All children’s names have been changed.
Example by Hanna Vock
A mother reported the following to me:
Yesterday my son (4;6) suddenly said:
„Mummy, my head is somehow like a house. There are different rooms in it and in each room there is always something that is the same or belongs together. And in the rooms, unimportant things are deleted. The important things stay inside. There are policemen in front of the doors of the rooms who then guard them. Cool, isn’t it?“
Date of publication: January 2021
Example by Hanna Vock, Bonn
Sven and his friend Tom (both names changed) were in the same kindergarten group. From early on they and their families had been close friends and they would share many activities at the weekends. The two boys knew each other well and played together a lot in kindergarten.
Sven turned out to be gifted and was tested later. Tom was a smart little boy himself, his intelligence above average, however, not so much as to be gifted.
Both had turned 5 years old. This was when Sven, the gifted one, one day approached his kindergarten teacher and said sadly: “Tom can’t be my friend any more.” That was unheard of and parents, kindergarten teachers as well as other kids in the group tried to find out what had happened.
Sven was sad and disturbed, but obviously wasn’t able to explain his decision, none the less keeping it up. He wouldn’t play with Tom any more and for several days just kept repeating his statement: “You can’t be my friend any more.” Both children were visibly suffering.
Then one day Sven approached his kindergarten teacher with the following words, which he had apparently been contemplating for quite a while:
„A true friend is someone with whom one can talk about the things that one is concerned about the most, right?”
Later on he added: „And that just didn’t seem to be possible with Tom any more.“
Some time later he entrusted this to his kindergarten teacher: „I wanted to talk with him the way I talk with you, about war and so on, but he only said: >Yeah, that’s bad – but let’s play Lego now.< And the next day he said: >Just cut it out, it‘s getting on my nerves.< And that’s when he couldn’t be my friend any more.”
Sven had contemplated this intensely for a long time in order to be able to explain his decision and his feelings to others. In the course of this rather remarkable intellectual query for a five-year-old he had come up with an incredibly mature concept of friendship. According to my experience children will develop a comparable concept of friendship only years later, if at all.
Further details about this example can be found in the article On Gifted Preschool Children s Reasoning and Emotion.
Date of publication in German: October 30 th, 2008
Translated by Arno Zucknick
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see Imprint.