View Full Version : Happy babies are not smart?
04-15-2004, 02:37 PM
My two kids are very different from each other. Aiden is completely like DH and Galen is totally like me. Aiden is sensitive, fussy and very intense. He has long attention span and gets deeped sucked into what he's doing. Galen is mellow, happy and incredibly strong for his size. He also eats a lot and sleeps very well, quite the opposite from his brother. Aiden is 31 months and still clings to DH in bed every night.
Now that Galen is 1 we started to notice that he almost never repeated anything we said or imitated us. All day long he'd just play, crawl, eat, play... and be happy happy happy until he goes to bed. Almost never cries. DH was saying poor little guy, probably not smart, he's just too happy. :) OK if he's really not smart I don't really care, he seems to be a doer and will probably make a good living anyway; but both DH and I have quite high IQ I'm a bit surprised if a kid of ours is not smart. I hope it's not because he was born premature. I think I might have trouble understanding him later. Like "How can you not know that? You already saw that twice." :D
When can we really tell if a baby is smart or not?
04-15-2004, 04:55 PM
Now that Galen is 1 we started to notice that he almost never repeated anything we said or imitated us. All day long he'd just play, crawl, eat, play... and be happy happy happy until he goes to bed. Almost never cries.
Sounds exactly like Emma when she was that age, and she is one of the brightest 7-year-olds I've ever met. And I'd say that even if I wasn't her mother! :D She was just a little sponge, soaking in everything until she was ready to start talking to us about it all. And then we couldn't shut her up! :p
You know how some people just let things roll off their backs? They're easy going, and they don't over-react. Well, some babies are the same way. It's not that they aren't smart, they are simply content! :)
04-15-2004, 06:43 PM
try not to interpret too much into his age right now. My niece was so much like that, that my sister thought maybe Janie was retarded. The teachers just told her she is gifted now, in the 1st grade.
04-16-2004, 06:45 AM
If you are both smart, the chances that your baby is NOT smart are vanishingly small (barring a genetic disorder or brain injury). Children's IQ's fall in a range about 13 points off from the averaged number of their parents' IQ (combined/divided by 2). So even if he's not quite as smart as you, he's still going to be smart.
Not only are temperments different (despite smarts), but areas of gift are different, as well. Mellow, easy-going kids often (in my experience) have a gift for assimilating information without obvious effort. Some of them are what is called 'peripheral learners' - they can learn how to do something without paying much attention. Gabe is a peripheral learner. He learns the lessons that are being taught to other kids across the room from him at school, while he's doing something else! These are also the kids about whom you can never have a conversation in the kitchen while they're in the living room, because they hear (and absorb) every word, even if you didn't think they were listening. The easy-going kids also often have social and/or emotional gifts that make their interactions with others easy to manage.
Both of my kids are easy-going, but in very different ways. Gabe is intense about some things, not about others, and has (or shows) more anxiety and stress than Brendan does (though he's not exactly high-needs, either). Brendan is more mellow and 'blissfully ignorant' of his surroundings most of the time, but when he does react, is it full-force, intense, and powerful. And brief! (LOL!)
Both my kids are also smart. Gabe has intense physical gifts (was hitting pitched ping-pong balls with a wiffle bat - not a fat one, either - at 18 months), wasn't much of a copy-cat that we could tell until he was about 24 months (and not much of one then, either, though all along he could mimic body position on a first try - took a proper batting stance the first time he picked up a bat, and that was just from having watched baseball on tv...), and was only intense in focus on anything to do with music (could watch/listen to an orchestra for an hour at a year old, but was more of a shrug-eh-whatever for most things you'd EXPECT him to be fascinated by...). This was the kid who was never moved by peer pressure or 'doing what others do' - he was completely self-motivated, not 'other-motivated'... At all of 3 years old, when I ONCE tried to get him to use the potty because his cousin did, he looked at me in outright derision and said, "MOM, do you REALLY want me to do things JUST because other kids do them?" (hmm, I think I remember my mom saying 'don't do things just because other kids do'... only that was in Highschool!) OOPS. No, indeed, I don't want him to do things just because other kids do. Never mind!
Gabe is also a happy kid. His teachers never failed to note that he was unfailingly polite, kind, and pleasant, always smiling, always enjoying himself. He's also reading, writing on his own (including composing sentences), and doing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division - in Kindergarten. So I think he's pretty smart. ;)
Don't judge by happiness. We tend to notice that intense kids are smart. But non-intense kids can be just as smart, they just have a different approach. It sounds to me that your younger son is more like Gabe than like your older son. He is sure of his own way, and doesn't need to copy anyone else to get there. He's likely to be unphased by the opinions of others, and more likely to do what makes him happy, no matter whether others consider it a 'high pursuit' or not. (one of my step-brothers was the same way - he is brilliant, but decided that what he enjoyed most was working with his hands, so he started a metal shop, works it as much as he needs to do in order to make enough money to spend the rest of his time hiking and enjoying life - compared to his intense, also-brilliant physicist brother, he's just as happy, and WAY less stressed! And he doesn't care one bit that some people consider his life a 'waste' of his brains. He's got a good life, isn't doing things that make him miserable, and has the least stress of anyone I know. I consider that pretty impressive, myself, especially in today's world!)
