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How do you parent a genius?

My 5 year old can probably be considered a genius. He taught himself to read at age 3 and can now read on a 6th grade level, can do 2nd grade math, learns things after being told how to do it only one time (like his class will learn about butterflies and he'll come home and literally tell me everything he learned about them and then retains the information indefinitely), makes up elaborate short stories, creates his own games, and the list goes on and on, I don't want to bore anyone. He's extremely challenging to parent because he gets bored easily.

Anyone else in the same boat or have suggestions on how to deal with it?


Asked by Anonymous at 7:51 PM on Jun. 3, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • I can't recommend strongly enough finding the right academic environment for your child. If you are in Chicago, please contact me directly.
    The Center for Talent Develoment (at Northwestern University) has a number of resources for gifted children outside of the Chicago Metro area:

    Answer by rkoloms at 7:56 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • My son is 7 and is exactly the same way. He started reading at 4 years old in preschool and was reading 1st grade when he started kinder. He is going into 2nd grade this fall and reads at a fourth grade level. He LOVES math and can multiply, divide and add/subtract #'s in the 100's. He always is on and needs something to do 24/7 except for sleep. His teachers have been graeat giving him separate books, worksheets, homework and lessons to do in class. He gets 4 on everything (exceeds) except writing legibly he gets a 2. Just buy him workbooks, books that challenge him and neveer give him stuff that's too easy, this causes them to be bored

    Answer by Kimx3babies at 7:59 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, we're not in the Chicago area. I'm going to look at the link right now. Thanks! I need all the help I can get.

    His Kindergarten teacher had him working on 2nd grade work all year. Now he'll be ahead of his 1st grade class next year. I don't want to move him up a grade level because I don't feel like his maturity level is at a 2nd grade level... well, since he's done all that work, he'd have to go into 3rd grade.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:02 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • Most highly intelligent kids can amuse themselves pretty well. Make sure you have plenty of open ended things for him. Good choices would be legos or other building kits, electronic kits, rock tumblers, tons of non-fiction books, insect collecting kits, ect.... also make sure he is active. Many bright kids spend too much time on academic or sedentary things and not enough time running, jumping, playing... kids need all of it to be balanced. Do not try and entertain him, if he is intelligent he will get more out of exploring and figuring things out on his own. Let him plan his own day out.... find a museum or something he wants to visit.. have him find out info on it and plan the day- how long will it take to get there, how much is it, are there any other places around there to visit... he can use google (with you there) and mapquest to plan out the day.....

    Answer by teampalmer4 at 8:02 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • Right this minute he's making a crossword puzzle for me to do.... in French. Good thing bedtime is soon because I don't think I'll be able to finish it!


    Answer by Anonymous at 8:05 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • My oldest son was like that, where he went to school they had the "gifted" program. Basically part of the day he spent with his classmates and part of the day he spent it with kids at his "academic" level.

    The only problem he had was some of his classmates would pick on him. Say nasty things to him. He didnt dumb down for them, and they didnt like it.

    Answer by PestPatti at 8:08 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • I was always a very bright child and ahead of my classes. But I strongly resisted moving up a grade and away from my friends so my parents let me stay at my grade level. I've gotta tell you, do not let that child get bored. Stress the importance of school and still minding his teachers.

    In high school I got so bored and stopped caring about my classes because they presented no challenges. In college I would skip every day and just show up to take tests and turn in my homework but still get A's. I never took school seriously because I didn't feel that I had to. If i could pass without paying attention what was the point? I regret those decisions now though and wish i had put more effort into school instead of coasting.

    You could always consider homeschooling him so that he can work as far ahead as he can keep up. Either way you decide to go though, keep stressing how important it is to use his gifts and not just coast

    Answer by Pudge_Pie20 at 10:33 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • Find a good educational system that can help your child reach for the stars, most gifted children learn differently. Learning to work with the different styles is not hard but does require a little one on one time with parents & children. Remember every decision in life is a possible learning experience.

    Also remember that gifted children need down time to~this was the hardest thing for my child. I really believe that just being a couch potato for a hour or so a week is important. Gifted children are still children, they need support and gentle nudges in the right direction.

    Answer by Wiggles_GA at 11:00 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • I have a bit of the same problem! My son is 6. One day he walked up to me and sung the german alphabet (creeped me OUT!) He is doing math like.... 59=. He ask me questions I can not answer....(not like why is the sky blue?) We converse like adults!!! HE loves music! Also wondering for you moms that have this with ur kid.........have you noticed a lack in common sense? or your child being kinda....anit-social (with other kids)

    Answer by airforewifenmom at 4:49 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • I'm the OP of the question.... No, my child isn't anti-social at all. He gets along great with the kids in his class. The only thing I notice is that he wants to play games the other kids can't play and he gets frustrated... like word games and they can't spell sort of thing. He has about the same amount of common sense as other boys his age. I do know grown people who are extremely intelligent and have no common sense, though.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:59 AM on Jun. 4, 2009