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More You Know You're The Parent
of a Gifted Child When...

collected by Carolyn K., director, Hoagies' Gifted Education Page
copyright 1998-2012 Carolyn K.

Please contact Carolyn K. before reprinting any part of this page.

The younger kids...

And the older kids...

Even When...!

Don't miss... You Know You're The Parent of a Gifted Child When...

The younger kids...

bulletThis weekend, I heard about my 7-year-old son's plan to save the California loggerhead shrike from extinction as well as his very detailed scheme, developed on the fly, to form a "kids' resistance army" to fight the government in the event that communists take over. (He had asked us to explain communism; the idea that his property -- his books! his stuffed birds! -- could be appropriated spurred him into action, LOL.) I see how he learns: he spends a huge amount of time reading and watching videos; all of the information percolates through his brain for months, and then one day, out of the blue, he bursts forth with a half-hour lecture on some topic. I just do not think this fits in with school. -- Sarah
bulletI needed to return something yesterday, and I knew I had put the receipt in a very safe place with all of the other receipts I need but can never find (until 6 months later).  The girl at the store nicely says "No problem, I just need to know exactly what day and time you were here and the register you used and I can find your receipt." Right, no problem, for the person who can't even fathom where the original receipt (still safe) is. So I look to my 5-year-old for help, and to the clerk's astonishment, my daughter is able to remember the date ("a week ago Thursday - remember mom, I was wearing my daisy uniform?") and the register we had used a week before. The clerk looks up the date/time/register and sure enough, there's a record of our transaction.  She says she has never seen a 5-year-old who could remember things like that! -- Rebecca
bulletYour 20-month-old puts the wooden alphabet "P" in the toilet because that's where pee goes... -- Shelia
bulletYour 24-month-old says, "Big Bird isn't real, is he?" You say, "What makes you say that?" He says, "His tongue doesn't move." -- Karen
bulletYour deaf blind 5-year-old, after study a spider on the swing set for a few minutes, asks you if spiders have hearts. When after looking up the answer on the internet because you have no idea (the answer is yes), she then asks if the hearts in spiders are the same as in humans, that is do they have 4 chambers. Then you get into a discussion of closed and open circulatory systems... -- Michelle
bulletOK, I admit it, I have used math to bribe my very picky eater to eat.  It went something like this, if you take a bite of chicken I will give you another math problem to solve.  20 math problems later we were done.  He had just turned 4 at the time. -- Julie
bulletYour 6-year-old is discussing how in the absence of light all colors are the same. When Mom asks "How did you get so smart?", he responds "I guess telepathically." -- J
bulletYour 24-month-old is jumping on the bed and playing and laughing and saying perfectly "Look mom, I'm being rambunctious!" -- Cairah
bulletAs usual, my two-and-a-half year-old daughter was lying in bed surrounded by books and a flashlight. Pointing to one of her favorite books, she asked, "Mama, can you read this to me?"
     Perplexed, because for months she had loved to read this book to herself, I said, "You can read it to yourself, bud."
     Triumphantly, as if expecting that I would say exactly what I had said, she turned to the back cover of the book (a cover to which I had paid absolutely no attention at all), and read with a note of gleeful satisfaction, "For Parents to read to their children." -- Charles
bulletThe plants in our garden are thriving, but some, including hostas, have holes in the leaves. I did a little reading and decided it might be snails. So I bought disposable pie tins and beer to use as "slug traps." Explained this to 7-year-old son; he followed me out thoughtfully while I placed the traps, then asked, "Isn't there an open container ordinance?" He did not, however, contact law enforcement to report my possible violation... -- Carol
bulletWhen your 2.5 year-old, who breaks and scrambles her eggs in a bowl every morning, announces she is going to cook them today. You nicely explain that she is too little to cook on the stove and when she is bigger she may cook them herself. The next morning she scrambles her eggs in a bowl and announces that she is going to cook them herself today. You politely remind her that you had this conversation yesterday and she needs to wait until she is bigger. AND (ready?) she puts her hands on her hips, stomps her foot, lets out a little growl of frustration, and then firmly but politely explains to you "Me am bigger. Me growing everyday!" -- Sherry  (Despite the very accurate and correct argument, I did NOT let her cook her own eggs.)
bulletYour 3 -year-old looks at the black patch on the sidewalk and says "Look, mommy, there's asphalt on the cement!"
bulletYour three-and-a-half-year-old asks you whether the rats were still really "of NIMH" after they escaped, figures out why someone might argue each side of the question, and then comes to the conclusion that they were different enough from the way they were before that yes, they were still "of NIMH."
bulletYour four-year-old asks, "Dad, if you divide infinity into two piles, what is in each pile?"  Dad replies "Each pile still has infinity."  Son continues "Yes, that's right. And since both infinities are the same, infinity is even." -- Yvonne, who probably needs to brush up on her mathematical proofs...
bulletYour six-year-old decides to enrich his vocabulary. Words like persistent, turmoil, unruly, contemptuous and minuscule pepper his conversations. The words for today are "brainwashing" and "envenomate". -- Sarah, who is beginning to wonder just what her son is reading in his free time, and who had to do a Google search to even determine that "envenomate" is a real word
bulletYour just-turned-5-year-old now reads nutritional labels on food obsessively. I think it's because she's picked up her father's habit of reading packages when no other reading matter is handy. But it's getting ridiculous. I gave her some Teddy Grahams for a snack this evening. She immediately read the side of the box, frowned at me sternly, and complained, "Mama, there are zero grams of dietary fiber in this! There are eight grams of sugar! And no protein! This is candy!" -- Bonnie (Yes, I recognize she may have a point about the Teddy Grahams...)
