by Annika Hensel
The five-year-old (tested) gifted Ben had an accident in the kindergarten. When he climbed on the horizontal bar on the outdoor area, he slipped off and banged his face in the ground. His nose was bleeding badly and he was screaming in pain and terror.
I just happened to be nearby and I was the first one with him. I tried to calm him down, carried him inside and sat down with him. A colleague brought a gauze bandage to stop the heavy bleeding.
Ben was very upset and screamed and cried because he was bleeding so much. He kept screaming, „It’s bleeding!“
Since I knew Ben was quite rational and able to understand an explanation, I told him that it would be better if he calmed down, because then his heart would beat slower again. The heart pumps the blood through the body – and the nose would certainly stop bleeding faster if the heart was not pumping so much.
He understood it immediately and I could sense him trying to calm down, which he did well in spite of his obvious fear.
Nevertheless, his nose was still bleeding heavily, so a colleague and I decided to call the ambulance. This I tried to tell Ben carefully. But he was beside himself with fear and shouted he didn’t want an ambulance – he only wanted to see his mother.
Again I explained to him that a colleague had already called his mother and that I would never allow us to go to the hospital without his mother. (We knew she could be there very quickly because she works nearby.)
He calmed down a little, but he needed more soothing.
Once again it became clear to me that Ben, being gifted, is much better at assessing things than other children of his age. He will understand the possible consequences of an accident much better than other children and therefore tends to be just the more frightened.
My awareness of Ben’s giftedness helped me reassure him with factual explanations. I told him that I wouldn’t let him go to the hospital alone and that I wasn’t allowed to, because I had signed a contract with his parents saying we would always look after him when he is in kindergarten. And many other things, too, about the ambulance and the hospital examination I explained to him.
Of course, he was still scared, but didn’t panic anymore. He clung to me and waited for his mother to come. Although the paramedics arrived before his mother, he no longer panicked.
Finally it became clear how much Ben feared hospitals, but also that one can help him reduce his fears by way of factual explanations.
More about Ben:
Establishing a Relationship with a Gifted 5-Year-Old (German version)
The Story of Philippus (German version)
Timidity and Apprehension in Gifted Children
Date of publication in German: February 2016
Translation: Arno Zucknick
Copyright © Annika Hensel, see imprint