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My child gets bored and likes older children's company, is this normal?

Q: I have a five year old daughter who will be turn six this year and start 1st grade. I have been having some trouble with her since some months. She gets into trouble in class at school but her teacher told me that she felt it was because my child was bored. I try to keep her involved with sports and extra curricular activities that seem to give her a little bit of a challenge and she does seem to do better in those situations. But if she invites a friend over to play, she gets upset with them because she wants to do more grown up things such as reading or the shows she wants to watch. She will not even entertain the idea of just playing around like what I think a normal five year old child should want to do. She complains of being bored all the time. I am afraid she will have a hard time when school gets back in with staying bored in class and not wanting to play with the other kids. She is very smart. She is reading on a 4th grade level. I just don't want my little girl to miss out on the joys of being a child. Does it sound like I have any necessary worries?

A:If your child is yet to enter first grade and is reading at the fourth grade level, are you surprised that she is bored with her peers? But there is a problem in expecting her to be grown up in all aspects. Emotionally, she will be like a six year old. Nevertheless, expecting her to play like a normal 5/6 year old is bound to result in some frustration for her and for you. All children are different and grow at different rates in different areas of development. So you can forget the concept of normalcy. Maybe you can let her play with older children, whose interests may be closer to hers. Music could be an additional interest for her, if she has an aptitude. Perhaps, playing a keyboard instrument would interest her. See if you can locate a Chess Club in your neighbourhood. If she shows an inclination, this is the age to begin. Get her lots of story books to read. Also encourage her to write a little, maybe letters to grandparents or cousins. Help her to see that her abilities can be an advantage for her own life, but teach her also to like and respect those who may not have the same gift for language. I have known many gifted children to accept their special abilities and to be friends with their peers and slightly older children. In some schools, the teachers may assign more tasks or reading to those who are ahead, without making a big issue of it. But it would need a tremendous amount of luck to have access to such a school! Let your child help with little tasks in the kitchen and dining table. Feeling competent at practical work is also necessary for your child. Don't keep talking about how bright she is, but let your awareness of it be low key. It is also important for her is to grow up into a warm, affectionate and compassionate young girl and these are generally cultivated in the family, the classroom and the community in the routines of everyday living.


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