bulletYou have to correct the vocabulary of your 3-year-old... by explaining the difference between invincible and invisible. -- Lisa
bulletYour two-year-old asks you to draw her a picture of God and an angel, and you say that you don't know how to draw God because you've never seen Him. She says, "I know how, Mama. Don't worry. I'll show you." Then she draws a typical toddler style picture of a person with a head and a body and arms, but the arms stretch all the way across the paper. You ask, "Why does God have such long arms?" and she replies, "Mama, that's so He can pick us up when we fall!" -- Melinda
bulletYou have 2 feet of snowfall. You look out the window and see your 3 and 5-year-olds laying down on the snow with their legs and arms spread wide, pulling themselves along. You ask what they are doing and your 5-year-old replies "well, we kept falling too deep into the snow to play, so we decided to spread out body weight out over a wider surface area just like polar bears do. You know, Mom, if we had snowshoes, they would function on the same principle..." -- Jennifer
bulletMy daughter was playing with a calculator and asked what the "x" was for. I explained that it was for multiplication, and explained that 4 multiplied by 2 is the same as two fours. She punched in "3 x 9" and then started arguing with the calculator that 27 was not the right answer, finally sitting down, putting up 9 fingers, and counting them three times to figure out the "real" answer (but still refused to accept it ;-). She was 4 years old, and you would have needed a front loader to scoop my jaw off the floor. -- Ambre
bulletYour 6-year-old asks where she should sign the forms from the school that will give them permission to test her for gifted education. After all, as she points out, her parents aren't the ones who are being tested, she is!  And as for the program, she will decide whether or not she wants to be in it! -- Joan
bulletYour just turned five-year-old daughter is playing with a paddle/ball. She asks, "Mom, does everyone have one hand that is stronger than the other? They do, don't they? Mine is my right hand and I am right handed. Yours is your right hand too, but you are left handed." She is correct. I write with my left hand but do all my sports with my right hand! -- Becky
bulletWhile eating breakfast together the oldest announces, "Let's play Translation!"  One then takes a turn speaking gibberish in a particular accent, while the other two act as "translator" and "English-speaking Head of State".  The accent has to be identified by country of origin by the ones not playing the "foreigner", and the conversation has to make sense with regards to current events as the "Head of State" questions the "foreigner" and the "translator" translates into English.  Ages?  11, 8, and just turned 6.  (Admittedly the 11-year-old coached the 6-year-old as to some current events.)  I wasn't sure what struck me the most, the knowledge of current events or the creativity of inventing this game out of thin air.  -- Diane
bulletMy daughter is watching TV and eating a bowl of grapes. I return to an announcement that she has made masks for each of her fingers out of grape skin. Yep, bitten little faces into the grape skin (after carefully peeling the grapes) and slipped them onto each finger. They are form fitting and look kind of, well, nice. -- Lizz
bulletYour family's version of the license plate game is to find plates with math facts on them, and solve them. 8 X 2554 was the best one today... -- Marjorie
bulletYou ask what the oval shape with bunches of curved lines at the bottom and top of the shape is and your 3-year-old says it’s a voice…what???….”a boom, a voice”… She was drawing sound-waves! -- Ellis
bulletIn kindergarten, he didn't care to learn the names of the children in his class, though he knew the names of all the school staff, and their children.  He determined that the 22:1 ratio would not yield much one on one with the teacher, and left the room a couple of times to seek out the custodian. One time during the first week of kindergarten, he and another child were "put out of the circle" temporarily because the teacher couldn't figure out who did whatever she deemed punishable. After school he spoke of that injustice and then said, "Well, what do you expect when you put 22 five-year-olds with one grown woman! Mistakes are going to happen..." -- Dianna
bulletYour 4-year-old son picks up and starts reading Harry Potter 1. After all, his 6-year-old sister is finished reading it! Yikes! -- Robert
bulletMy mom still reminds me that my kindergarten teacher once told her, "Karen is the only child that I have ever had that I can't spell what she wants to be when she grows up.  I'm not even sure what a paleoanthropologist IS!" -- Karen
bulletYou catch the look of strangers in Barnes and Noble when you tell your 7-year-old you won't buy her a book on Taoism because you just bought her one on hieroglyphics.
bulletYour four-year-old plays "jumping beans" with her age-peers and chess with her 16-year-old babysitter.
bulletYour three-and-a-half-year-old, who is finally coming to terms with the fact that the pacifier must go, is also doing an AMAZING job reading!
      Tonight, she snuck that darn pacifier into her mouth while she was reading to me. I couldn't understand her when she was sounding out the words, so I ordered, "Ruby, take that pacifier out of your mouth when you are sounding out words!" (Anyone else catch the humor in that sentence?!). -- Heather
bulletIt was at dinner - my daughter was 14 months, very petite. I gave her a bit of my salad at dinner, and she said, "Oh! Croutons! How lovely! I just love croutons!" -- Liz
bulletYour seven-year old invites you to play "the geography game" with him -- you know, you name a country, state or city, then the next person has to name a country, state or city that begins with the last letter of the last country, state or city given (so, for instance, if I say "Denver," you say "Rotterdam", then I say "Madrid." Good game.)
      There are lots of locales that end in "Y", but not too many that begin with "Y." So along the way, after you've gone through "Yuma," "Yemen" and "Ypsilanti," you try "Yugoslavia" on your kid. "Sorry, mom, no go. Yugoslavia is no longer a country." Ouch. Technicalities. -- Shel
bulletYour seven-year-old is doing an research project in school about the Winter Olympics. He learns they will be in Salt Lake City this year, and his first remark is, "Gee, Mom, wouldn't it be great to go? We could go to Promontory Point while there."
      "You know, Mom, it's where the Transcontinental Railroad was joined." -- Shel
