My son is 5 and has started kindergarten at our public school. He's been there about a month. He has many traits of being gifted… but, I haven't had him tested.

He's doing an excellent job with skills and completing work. Holding his pencil, using scissors, completing math and reading assignments, following teacher's directions on academics. He will literally get all of the answers correct on an assignment. Because I've worked with him at home, I know that his abilities are far greater than what's being asked of him at school. Math seems especially below his ability.

Behavior-wise, he comes home with a note about 2x per week that he's hit someone or pokes someone. Or generally physically touches or intends to hurt another child. He also "tests" the teacher and the rules. Sometimes chooses to ignore directions. Most of this is happening in between instruction time (moving in line from one thing to the next, recess, etc).

This doesn't surprise me. We had similar experience on a short stint in preschool. And this is a lot like how he is at home also.

My question for all of you who know gifted kids: Is this a gifted thing? Or is this my kid's thing?

Also... I've been talking to my child's teacher. I've explained his abilities to her and she knows that he can do more. I think she's starting to see it too.

But, she wants him to work on following behavior and procedure expectations before we work on increasing challenge. I understand those things are important. My big hang-up is… would he be doing better with behavior if he was more challenged? Also, I don't know that he will ever have perfect behavior. He has always tested rules. Always and with persistence. I don't see that going away.

If anyone can point me to an article or data that suggests that more challenge can help with behavior, it would be helpful as I try my hand at advocacy.

Thank you parents who have had very smart 5 year olds before me - Solidarity!