Dear Bundoo: No one else believes my kid is a genius!
This week in Dear Bundoo, one exhausted mother worries that she can’t handle another sleepless night, while another family wonders if it’s too early to decide if their son is a genius.
I’m the parent of a 2-year-old little boy. Our son has always been very advanced for his age. He hit all his milestones early and learned to walk at about 10 months. He could speak in full sentences before any of my friends’ kids and he can already recognize letters from the alphabet. I think my son is gifted, but my friends and family say it’s way too early to tell and that every new parent thinks their kid is some kind of genius. I’m hoping you can settle this. When is it possible to tell a kid is gifted? Is it too early to have my son tested and what kind of test do they even use for this?
Dear Proud Parent,
While your son may very well be gifted, he is a bit too young to be formally “tested” with a standardized IQ test. However, being advanced in multiple areas of development is one of the signs that he might be one of the 6 percent of children in America who falls into the “gifted” category. That being said, there are many people out there who will gladly test your 2-year-old for a fee. I would avoid those people and instead discuss your hopes with either a developmental pediatrician or an educational psychologist. Furthermore, you want to make sure your child is developing well in all areas of development and not just one or two. At age 2, the big picture, which includes social skills, gross and fine motor skills, and adaptability, are just as important as language skills. Continue speaking and reading to your little one, offering lots of opportunities for unstructured imaginative play. Establish good routines around food, sleep, and play and you will be doing him a great deal of good and nurturing his intellect.
Answered by Dr. Sara Connolly, MD, FAAP, Bundoo Pediatrician
I’m the exhausted mother of a very challenging 4-month-old and I feel like I’m spinning out of control. My baby never sleeps. Never. She’s up all night, and then when she does fall asleep, it’s only for 20 minutes or so before she wakes up crying again. It’s like this all night and all day. She never sleeps more than half an hour at one time. Her doctor says nothing is wrong with her and she’ll grow out of this soon, but I don’t think I can handle it any longer. I started to have thoughts that scare me. I’ve tried everything all the sleep experts say and none of it is working. What should I do?
Dear Exhausted Mama,
Believe me when I tell you it will not be this way forever. Although it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel now, your baby will soon develop the skills needed to sleep for longer periods of time. Be reassured that her pediatrician finds nothing wrong with her physically to cause these symptoms. And don’t give up trying to establish a consistent daily nap and bedtime routine, as she is bound to catch on. My best advice is to pick one method and stick to it. By jumping from one method to another without giving the first one a chance to work, these “magic” methods may be doing more harm than good, as consistency is key.
To be honest, I am more concerned about you. It can be terribly draining to have a child who is so fussy and needy. I’m sure you feel like your entire world revolves around getting her to go to sleep. You may feel like you have lost all semblance of a normal life as you are focused only on her needs…never mind the needs of other children, your spouse, or even yourself!
Answered by Kristie Rivers, MD, FAAP, Bundoo Pediatrician
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