bulletDuring your 6-year-old's rhythmic dance class they are using ribbons. The  instructor has them draw figure 8's with the tip of the ribbon stick. Then has them turn the 8 on it's side. And your child yells out, "OH! You mean draw the sign for infinity!" And the instructor drops her ribbon with her mouth open. -- Sam
bulletMy 6-year-old son found a great buy at Border's for $5.99: "Handy Physics Answer Book."  We were reading the introduction, when we came to the following sentence: "With that in mind, the Handy Physics Answer Book examines more than 825 basic questions about physics and physicists, ranging from the application of physics in everyday life to the latest explorations in subatomic physics."
      My son immediately and enthusiastically responded, "Oh!  This book will be great next year in first grade.  I can bring it in and we can look stuff up!" -- Nancy
bulletI've taken my 5-year-old son to a sporting goods store to buy him a Mets shirt.  While there, I see some Speedo bathing suits.  Since I like to swim and needed a new bathing suit, I decided to get one.  We selected them together, I had him wait just outside the door to decide which one to get.
      First suit..."Looks good!"  Second suit..."Looks nice, I like that one too."  Suit #3: "Mommy!  You're 41, not 21, you know better!  What's wrong with you!"
      I didn't know whether to laugh or cry... I decided to laugh and get suits 1 & 2 as he was right about suit 3. -- mortified Mom -- Barbara
bulletMy 5-year-old, his toddler sister and I are waiting in line at a crowded supermarket, when he sees a large woman in the next line, cart loaded with soda, chips, ice cream and other stuff.  "Look,  Mommy, that big fat lady over there has lots of bad stuff in her cart!  Doesn't she know that junk is bad for you and that's why she's fat?  I'll bet she doesn't know, I'm going to tell her so she doesn't buy garbage food!"
      She heard...I was mortified.  We had told him that junk food is bad and that too much makes people weigh too much, but we never said that it was wrong to be fat.-- mortified Mom -- Barbara
bulletWhen my daughter was three we participated in a neighborhood 4th of July celebration/parade.   She had an American flag and began yelling very loudly "I have a China Flag!" and waving it at everyone.  It took us a minute to figure out where that even came from - the "made in China" sticker on the flag stick.   I have noticed in recent years our neighborhood has gone to handing out flags that are made in America.....
bulletShe was being released from a time out, Panda asked "Mom, does it bother you that I behave better for my teachers than I do for you?" And I, managing not to laugh or to reflect my reaction to her understanding of this, said "No... that doesn't bother me. It is quite normal. What does bother me is that you know you do it."
bulletIf you have ever told your four-year-old daughter, "No more chess until you have eaten some dinner!"
bulletIf your four-year-old regales you with descriptions of the relative positions, sizes, and temperatures of the planets.
bulletIf your two-year old marks the toys she wants for Christmas from a toy catalog with her initials, without being told to do so.
bulletYour 2-year-old asks one night as you're tucking him into bed, "Mommy, do you know what night is?" You give him a very technical answer like, "It's when the sun goes to bed, sweetie." He looks at you and says, "No, Mommy! It is a shadow. See, the sun is on the other side of the earth but the earth is blocking the sunlight so we're in a shadow. That's what night is." Mommy meekly responds, "Oh... you're right dear," and you give him a hug and kiss.
bulletYour 7-year-old announces that the computer game she is playing is INCORRECT b/c the question is:  What emerges from a cocoon? and the three possible answers are:  1. butterfly  2. bird  3. bumblebee.  She notes the answers are wrong because moths emerge from cocoons, and butterflies emerge from chrysalides.
bulletYou catch your just-turned-three-year-old daughter jumping on your bed, yelling, "F-U-N! F-U-N!"
bulletYour four-year-old asks you to start taking her to visit colleges so that she can pick one out.
bulletYou ask your two-year-old to stop spinning the globe, and she looks at you with a wounded expression and protests, "But I’m looking at the continents!"
bulletYour just turned two-year-old, after watching the evening news with his parents, spends the afternoon gathering toadstools, overgrown squash (which he hates), and various other materials which he mixes in an old pot and places on the patio table. When questioned about what it is he says, "it is poison soup" and then goes into a long and detailed explanation about how the bad guys will find and eat the soup, which will kill them before they have a chance to break into your house.
bulletYour third grader complains that he hates "impact lab", which is supposed to be an accelerated learning experience, because they keep making him do the same stuff over and over. And the impact teacher says that she hates to see your child coming because she can't stay ahead of him in the programming, and she's already loaded up to sixth grade math.
bulletOn your vacation to Florida, after observing the manatees at the zoo, your 6-year-old announces in a solemn voice that he is going to write a letter to the governor of Florida to tell him that people should not be allowed to use motor boats where the manatees live. You are left searching your memory to try and figure out where he ever learned that the manatees are injured by boats...
bulletYour six-year-old would rather visit the Kennedy Space Center and Medieval Times than Disney World. You spend the next day listing to long dissertations about the configuration of the space shuttle, the presence of the Hubble Telescope in his model of the shuttle, and the action of the thrusters on the rockets. (And I checked in his book - it really IS the Hubble Telescope inside his toy!)
bulletWalking to the car in the early morning, your 25-month-old points to the sky and says, "Oh, look Mommy! There's the moon!" to which you absently reply, "That's the sun, honey." She shakes her head and exclaims, "Oh no, Mommy, that's not the sun that's the moon! The sun is over there. The moon is still in the sky but he is getting ready to go ni-night." She was right, of course; the moon was still visible.
bulletYou begin singing "What A Wonderful World" to your 17-month-old when you suddenly realize she is mouthing the words. You stop singing, and she continues singing the entire song word for word, on key and with perfect pitch.
