --> wooden blocks, lego blocks, playdoh, crayons, sticks, rocks, dirt, empty boxes, pillows, sheets, dress-up clothes, and of course, books, books, books.
I don't think being gifted has anything to do with energy level. That's more of a personality trait than anything. My oldest has never been high energy or high maintenance. Even as a baby, he would sit in his bouncer looking around the room, soaking up everything he could see. My younger is a little more energetic and defiant than my older, but still manages to entertain himself quite well. I do structured things with both of them (obviously... we homeschool), but I also give them tons of unstructured/independent time, and I always have. When they get "bored", I remind them of the bazillion toys and books we have around them house and that kids didn't even have 1/4 of that 100 years ago. They get the hint and find something to do. (Even at 2.) Helping a 2 year old find something to do is fine, but encouraging him to be creative will really help develop his problem solving skills and will take away some of that energy.
Are you having him help around the house yet? Picking up his own toys & dirty clothes? Putting silverware from the dishwasher to the drawer? Being a helper will run out energy, too. It's difficult for 2 year olds to do more than one task or command at the same time, so it drains energy and teaches a new cognitive skill when they're physically helping like that. Assign a task, and then carry on a completely unrelated conversation while he's doing it.