Friday, September 9, 2011

Intelligence: what can a 3-year-old understand?

Maybe intelligence is too loaded a word, maybe understanding is what I'm talking about -- not sure, though.

Sonny turend three years old recently and he leaves me befudled by his understanding or lack of it of many things around him. Ok, before anyone can pounce on me, i know "he's only 3!!!"

I'm looking at it in relative terms -- I'm not comparing him with other kids. I'm comparing it with his comprehension of various different things.

He asks me questions about death, my aunt who died, weather we'll all "go" one day too, and seems to be pretty calm and absorbent with the explanations offered.

He wants to know what happens to food once we put it in our mouth, how mosquitoes suck our blood, how water comes out in a tap, where from etc. He understands most of the answers given.

He's able to solve pretty complex jigzaw puzzles...he also seems to have a decent memory for names, things, incidents, people, places, images... 

He's figured out that the gate mustbe closed behind him, that after eating chocolate, the wrapper must be thrown in a dustbin...

But then seemingly simple things, he can't get. Each time I raise this, a very kind ol uncle of mine says that's how kids work. What's "seemingly simple" to us adults is not necessarily simple for kids. Hmmm plausible explanation.

But he can't seem to understand that i need to eat, to pee, -- basic things that others do too -- and he does too. Why is that unacceptable? Agreed, may be he thinks it takes away from the time spent with him, but honestly, a pee? And all the time I eat at home, I eat with him or soon after him, sometimes talking to him or while playing with him. He also doent allow any people into the house (maha-embarassing) and screams when I take a phone call at home -- even as I type all this out it's getting clearer that these may be "wanting attention" issues.

He can't seem to care for explanations when he wants his way -- a sort of blocking out of logic when he wants what he does. I'm tired now of tantrums. Screaming, crying bouts for "i don't want to eat this!" or "i want to go to grandpa's RIGHT NOW", "i don't want to sleep inside the mosquito net", or "i don't want to wash my hands before eating". No explanation is acceptable when he WANTS or doesn't want these things.
He doesn't want to understand the word "no". When it's bedtime he wants to colour. When it's time for dinner he doesnt want food, when it's time to play he's hungry -- just so disturbingly so. Is it his way of telling me he's The Boss? Gawwwdddd.....
I'm not really thinking this all out clearly maybe...maybe i'm mixing up issues. But i'm just TIRED. heeelllllpppppp


Aparna said...

Hang in there Forever Mother!

A lot of the stuff you mentioned sounds just like at our household too! S is pretty much at the same stage, so knowledgeable about some stuff, so completely stubborn on others :(. Distracting works sometimes, speaking in a firm voice works sometimes, but no magic solution as far as I've seen until now. I just try my best to not give in to the unreasonable stuff so he knows that some things are non-negotiable - like the washing hands you mentioned for instance.

The only silver lining is that it does seem to get a little better as he's getting a bit older :).

Garima said...

Haha.....sorry I am being so inconsiderate...but trust me it gets better. E minute V turned three, it's like she changed, completely, like u said, complex things, rather things she liked to do came so easily to her and things she didn't want to do, no reasoning helped. I think it's age appropriate.

Having said that, my mum told me this- just continue life as normal with the tantrums.....if I don't give heed, she will stop. I have tried that one out of ten times......let's see. We will figure it out as a part of it.

Forever mother said...

Hey guys thanks for the encouragement that "it will get better" and for pointing out that my son is no oddball
It's just that sometimes, I have to vent...I need this reassurance.
Thanks both of u

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Enjoyed reading this. Been through some of it. When my kid was three, he was so curious about planets and knew all of them by heart, which one's red, hot, big, small, that kind of thing. It's an age-specific, interest-related phase of development i guess. But when it comes to stuff that we adults lose sleep on, the kids shrug it off. Maybe the truth is they are wiser than us when it comes to identifying their priorities.