bulletAfter being banished to her room for a temper tantrum, your 2.3-year-old daughter returns, takes your hand, looks you in the eyes and says, "Mommy, I am sorry for my 'unaxetaptable' behavior."
bulletIn answer to the question "how old are you?" your 28-month-old replies "I have been one and two, but not three! I will be three on June 29th, and then I can chew gum!"
bulletIn answer to the question "What is your name?" your 19-month-old answers the question by spelling it.
bulletYou call to your 2.3-year-old, "Honey, what are you doing?" and she replies "I am in the office checking my email." Sure enough, when you investigate you see that is exactly what she is doing; she has gotten herself on-line and explains "I am clicking on the box with the cute yellow flag."
bulletYour 25-month-old looks up from a letter puzzle and asks, "Mommy, what do the letters say?" A bit startled, you run through the letter sounds for her. The next day, she tells you all of the letter sounds, and then adds a word for each one. (" ...'S' says "Sah" like "Starfish.")
bulletYour three-year-old's preschool teacher tells you when searching for a word that starts with "U" - your child yells "UMBILICAL CORD!"
bulletYour 2-year-old walks outside to go to preschool in the morning, then stops and stares at your car and asks, "Mama, why is your car all wet? Is that because of condensation?"
bulletYour 3 1/2-year-old announces at the dinner table. "May I be excused please? I'm full. If I eat any more it will start piling up in my esophagus."
bulletYour 4-year-old daughter, after having read the book "Escape From Alcatraz", declares that she WILL become the prison warden of Alcatraz, and proceeds to lay out a plan for re-opening it, explains her multi-level security system, describes the hiring and scheduling of guards and other personnel (including SF police department backup if too many guards are sick), determines the prisoners' daily schedule and meals, works out her commute from the mainland, wrestles with living at that distance from her east-coast family, declares that no one will ever escape under her watch, and begs her parents for months to take a family vacation to "The Rock."
bulletYour almost-2-year-old son's favorite toy is a puzzle of the 50 states. When considering putting in Nevada he says, "oops, I need California first." He then proceeds to complete it entirely on his own.
bulletYou arrive in your just-turned-2-year-old's room to tell her "lights out" only to find her favorite book in shreds and her with a proud grin on her face. In replying to "what happened to your book?" she proudly exclaims "I made puzzle pieces!"
bulletYou take your 4-year-old daughter to your classroom. If she can figure out how to use the new software you purchased, then your first grade students should be able to do it with minimal assistance...
bulletAt 6 he crouches down in the adult section of the local library pouring over epistles of Shakespeare and loudly requests the copy of Romeo and Juliet because he's "searching for romance" (which he then takes home and consumes....)
bulletYour two your old opens a books and "reads" a story to you that she makes up - only the story (about a baby dinosaur learning the alphabet) makes sense, rhymes, and has a Seussian cadence.
bulletYour four-year-old explains to her grandparents that everything is made of atoms, and that an electric current is electrons from atoms moving in a circuit, like water flowing around a loop.
bulletWhen book fees are due now for next year, and you find yourself (in spite of a tight budget) calling the school to ask whether you need to pay extra to make sure out-of-grade-level books will be available to your child.
bulletYour two-year-old corrects you when you erroneously identify a bat in a picture as a fruit bat.
bulletYou call something "double, triple yucky" and your five-year-old says that makes it quintuple yucky. He then goes on to invent two new words "potuple" for ten times and "votuple" for hundred. He explains that he made the words sound similar because, of course, ten times ten is one hundred.
bulletYour daughter comes home from a week-end at her best friend's house, and tells you her toe is sore because "I hurt myself on the edge of a blade of grass".
bulletYour son's first grade teacher asks the class to name a root you can eat: carrot, potato.... Your son is the one who answers "in the Amazon they eat tania root."
bulletYour 4-year-old asks things like: what's the difference between sand and dirt, which is smaller, water or air, and why don't geysers run out of hot water? Same boy makes Lincoln log models of germs and white blood cells fighting, and correctly describes how the circulatory system works, for fun.
bulletYour daughter is in kindergarten and the school nurse calls, saying you need to come get your child because she is complaining of a "crescent shaped pain in her esophagus"
bulletYour 4-year-old can tell the difference between a telescope and a periscope and goes on and on about the uses and possibilities of each one.
bulletYour five-year-old, who is wearing a purple coat wants you to put on a red coat so you and her brother (who is wearing a blue coat) will match with her. You can't figure out why that would make you match until she says, "Red and blue make purple!"
bulletYour three-year-old is looking at a triangle, circle and square and tells you the triangle is "wrong". Not getting it you ask "you mean it is most different?" "Yea." "Why is that?" "Because it has three sides." Still not getting it you ask "well, how many sides does a circle have?" She looks at the shapes carefully and says "lots and lots of really, really small sides." You now know calculus should be easy when she is older, but you still don't know why the triangle is "wrong."
bulletYou're walking to the mailbox with your three-year-old and she says "It's getting dark, the planet must have rotated."
bulletYour 3-year-old child has a stomachache and you (being overly worried) ask where it hurts, just in case its appendix. She says "Around my large intestine".
bulletYour almost two-year-old still takes a pacifier, which she calls a "baby." On a short car trip with no pacifier, she gets frustrated when no one gives her a "baby." So she emphatically states, "I am requesting a baby!"
bulletYour kindergartner's teacher comes to you concerned that your child isn't writing stories like the other kids in his class. Instead he's writing C:// etc. When you ask the teacher if he's running the class computer, the answer is "Oh yes, he created a program to graph the students votes on what they wanted to eat for their class party" You congratulate the teacher, that your child is not only writing, but his 'stories' have a beginning, middle and an end and correct punctuation, or it would not run the classroom computer! (It then became the teachers job to find someone who could read it!)