Sorry for the book, but I'd hate for you to assume that he's not smart, just because he's happy. That has absolutely nothing to do with it.
04-16-2004, 06:56 AM
Oh, and my second-oldest sister was a lot like that, too. She just wasn't into 'playing along' with everyone else. In preschool, the teacher told my mom she thought my sister was retarded (because she wouldn't participate in things like singing the alphabet song, but preferred to make up her own games and play them by herself). My sister's IQ is 168, and she now makes 6 figures doing validation for life-critical medical systems softwre (like automated breathing machines). She also spends her life doing things she enjoys, no matter what others think - so she retrains retired race horses to be saddle horses, and teaches dancing.
04-16-2004, 07:23 AM
My 2 oldest children were both very much like that...they were quiet, played for hours by themselves...The oldest wanted more attention...she liked to have a friend all the time to play with(an only child who was very social) Neither of them babbled...made baby sounds etc...I read how they start with certain sounds...etc...I despaired they would ever talk because they didn't start witht he usual signs of language readiness...they both talked early...it was like they spent the first 16 months soaking things in...they are both really smart...my 10 year old has mild dyslexia but her intelligence is very high! Actually I think she's brilliant.
Now Sophia is much more sensitive and intense...she seems much more impatient than the other 2(and I have more patience now which is a good match) She is able to play by herself for long periods of time but babbles and talks and reads etc constantly! She is 9 mos now and for 6 mos she was always wanting up...now she wants down.
All 3 of my babies have been so different...all are smart. I wouldn't really worry about IQ's~I hope my kids are happy~I think that's the best kind of child to have.
You know with my first 2 girls I do think that their dad's genes played a role in their abilities to learn...he is most likely dyslexic(Now that I know the signs I swear it's true though I didn't realize it at the time)
My current husband is very very smart...clever is the word I use...it's more about what he can figure out rather than what he knows...
I am also pretty intelligent and have a high IQ (which I don't really see as important)but I more know things rather than figure things out if you kwim.
There are so many kinds of intelligence...oh be careful of that happy happy baby...they discover all kinds of ways to get in trouble doing all that happy thinking...and consequences...well no big deal! They are so happy they don't care...my middle daughter...send her to her room and she will lie on her bed and tell herself a lovely story...sigh...hard to punish that one...
04-17-2004, 03:42 PM
My dd was happy and very passive. She started school and just didn't seem to "get it." The teacher would give the class directions and all the other kids would be following the directions, except for Kristen. I was starting to think that in retrospect, I should have known she wasn't smart. It was shocking because I learned to read at 3 years old and hubby and I both have high IQs. I expected that dd would do the same. But she didn't.
The trouble with Kristen following directions was in Kindergarten and now dd is in second grade. Once Kristen learned to read, she was off like a shot. I think part of it may be that Kristen just wasn't attuned to social cues. She's fine now, but we had to be very specific about things. "Kristen, when the teacher is talking, you have to listen to her and do what she says. That's what she means when she tells you to follow directions." You would think that you wouldn't have to do this with a child who is pretty bright in other ways. I think that it definitely made me realize that there are different kinds of intelligence. It may take awhile for some children to realize what is expected of them in school. Kristen was also diagnosed with ADD so we think that was part of the problem. Luckily we've been able to handle that with behavioral modification techniques. And being able to read helps because one of the tools we use is the almightly checklist. Kristen needs a checklist because otherwise details are overwhelming for her.
I'm not sure yet whether my spastic 3-year old ds is a smart kid or not but it's hard to tell. Bottom line is that Kristen is doing okay in school and I think she's probably smart. This is the child who was so passive that at 2 years old, she saw a mosquito on her arm and just cried. She wouldn't even brush the mosquito off. (Poor baby!)
04-19-2004, 06:37 AM
I think this has much more to do with personality (not brain power!) We're all different. For some kids speech will be something they'll want to do ASAP and others feel okie dokie waiting. Not to worry!
04-19-2004, 10:31 AM
Seb wasnt a huge talker/mimiker at that age...he was too busy running around (smiling and happy like Galen!) to care to stare at one of us for a few minutes then do what we did. Just his personality I reckon....happy kids are fun kids!
I dont think you can truely tell intellegence until a child is much older. But, I think intellegence comes in many forms and talents too.
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