What can you do when your gifted or twice-exceptional child does not fit in?
You watch from the sidelines as other children easily bond on the playground, receive party invitations, and seem to effortlessly attract friends. But your child's attempts to socialize are more frequently declined by peers — sometimes with aloof avoidance and other times with overt refusal. It is heartbreaking to witness the exclusion of your child.
From an early age, gifted and twice-exceptional children recognize their differences. They notice how they grasp information more quickly and with more depth and complexity than their same-age peers. They become frustrated when their friends don't understand the rules of a complicated game or don't get their jokes. They also feel the sting of rejection when they are excluded or teased because of their differences. Some internalize mocking comments lobbed toward them. Geek. Weirdo. Nerd. Or much worse ...
What Can Parents Do?
How can you help your child navigate the social climate, find like-minded peers, and remain true to himself? What will guide her toward developing the necessary social skills — without excessive conformity and compromise? And how do you address these concerns without conveying anxiety, criticism, or frustration? The following are a few suggestions:
1. Help Your Child Understand Their Giftedness
Help your child appreciate that giftedness is just one aspect of who he is. A clear, no-frills explanation that conveys the facts without suggesting that he is better than other children will provide a context for what he already senses about himself. Tailor your language to your child’s age and capacity for understanding and help him recognize that giftedness may affect how he ...
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