bulletWhile tucking your six-year-old in, he informs you that everything is made up of atoms. Then he wants you to tell him what "those little electric things" are that go around them. You sputter and tell him that requires a trip to the library. He's not done with you yet. If they're electric, and everything's made of atoms ...then everything must have electricity in it. "Well of course!", you say feeling back on solid ground "Even your body has electricity in it." His eyes light up, and he says, "You mean like those little electric pulses that come from your spine to tell your brain to feel pain?" "Exactly!", you reply as you turn out the light. Walking down the hall with your mouth agape, shaking your head, and wondering how are you ever going to keep up with him? -- Kay
bulletYour not quite 6-year-old daughter adamantly argues with you that 3 + 3 = 9 until with a hand to her forehead in dramatic gesture, she realizes she was multiplying by mistake.
bulletThe answer to "What do you like best about kindergarten?" is "Long division."
bulletYour not quite 6-year-old tells you she's figured out the difference between even and odd numbers. "Odd numbers have a middle. Like 5...See? 1 2 3 4 5. You put the 1 & 2 on this side, you put the 4 & 5 on that side, and the 3 is still left in the middle. Even numbers don't have a middle, they split into the 2 sides, and then there's nothing left over."
bulletYour four-year-old announces that she does not want to turn five because five is a lumpy number. A week later, the light comes on for you and you begin to quiz her. "What sort of number is three"? "Lumpy." "What sort of number is six?" "Smooth." "What is nine?" "Lumpy." ...Now you realize she recognizes the difference in even and odd numbers!
bulletYour two-year-old arranges her soup vegetables on the high chair tray by color and type.
bulletYou hear your five-year-old crying softly in her bed and when you go to inquire what is wrong, she tells you that she is worried that when she grows up and is doing genetic engineering to make a unicorn she will accidentally mix the DNA wrong and come out with Narwhal with a horse's body or something equally strange.
bulletYour 3-year-old daughter, out of the blue, asks you, "Mama, how did the first ones get here?" You ask what she means. "Well, you had me, right? Who was here to have the first person?"
bulletYour toddler's daycare teacher shows you in amazement how well he wrote his full name the first day they began learning letter recognition.
bulletYour three-year-old's friend is crying because her parents won't let her pick tulips and your daughter tries to comfort her by saying, but if we separate the flowers from the bulb they'll die, it's just like us -- when we separate our souls from God we die, too.
bulletYour 5-year-old is excited at Christmas about getting a puzzle of her favorite van Gogh painting, Starry Night - so excited that it is one of the first new toys she plays with.
bulletYour 6-year-old is excited about a 2-hour detour, on top of a 5-hour drive home from vacation, to go to the art museum that has an exhibit of Impressionists so she can see paintings by her favorite artist, van Gogh.
bulletYour 6-year-old reads faster than you do, and you can't keep up with all the books that she's reading, and when she can tell you all the details of a chapter book that took her 10 minutes to read and you are sure she must have skipped half of it, and it takes you a little longer than that to read it, and she answers every question correctly about what happened in the book, and why.
bulletYour almost four-year-old comes out of Sunday School class and tells you they were talking about the origins of the Arab-Israeli wars. When you question him further, he replies, "Well, we were really talking about Moses and the Pharaoh. But Moses was Jewish and I figured the Pharaoh had to be an Arab, and it was like I was reading in the paper the other day..."
bulletYour 2-year-old's favorite words are actually and probably, and she knows how to use them correctly in a sentence. When working on a puzzle, she says, "actually I think this piece goes here."
bulletYou're on a walk with your 3-year-old, and he asks, "What's a dirty X?" Being kinda slow, I didn't realize it was going to be a riddle. I said I don't know. He says, "A clean X with snot all over it!" <groan>
bulletYour 7-year-old is with some boys (in a restaurant of all places) when you overhear him saying, "Did you know that the feces of an herbivore doesn't smell bad, like a carnivore or omnivore?"
bulletEducators refer to "a teachable moment," you have to stop and think about what that means, because your kid asks so many good questions that ALL moments are teachable ones.
bulletYour kindergarten child gets suspended for taking apart the toilet and he looks at you and innocently says "I always wanted to know how the water got in there, now I know"
bulletYour son's teachers keep "retiring" immediately after having him in the class - it's happened to us three years in a row, and it looks like it may happen again this year, too!
bulletYour 8-year-old asks you if it will be possible to refuel the Sun when it burns out, and then explains to you how she intends to do it...
bulletYour 20-month-old isn't all that interested in shape sorter toys, but will spend 25 minutes inserting a floppy disk into the disk drive and popping it out again, chanting all the while, "Press it until it clicks. Push the button."
bulletYour 15-month-old finds two empty baby bottles in his crib, makes a sawing motion with his hands and says "look Mum, I'm playing the violin!"
bulletYour two-year-old says "Mum, when I die can I be buried in the same hole as you"?
bulletAs a 4-year-old, your son wrote the word "delete" on his 10-month-old sister's forehead.
bulletYou've just taken your 6-year-old to the eye doctor. As you share a McDonald's dinner before violin lessons, you say "We knew you would have to have glasses because both your dad and I wear glasses." Your child thinks for a moment, then loudly demands to know "How did my father's genetic material got into me?" All the adults around you choke with laughter. The truck driver behind you sprays his coke all over his Big Mac.
bulletAt the end of term, you grade the teacher on how well she coped.
bulletYour 7-year-old can't do his 9 times tables so instead of writing 9 x 6 = 54 he writes (5 x 6) + (4 x 6) = 54.
