My child is brilliant but does not talk in school, what should we do?
Q: I have a 3 years 4 months old daughter. She is very talented and can identify the big and small letters; can write them and also write the numbers say the numbers from 1-30. She loves puzzles, educational toys CDs etc and has been using the computer do work on educational CD from the age of 2 and a half years. She knows lots of rhymes and in my sense is an above average student. I joined her in pre kg class for 2 months and this year she is going to LKG. She comes and narrates everything at home and is up to date in her lessons. The problem is she is not communicating with her teacher. She writes and shows everything on the slate etc but just nods to answer questions as yes or no and refuses to talk to the teacher even though she knows the lessons. Just now the exams are going on in that she just wrote the written part but refused to say the oral part. I have tried asking if she doesn't like the teacher but she says she likes the teacher but she can't say in school and becomes tongue tied, whereas at home she takes all her dolls play acts school and the teacher. She comes home and teaches us the stuff her teacher has taught her with all the actions. What can I do to help her speak up and gain her confidence? She is an only child as my elder son died due to SIDS when he was 6.5 months. I have taught her to the best of my ability and she also eagerly learnt with toys, CD, books. She is very much interested in books. How can she get over being tongue tied at school she says she will say to the teacher but there she gets stuck and says no sound is coming? Please advise me.
A:Let me congratulate you on having a brilliant child. She is not just above average; she is way ahead of others at her age. Her achievements are exceptional. Why don't you let her gradually get over her shyness to speak up in class? Even the teacher must realize that the child has learnt what is taught in class. Forcing her to speak and making a lot of fuss about her shyness is not going to help her. I know many persons, who were shy as children, but have become outgoing adults. We cannot expect all children to be in the same mould. As long as the child is playing, learning, eating and sleeping well and relates to her parents, she is doing FINE. One of these days she will start talking in class and in response to the teachers questions. I really do not think that there is anything you can do. Self confidence, especially in a public sphere like the school, will develop slowly in the case of some children. More than anything else, we have to accept that each child is unique. We also know stories of athletes and sports persons who were sickly in their childhood and have reached great heights later. Just relax and if you can, request the teacher to help the child, by not demanding a reply each time. By next year, she will be chattering away like everyone else. If her not speaking in class continues and is considered a problem by the school, write to me again, six months later. Meanwhile, enjoy the childhood of your talented child.