As a parent, how can you help? Work to continue or build a positive relationship with your child or teen. Continue to value and support your child and don’t add additional pressure about social success. Remind your child that popularity becomes less important when entering college. Encourage your child to develop positive interests that will lead them to positive peer groups and social confidence. This can be Scouts, sports, chess or robotics, theater, religious groups, or other groups of interest.
Pre-K and primary elementary children typically have an easier time than those in intermediate grades (3rd-5th). As gifted children age, they are prone to developing a painful self-awareness regarding the qualities that set them apart from others – no matter how wonderful those qualities might be! Reconciling their desire to fit in with the fear that their giftedness might be judged as “different” can present real hurdles.
This is doubly so during the teen years, as the ravages of newly surging hormones can devastate social-emotional confidence during a turbulent time. Even if they seem reluctant, gifted teens benefit from being involved in family activities. Allow your teen to invite a friend when appropriate. Things might seem bumpy, but keep openly communicating – you’ll get through this!
It helps to have help along the way! Keep in contact or become involved with gifted groups as well as school counselors or psychologists with experience nurturing giftedness.