bulletYour garage looks like a leftover laboratory prop from "Frankenstein".
bulletA visit to the Zoo is a teary experience because the 'captive' animals should all be free.
bulletThe kids change the television channel at 6 p.m. over to the news and then WATCH it!
bulletYour son wants a meteor named after him for his birthday.
bulletYou go to the bookshop and lose your 5-year-old. The shop assistant finds him in the medical texts section.
bulletInstead of a poster of the latest teen idol plastered on the wall of her room, there is a Mars Polar Lander Participation Certificate.
bulletYour son's Grade Six "introduce yourself to the teacher" autobiography project contains, in the section about family, a treatise on parents' respective parenting skills...
bulletVacuuming their bedroom floor is a mammoth task when trying not to disturb the reconstruction of The Battle of Gettysburg (in Lego)!
bulletBecause a broom, mop or packet of pegs has not survived intact for longer than a week when bought new to replace the old deconstructed ones!
bulletYour toddler demands that you get all your shopping processed through aisle six, and only aisle six.
bulletYour two-year-old bursts into unashamed tears when Winnie The Pooh falls out of the apple tree.
bulletOther three-year-olds are trying to figure out their ABC's, your kid is figuring out how to work on the computer.
bulletYour children give you detailed directions on how to get there from their position in the back seat of the car.
bulletOn a plane, your three-year-old spends the entire flight reading the safety card, and briefs you on what to do if the plane crashes.
bulletYour child can out-logic you at the tender age of three years old.
bulletYou have more Internet bookmarks for your 6-year-old than you do for yourself.
bulletYour 7-year-old sneaks out with the latest New Scientist when you aren't looking.
bulletYour monitor dies and your 3-year-old tells you to go buy a new light bulb for it.
bulletYou have a larger selection of craft bits and pieces than the average kindergarten.
bulletYour 7-year-old's favorite books discuss topology, the development of zero and place values, different bases, and negative numbers.
bulletYour preschooler is very upset to learn that the dinosaurs are extinct, then decides that the reason God killed off them off was so dinosaurs couldn't hurt people.
bulletAt Christmas, your six-year-old notes that although the presents are always wrapped now, one Christmas they were lots unwrapped, in a big round basket. That's when the six-year-old was six months old.
bulletYour three-year-old leaves a leaf of lettuce out for the Easter Bunny. After all, Santa got the cookies, the reindeer got a carrot.
bulletYour two and a half-year-old asks for Christmas for "a book, some purple and pink sunglasses and some kisses. And vat's all. So vere is enough for alla chrilden..."
bulletYour 7-year-old wants a microscope for Hanukah more than anything else (except, maybe, SimCity 3000).
bulletYour 5-year-old's favorite computer game is SimCity (and he asks for help figuring out how to issue bonds)
bulletYou have trouble figuring out indistinct words your preschooler says because it's hard to decipher 10-year-old vocabulary with 3-year-old pronunciation!
bulletYour young son's only request for Christmas is a book about Pi, not pie.
bulletYour son's teacher announces, again, that your son is not doing math the same way as the other kids in his class.
bulletYour kids are faster than you at computing sales tax, in front of the sales clerk.
bulletYour two-year-old's toys all resemble those of Syd, from Toy Story, and you resolve in the future to buy only those toys which are SUPPOSED to be pulled apart.
bulletYour five-year-old's favourite bed time stories have nuclear power stations as the central theme.
bulletYour seven-year-old decides to get a veterinary degree so that she won't have to pay for medical care for the 100 golden palominos she plans to have on her all-vegetarian horse ranch.
bulletYou finish reading The Color of Water one day and your eight-year-old finishes it the next day, then discourses on the dangers of generalizing about people based on race, religion, or other group affiliation.
bulletYour fingers ache from gripping your pen during the parent/teacher meeting.
bulletNobody has to tell you that "Mothers from Hell" is not a rock band, it's a way of life.
bulletYour first grader tells his teacher during a bats and owls unit, that bats have such sensitive sonar that they can tell the difference between two written pencil lines!
bulletYour 3-year-old is driving you crazy in church on Easter morning, working out the mechanics of the resurrection. You finally tell her to listen to the sermon since it is directly addressing her questions.
bulletWhile waiting for your 5-year-old to go to sleep, he asks "Mom, what's your own personal theory of the big bang?"
bulletYour just barely 3-year-old's last question to you before lights out is "Mom, is Space the same as Time?"
bulletYour five-year-old walks into a new museum, takes one look at the dinosaur bone reaching to the ceiling, and correctly identifies the body part and dinosaur from which it came.
bulletYou send index cards with dinosaur name spellings in to the kindergarten teacher on Mondays, so that she doesn't have to look up the words your daughter offers for the letter of the week.
bulletYour two-year-old, who has been paying attention to his sister, can independently identify (and pronounce) "styracosaurus" and "parasaurolophus," but potty training is not on his agenda. He can, however, also identify modern animals, by skeletal features alone.
bulletYou spend a very long morning with your two-year-old who is grappling with the whole concept of time and keeps asking, "Is it the future yet?"
bulletYour three-year-old teaches all the other kids at preschool how to turn their life size drawings of themselves into anatomically correct alien life forms.
bulletYour three-year-old's preschool teacher quits midyear to go back to college because she is tired of having your child know more than she does.
bulletShe reads the memo coming home concerning preschool graduation and ends up writing and reading a speech about what the school has meant to her.
bulletYour hands ache from gripping the steering wheel as you drive two hours every day to get your child to school; OR your brain aches as you try to keep up with home-schooling; OR your wallet aches from private school fees; OR your head aches from listening to administrators tell you why $6 million is needed for a new building, but nothing is needed for gifted education inside that building.

