Article updated on January 20, 2022
Precocious children: characteristics revealed at an early age
I remember my childhood very well, even memories from when I was very young, between the ages of 2 and 6. As a child, I was interested and curious about everything, always asking myself 15,000 questions, and fortunately I had very patient parents.
The existential questions of precocious children!
My mother would answer my unlikely questions like, why are there chickens and why are there humans? How could a cell create both a chicken and a man? Why is a fork called a fork and not a spoon? Why don’t all people speak the same language, why is a day 24 hours long, how do we know that the earth is round? Why are there poor people? Why there are black people and white people. Why, why, why…
And my mother, whom I adore, in all her goodness, would explain to me the story of the chicken and why the earth is round… She should have been a school teacher! She would have been perfect in this role. At a very early age, I wasextremely gifted at school, but at the same time I felt very lonely and couldn’t connect with the other pupils.
A first identification: gifted, high potential, by my teachers
When I was in kindergarten, my teacher had already told my parents that I had above-average faculties. In the early 90s, in Haute-Loire (yes, same struggle as Creuse and Larzac, even though I love my region ^^) we weren’t really into giftedness, personal development and psychology ! And for my autistic traitsthey just said I was a well-behaved child…
Integration can be difficult in small classes.
I progressed slowly but surely to first grade. There, the discrepany began to show. I was talking all the time, I needed to communicate, with the teacher, with the others… I was bored because I finished the exercises quickly and waited a lot for the other students to finish. I learned to count and read very quickly.
Skipping a grade: a first sign?
So I skipped a grade, and started the CE1 program in my last 2 months of CP. In CE2, I felt more at ease, I was with older children, I finally had real friends. In first grade, my only friend was in fifth grade and my parents thought it was a bit weird…
I was really worried that she would leave at the end of the first year, because I’d be all alone again! But no, fortunately in CE2 I was part of a small group, some of whom I’m still friends with today. We see each other less, but we’re still in touch.
As a child, school is a place of fulfillment.
In CE2, my brain was still working at full speed, I was doing very well, so here we go again, they want me to skip another class, or so the teacher says, as have just about all the previous ones.
(I didn’t know this at the time, but it was when I talked to my Dad that I found out). My parents are hesitant, one class is fine, but 2, the age and maturity gap, etc., could become complicated. So I stay with my group of friends and move up to CM1.
School, a place where I felt comfortable as a little zebra
I’ve always loved school, and I’ve never stopped studying, even to this day! At the age of 30, I’m still learning, I still love to study and I’ve “retrained” to become a teacher in higher education.
In the end, I never really left school.
Why do some precocious children dislike school?
I think some gifted people are afraid of school. I don’t think it’s the school you fear when you’re High Potential, but rather the judgment of others. Being at odds with his peers. But we love to learn and we’re hungry to learn! It’s when we learn more, or not fast enough for our tastes, that we get bored…
I spent every morning, EVERY morning, playing checkers with the lady who looked after us (who must have been 50 at the time!). I’ve always been more at ease with older people, and even when I was very young, when I went to friends’ houses I always ended up chatting more with their parents… who must have found me very odd between the ages of 7 and 11!
Why wasn’t I detected as a zebra child?
I think my parents thought I was normal! In fact, they themselves have a background that means they’ve never really asked themselves the question: is she gifted?
My father is very intelligent, he has a higher than average IQ, he skipped a grade when he was little. As for my mother, she’s very sensitive, has a very sharp mind, an incredible culture and is interested in everything.
My older sister is as quick-witted as I am, and we’re similar in many ways, but opposed in others. When you have a project, you’re really into it, and you can go from one thing to another in a very short space of time.
I think that with their background, and my older sister who had the same profile as me at the time, they thought that everything was fine and that it was rather fortunate to have facilities at school, but they didn’t ask themselves any more questions!
More mixed schooling in adolescence
My schooling was a bit more mixed, simply because I’d become a bit lazy and the older I got, the less I was interested in certain things, I’d even say I was bored! Not the content, because I’m still as curious as ever, but the form! I thinkI’m an overachiever for whom the school system of the time (which is unfortunately still the case today) wasn’t suitable!
I could have been detected as early in kindergarten, because in the first section my teacher had talked to my parents about giftedness. Then we talked about it again in primary school, but it didn’t happen like that, and that’s okay. In the end, I was identified and able to understood. !
And today I tell myself that, on the one hand, it was bound to happen that way and, on the other, it’s made me stronger and even more alert on a whole host of issues!
Is your child gifted?
If your child is precocious it can be a wonderful adventure for both you and your child. All you have to do is help them decipher the world around them, so that they can find their place, even if they are different.
If daily life is a little difficult, you can take him to see a psychologist specializing in High Potential. The psychologist will tell you whether your child should be tested with the WPPSI-IV (the test for gifted children). The test is not compulsory, especially before the age of 6! If you suspect your child is precociousbut he or she has no difficulties, you might as well leave him or her alone…
Écrit par une HPI !
Un témoignage et des solutions concrètes pour découvrir, comprendre et apprendre à vivre en étant HPI.
To go further, you can read
- Extracurricular activities and the zebra child
- I am gifted, I live it well and I have not failed at school.
- The best books about High Learning Potential
- Characteristics of High Potential
- Testimony of Julie, mother of a happy zebra family