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What to Do When Friends & Family Don’t Get Gifted

gtchat 12072017 Friends

Any parent of a gifted child will tell you friends and family can unfortunately make a difficult situation worse with insensitive comments. There are strategies available to mitigate negative comments and actions.

Varying abilities can play a role in family dynamics. When talking about abilities, all family members should be considered; parents as well as siblings. It’s fairly common to have a range of abilities within the same family. Issues may arise between gifted and highly gifted or twice-exceptional siblings. If parents present as 2E or highly gifted, it can also make a difference.

There are times when a child’s giftedness will become more of an issue than normal. These can include the first day of school, school transitions, or graduation when a child has been accelerated and age differences are accentuated. Holidays involving extended family also make for tense situations at a time when sensitivities are already on overload.

Insensitive comments can come from both friends and strangers. Hopefully, very young children do not hear them because most often they will understand the intent. It helps to talk about what it means to be gifted with the child; not ‘better than’, but ‘better at.’ (Delisle)

There are strategies parents can use to respond to envious comments from other adults. They can attempt to educate others about what giftedness is and isn’t. There were many resources shared during this chat and included in the links below. In the end, it may be in everyone’s best interest to ignore comments not made in the presence of the child.

Where can parents find support in resolving issues with friends and family? Initially, parents should look for support locally; either in the form of existing groups of gifted parents or by forming such a group. Most kids know who is in the gifted program at their school. Also, state and national gifted organizations have parent divisions. Well known groups supporting parents include SENG and Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


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Off the Charts: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child (Amazon)

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If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional (Amazon)

Envy and Your Gifted Child

Envy and Giftedness: Are We Underestimating the Effects of Envy?

My Child is Gifted: Do You Think I’m Bragging Now?

GHF Brochures

Sprite’s Site: Surviving the Holidays

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Living with Gifted Children

Sprite’s Site: When Extended Family Don’t Get Giftedness

Are All Children Gifted?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay and Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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