And the older kids...

bulletAfter a particularly tough day of feeling "different", your 9-year-old, who is thinking of going underground with her abilities, looks at you and says "I don't want to be a purple leaf, when the rest of the tree is green. You know what I mean, don't you, mom?" I cried. -- Pam
bulletYour child describes herself as a cube, "in a world of flat squares." -- Marjorie
bulletYou know you're the parent of a gifted child when your 13-year-old is trying to decide between going back to college or starting high school.... but, before she spends any time thinking about that, she wants to first finish translating a Japanese book.  -- Teresa
bulletYour 9-year-old, taking algebra I, is in the tub reading "Trigonometry the Easy Way" and drops it just a bit. Suddenly he can't read it any more because the pages are semi-transparent. You tell him the warping will never go away but you could make it readable in not too long by putting it in front of the space heater, but no. He's inconsolable. Tears, sobbing, the works. So you ignore him and go to dry the book by the space heater. Now the book is readable and he's happily graphing on his graphing program.
      Then he's delighted to discover that no matter how many sine functions he graphs together, adding and multiplying and what not, all the graph lines meet at multiples of pi. His dad remembered Trig well enough to explain it to him, and he's still vibrating with joy. He's excited and happy and not upset about his book at all any more. -- Cindy
bulletYour 9-year-old e-mails you at the office during the day ... to send you an Internet website link that has some data for the research project you are working on for your MBA degree! -- Holly
bulletYour 9-year-old won't let you in his room to find out what he is doing, but every few minutes he pops out to 'borrow' something.... 3 rubber bands, a nail file, a paper clip, a AA battery. I really want to know what he is building before I have to call the fire department.  (I never did find out what he was building. He put it in a drawer "until it is done.")
bulletYour almost 10-year-old marches into the room, with a loaned copy of  "Pokemon and Harry Potter - a Fatal Attraction" in hand, and exclaims "How DARE  you not trust my ability to decide for myself what's good for me!
      It took every ounce of self control not to giggle. A friend loaned me the book after a discussion we had regarding Harry Potter, and why she won't let her kids read it. When I explained to my son that I plan to read it to understand the perspective of others, he announced, "I'm reading it first, so in case you change your mind about ME having Harry Potter or Pokemon, I'll know how to defend!" And stalks out of the room. -- Lanai
bulletYour 8-year-old son (who gets nightmares very easily) informs you that people shouldn't be scared of Cyclopes or have nightmares about them, since they only have one eye, they don't have depth perception and should be easy to evade!
bulletYour 9-year-old decides that she wants to be an astrophysicist. She's never heard the word before, so when you ask her, she responds: "Well, ASTROnaut, ASTROid, ASTROnomer, I figured that astro means space. Physicist, I already knew that. So, astrophysicist. I want to study the physics of space." And just last week, her teacher said that she wasn't very good at putting words together, saying each smaller word separately and then putting them together. Maybe because she already knows those words...? -- Honey
bulletYour teenage daughter prefers subscriptions to Discover and Omni instead of Seventeen.
bulletYour 8-year-old son comes home from school and said he had a great day because he finished "Trigonometry the Easy Way" during math time today!

