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Pros and cons of children doing things "too early"?

Potty training too early?  Is there such a thing?  Teaching too much too soon?  If your child is learning at a fast pace then what are the cons of he or she learning things "too early"?  In my own house I don't focus on age. I focus on what they want to do.  What age is a good age to start reading?  Writing?  Speaking different languages?  How are things done in your house? What are your thoughts?


Asked by MrsHouston47302 at 11:13 PM on Feb. 22, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (7)
  • cont

    Another "con" to watch out for, but that can also be easily avoided, is to not fall into the trap of thinking that because they are an early learner, or because learning comes more easily to them, that they are superior to other kids. Yes, my kids know that they are brilliant, and that they are special, but they also know that even if they weren't so smart, they would still be special. Also, that everyone has something about them that makes them special, and we all have things that we're good at.

    Very smart children who are allowed to develop a superiority complex because of their minds tend to struggle with social development as they get older.

    Encourage them, and don't hold them back by any means, but let them set the pace, and let them know that we are all special, and you won't have to deal with those issues.

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 11:43 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • Maybe there are cons to learning to early, but I dont know of them. By the time my DD was 26 Mo she knew every letter by sight and 1-9, knew all colors and shapes. She is now 31 months and has a vocabulary of about 750 words in English(yes I keep track),and about 350 in Russian. she says sentences in correct sentence formation. She knows every single football team and their colors, she knows about 30 nursery rhymes and songs. Now is all that too much? Most of everyone I know says yes, but she likes to learn and is always waiting for something new.

    It might sound like Im bragging, but I just have a passion for teaching her because she seems to have such a drive to learn

    Answer by leksismommy at 11:22 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • So far my daughter hasn't had any cons to learning early. i don't think there are any actually. My daughter learned to walk and use sign language when she was 10 months old. She knew the alphabet, shapes, numbers 1-10, and colors before she was 18 months. by the time she was 18 months she was able to poo in the potty. and she was fully potty trained by 2. She's known vietnamese as well as english since she was a year old. She was able to speak full sentences before she was 3. She knew how to read by the time she was 4yrs old. My daughter has always acted at least a year older than she actually is. She's 5.5yrs old now in kindergarten and way ahead of her class. maybe the con is that i worry that she is not challenged enough in school since everything they seem to be "teaching" her is just really a review to what she already knows.

    Answer by MamaSince2005 at 11:34 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • I have 2 teenagers who have both been early learners. There are a lot of pros to this, but there are some cons that you should keep in mind.

    1) It's great to encourage them to learn at their own pace, even if it means learning things early - but make sure it is at their own pace - don't fall into the trap of pushing them just a little harder, because you know they can do it. (My kids have friends that this has happened to, and the kids burn out and hate to learn, feel that they have to achieve to be loved, or can become suicidal when they find something that they don't learn quickly or doesn't come easy to them.)

    If you make it about doing it because it interests them, and also allow them to fail sometimes then you won't have to worry about that too much. As we've always taught our kids, failure is acceptable, apathy is not. They have the chance to learn, and aren't afraid to fail or feel pushed to achieve either.

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 11:38 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • cont

    There are other things that can be "roadbumps", such as making sure they are kept challenged at school, or struggling with the fact that sometimes they have the intellect to understand something but they don't yet have the emotional maturity to handle the knowledge, etc.

    But those things can be easily dealt with as long as we, as parents, stay on top of what's going on in their lives. Just avoid the first two things I mentioned and you won't have any problems, at least in my opinion :-)

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 11:48 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • i don't think there are any cons . Mozart could play the piano well when he was 3. I could read well when I was 5 , though I was no Mozart , unfotunately .

    Answer by janet116 at 2:41 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • "Mozart could play the piano well when he was 3"

    Experts say Mozart has aspergers. Sometimes there is a downside to being brilliant.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:09 AM on Feb. 23, 2011