I think I may need some advice from the parents here?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by storm_ina_C_cup, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. storm_ina_C_cup

    storm_ina_C_cup Registered Member

    I've got a little girl who just turned 4 years old a couple months ago. She loves doing jigsaw puzzles, however over the weekend we've run into a bit of a problem with her.

    Over the last couple months she has basically by-passed children's jigsaw puzzles (for her age group) and has pretty much gone right into doing 250 - 400 pc. jigsaws for older children, she was completing them within 15-20 minutes and seeking to do more.

    About a month ago (noticing that she was bored of doing the same puzzles), we went and bought her a few more, 2 of them were 250 pcs. and the other 2 were 500 pcs. Again, she zipped right through them. On Thursday, she asked me if she could have another puzzle because the ones she has were "boring her". I said, "Sure, lets look online for some that might interest you". We went online, she chose three: one was a 500+ jigsaw puzzle ball of the world, one was a 500 pc. Silverback Gorilla and the other was a 1000 pc. Vincent van Gogh, all three I would consider "adult-type" puzzles.

    We went to the shop Saturday morning to pick them up for her; once we got home she said she wanted to do the 500+ pc. puzzle ball, first, so I handed it to her and watched her put it together within 45 minutes. I was absolutely gobsmacked. So after we placed it on it's rotating stand, she asked to do the Silverback Gorilla which was 500 pc. and finished that in about a half hour. She took a "break", went outside to play, then we left for the afternoon came home and she began her 1000 pc. van Gough jigsaw and this is where we ran into an issue, she seemed to put the edges together to form a perfect square within an hour but seemed to get really frustrated (emotional, teary-eyed) when she couldn't find a specific piece for the middle; both my husband and I offered to help her but she insisted that she could do it by herself.
    ....We allowed her to carry on with this puzzle for two days, finally (becasue she became so emotional over it) we told her that she shouldn't feel obligated to finish it, that if it were too hard that it was okay and that we could always find her another one sometime this week. She pressed on for a bit longer until she came up to me in tears again and said, "Mummy I can't do it, it's too hard". I said, "Don't worry, you don't need to do it, there are so many other puzzles out there that you can do"! And she replied, "But I don't want a boring puzzle and that's all that's left in my room".


    What in the hell do I do???

    She's a very bright, sensitive little girl but also seems to have a mind of an older person, if that makes any sense? I don't want her to feel pressured, overwhelmed to do something or resent something she loves doing but I also don't want to not encourage her to do what she feels she can do. Where's the happy-medium to this?
    Oh, and thank you in advance for any advice you may be able to provide. <3
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010

  2. Raos

    Raos Registered Member

    There are some much more advanced puzzles out there that I am sure can challenge her. I had one years ago that was a picture of thousands of jelly beans. The catch was that the puzzle pieces were all the same size and shape (long thin rectangles). Every pieces shape was identical, so all you could go on what the image. To make it harder, both sides of the pieces had a an image (and they were similar, but different on each side) so you had to decide which side was correct.
  3. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    Im no parent but I think I can guess what the problem is. Your daughter is struggling to differentiate between a puzzle and concept volition.

    You have to remind her that puzzles are supposed to be just that; puzzles. They are rewarding because they are frustrating but with perseverance they can be completed.

    It might be time you introduce her to more methodical games where the process is not so random but there is a clear system from start to finish. Where ou're building something not because it is a puzzle but because of the reward of completing it.

    eg. When I was a kid we had things like lego and meccano, where putting the pieces together although often a puzzle did not serve that purpose, the purpose was conception. Whilst a jigsaw purpose is to solve the puzzle.
  4. storm_ina_C_cup

    storm_ina_C_cup Registered Member

    wow! I bet she'd enjoy something like that!
    ...Do you know the exact name of that particular puzzle? I could always google it and look into it.
    Thank You.:)
  5. Jeanie

    Jeanie still nobody's bitch V.I.P. Lifetime

    I like what Bananas suggests.

    Your daughter sounds so much like my daughter. I think you're doing just fine by her - you're letting her take on challenges that she has initiated, you're not making her do it. I think that's how kids learn best when they are younger than 6 or 7. It sounds like she might be a bit obsessive, but it doesn't sound like anything to worry about. I would continue to let her do the hard puzzles if that makes her happy - even if she gets frustrated, just encourage her when she does - but also give her some other challenging things to play with that will let her use her imagination.
  6. Raos

    Raos Registered Member

    I wish I did. It was a puzzle I had back in the early 80's. I don't know if they still make that one, but I am sure if you go to a hobby store and explain your situation they should be able to show you a number of different options that would challenge your daughter.
  7. storm_ina_C_cup

    storm_ina_C_cup Registered Member

    She has tons of LEGO but she will only build something with them if it serves a purpose...(ex: if her dinosaurs, animals or weeble wables need a home or something) but for overall fun, she's really not interested in them.

    For the last year we've been buying her the LEGO that have themes to them as well, like Buzz Lightyear, the Harry Potter Castle, etc. She loves those but again, it's something she'll put together once or twice until it no longer stimulates her and then gives it the cold shoulder.

    Her preschool teacher and I had a discssion not too long ago about the stimulation she seems to crave and it also seems to be a bit of a problem there as well, as she tends to help (rather than play) with the other little children in her class with piecing things together like a little teacher's assistant rather than a child herself.

    She does not display any Autistic traits if anyone is wondering.
  8. Jeanie

    Jeanie still nobody's bitch V.I.P. Lifetime

    I wouldn't think she's autistic or even anywhere on the autism spectrum. she engages with other people, yes? she makes eye contact? If anything I'd think Aspberger's but it doesn't even sound like that to me. Just a little genius who needs stimulation and challenges.
  9. storm_ina_C_cup

    storm_ina_C_cup Registered Member

    Thank you, Jeanie.:)
    ...I take it your little one likes things a bit on the challenging side, too, eh?

    hmmm, She may be a bit on the obsessive side? But I don't know if we're confusing that with her just being very thorough when ever she does a task or even when it comes to speaking or reading a story, etc. It's so hard to tell at this age.

    She has a decent range of toys, books, board and card games, arts and crafts, enjoys playing outside, etc. and hardly ever acts bored when she's using her imagination, playing or doing things that stimulate her- she can even stick to a task for a long period of time; it just seems that we're not finding the right jigsaw puzzle for her???
    Yep, she makes eye contact and engages with other people although she is a bit on the "shy" side like her daddy.:)

    Things like this make you feel like you're doing something wrong. I think we're giving her enough attention, I'm pretty sure we interact with her enough, etc. but I can't help but feel I'm not picking up on something she needs, you know?
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010

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