Even When...!

bulletYour adult friends lend your 14-year-old comedy CDs because he learns them
cold after the first listening but he still can't get the months of the year in order. -- Doris
bulletYour child is gifted even when he....  -- Cindi
bulletTells you at 8 that 2x squared = 8 so x equals 4 but cant tell you what 20 - 13 is
bulletMakes 95+ on all class work and tests all year but almost fails 6th grade for never turning in homework
bulletWhen in pre-first he can't tell you what a letter or a sound is but can tell you by picture every dinosaur that ever lived and more than you ever wanted to know
bulletIn kindergarten can tell you all the major muscles of the body and what they do but can't remember where he took off his shoes
bulletCan do every single word problem you give him, in his head, but can't do a single written problem at age 8
bulletFinally learns his multiplication tables at 14 and a half
bulletSeems to not understand fractions but understands algebra (8 and 11 both)
bulletWon't talk but takes his crib apart at 18 months, and now at 30 months logs on to the internet, changes the wallpaper, uses the CD and VCR players and brings me a meat thermometer... but still doesn't talk!
bulletAt 8 reads Harry Potter 4 in 5 days and then complains that his school books are too hard
bulletCan't write a thing but has these terrific compositions to tell you

Thanks for these wonderful "Even When..." observations, originally from the parents of the GT-Special community, and now many other mailing lists!  To join any of the online communities, visit Gifted Online Communities

Don't miss... You Know You're The Parent of a Gifted Child When...

Please contact Carolyn K. before reprinting any part of this page.
Last updated June 01, 2019


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