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    #38344 - 02/17/09 05:05 PM Attracted to younger children
    Tizz2008 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 09/02/08
    Posts: 44
    Hi Everyone,

    I have been on this board about my son - and I have to say you are all so supportive and the advice very useful. Now it is an issue concerning my daughter. She is 5 and has been assessed as HG+ and her achievement test showed a reading level at 9 year level with comprehension a few months higher. Her verbal language is very advanced and she also achieved at the gifted level in maths on the WIAT. She is with her age peers and has not been accelerated at this point. My issue is that she is showing a tendency to select for friends the youngest kid in the class - even where there are relatively bright kids around who are a bit older. Go figure? She does have a profoundgly gifted friend outside of school (a boy) who she gets on famously with. This little boys mother says Molly may select the friends she can boss around or mother etc. However, I am not sure and wondering about her selection of friends at school. Has anyone ever experienced this or have any advice? it would be very much appreciated.


    Edited by Tizz2008 (02/17/09 05:07 PM)

    #38348 - 02/17/09 05:19 PM Re: Attracted to younger children [Re: Tizz2008]
    seablue Offline

    Registered: 10/21/08
    Posts: 356
    Loc: by the sea
    Tizz, I don't have advice or experience, but I just wanted to make the observation that there may be nothing wrong or negative with your DD's friend selection. Is she highly empathetic? Did the little boy's mother who made the comment actually observe your DD interacting with younger students, or was this parent making a blanket statement?

    #38359 - 02/17/09 05:42 PM Re: Attracted to younger children [Re: seablue]
    Katelyn'sM om Offline

    Registered: 10/22/08
    Posts: 1085
    Loc: Austin, TX
    I don't think her selection of friends is really an issue but more how does she interact with them? And then on top of this is her way of interacting and selection of her friends slowing her down in her abilities? If it isn't I would not consider her friend selection a negative at all. In fact it could be a sign that she is a well adjusted child and a major positive.

    But I think your concern is more if you do accelerate her will she suffer do to the fact that she will be the youngest in the class and won't have her usual stats of friends to pick from? I think children are residual and capable of adapting so if she is showing signs of boredom in school and not being taught then this just might out way her friendships. Really is a parent's call.

    #38362 - 02/17/09 05:55 PM Re: Attracted to younger children [Re: Katelyn'sM om]
    Tizz2008 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 09/02/08
    Posts: 44
    Thanks so much to you both. Yes, she is extremely empathetic and actually when I reflect, one of the little girls in the initial days of school was having a lot of separation anxiety from her mother. Now she doesn't as her mother tells me she looks forward to seeing DD. Also, yes, we are considering acceleration and my concern was that she would miss her friends she has made. I have been in the classroom and much of what is done is what DD has already done some years ago. I cannot see what she is learning except about the school environment, routines, socialisation with age peers etc - which of course is valuable in itself.

    #38363 - 02/17/09 06:01 PM Re: Attracted to younger children [Re: seablue]
    Tizz2008 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 09/02/08
    Posts: 44
    Sorry Seablue, I should have mentioned that the parent was making a blanket statement - her son attends another school so has not seen my DD interacting with younger students.

    #38372 - 02/17/09 07:06 PM Re: Attracted to younger children [Re: Tizz2008]
    Grinity Offline

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    I haven't seen this myself, but I have heard about it, particularly as girls get pressured to move away from imagination-based play, it may be that the younger ones are 'free-er' to explore their imaginational side.

    I agree that we shouldn't judge by age, and if possible, should observe the interaction, or ask the child what she thinks. It may be that the older bright ones are too competitive. DS has very often attracted a rival amoung the '2nd smartest' boy in his classroom, and it's no fun!

    BTW - when DS was 3 in daycare, there was a bright little girl who was 6 months older, who 'Mothered' him while I was at work. She would demand that her mom pack a snack for her and a snack for him every day. She also helped the teachers with tying the other childrens' shoes when it was time to get up from naptime and go outside. I think that the relationship was good for both of them.

    Just a thought,
    Good luck

    Here's my 'humor alert' adivice regarding the gradeskip:

    Skip her and buy her a hamster if she needs something helpless to look after!

    Love and More Love,
    Coaching available, at

    #38378 - 02/17/09 07:47 PM Re: Attracted to younger children [Re: Grinity]
    snowgirl Offline

    Registered: 02/24/08
    Posts: 361
    I too see nothing wrong with it. My dd7(soon to be 8) is close friends with a girl a year younger than she is - they are in a multi-age montessori classroom (grades 1-3). They are both rather introverted so I think it works out nicely. The girl was apprehensive about starting in this new classroom for first grade, and already knew dd, and dd showed her the ropes. They really really enjoy each other's company. As an aside, though I don't think it matters, my intuition tells me that this girl is pretty bright too (long story but I definitely feel that way about some of her other family members, though they're all in denial in that regard). Just the other day dd was saying that she didn't want to go to high school because then she won't be with her friends (lol) but I reminded her that they'll go to high school too.

    I think that for dd, being friends with the girls a year younger in her class began as a way for her to gain confidence making friends. She started at this school last year for first grade, and while she loved it, she hadn't made any close friends (no birthday party invites, for example, until the summer) (she is extremely introverted).

    I don't mind her focusing on younger kids at all; I think it's one of the benefits of the multi-age classroom and I sincerely believe that small age differences do not matter. (thinking out loud, maybe it makes it more like home - she is the oldest of five - though I'd hate to think that she bosses her friends around the way she does to her brothers!)



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