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When Gifted Kids Don’t Fit In

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Explaining giftedness to a child is often overlooked; assuming they understand all the intricacies of being identified gifted. It’s important for children to understand; otherwise, they may accept myths perpetuated by society. Being gifted is more than simply academic achievement or excellence in everything. It’s knowing that it is ok to fail or be less than expected.

Anxiety can play a role in a gifted child’s need to ‘fit in’. Adults may place unfair expectations on children based on their perception of ‘gifted’ and that is hard to live up to at times. Just because a child may not ‘fit it’ doesn’t mean they don’t want to and experience anxiety trying to be something they’re not.

Asynchronous development can also affect a gifted kid’s ability to ‘fit in’. For some gifted kids, asynchronous development can severely affect their ability to engage with age-peers. It can affect how adults interact with gifted kids and perceive how they should act.

How can teachers assist gifted students with fitting in at school? It’s helpful if teachers take time to learn about giftedness; increase their understanding of these kids. Teachers’ expectations should not include using students as teacher aides which can be source of bullying for gifted child.

Parents can help to ensure a good fit in the family as well. Like teachers, parents too must take time to learn about and understand what giftedness is and isn’t. They should guard against favoritism; delegation of tasks; and resource allocation of family funds. Parents can also try to provide opportunities for positive interaction with intellectual peers beyond school walls.

Learning the difference between ‘better at’ and ‘better than’ will go a long way in getting accepted by age-peers. Gifted kids should work to understand their abilities. Positive self-image ultimately benefits in how they relate to others. Developing a sense who what’s important to them; gifted kids may decide not to go along with the crowd to fit in.

An important take-away from the chat was that although it’s natural for kids to want to fit in with age-peers; conversely, gifted kids should also learn that it’s also okay not to ‘fit in’ if they don’t want to do so. 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 Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 1 PM NZST/11 AM AEDT/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 & 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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social & Emotional Needs (Amazon)

The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guide: For Ages 10 & Under (Amazon)

Gifted Children Need a Place to Belong Gifted Children Need a Place to Belong

Gifted Students Often Struggle Socially

10 Facts You May Not Know about Gifted Children But Should

Friendship 101

How to Find Friends

Young, Gifted & Likely to Suffer for It

Gifted Children & Friendships – Why Don’t I Fit In?

How to Help your Gifted Kid Thrive

The Curse of the Gifted & Talented Child

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students

Should We Tell Them They’re Gifted?

Is Your Child Anxious Because They’re Gifted?

Guess What? Gifted Kids Can Have Problems Too

10 Lessons from Gifted Education 

How to Help Your Overthinking Gifted Child

Sprite’s Site: Discovering the Depth and Breadth of Giftedness

Sprite’s Site: Belonging – A Place of Sanctuary

What to Say to Your Gifted Child…about Being Gifted

Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights

Common Characteristics of Gifted Individuals

Hoagies’ Blog Hop May 2014: The “G” Word “Gifted”

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Supporting Exhausted Parents of Gifted Children

“We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.”

~ Jerry Blumengarten

After insisting that ‘duct tape’ was not the answer, the moderator introduced the first question of this chat which involved considering why parents of gifted children are so exhausted. The responses were varied and not always expected. “They are often screaming into the wind trying to get assistance for the very child who is exhausting them at home.” “Because gifted and 2E kids do not have an off-switch – they are on full pace full intensity 24/7!””They’re often married to OTHER gifted people, which adds an entirely new layer to the whole dynamic.” “Even finding a sitter can be difficult!” The full transcript can be found on this blog.

Participants offered some strategies to help parents deal with the stress. “Just keep swimming. Find a tribe, read the books, have a plan A-Z.” “Cut yourself some slack. It’s not about being super parent.” “Do not rely on traditional parenting advice! Time outs and giving choices never worked for me!” “Don’t worry about the opinions of people who don’t live under your roof: friends, family, teachers, bosses, etc.”

Links:

Why Parenting a Gifted Child Is Lonely

Teaching Techniques for Inattentive and Overactive Children (Silverman)

Gifted Children with Learning Disabilities: Lost Treasures

Parenting Gifted Children

Probably 5 Challenges of Raising Gifted Children (That You Never Thought Of)

How to Recognize a Parent of a Gifted Child

Gifted Children: Where to Find Help

“I Don’t Brag About My Gifted Kid” from @laughingatchaos

“If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?” by @laughingatchaos via @GiftedHF

“Educators’ Guide to Gifted Children” from @GiftedHF

“Parenting a Gifted Child Is …” from @SENG_Gifted

A Parents’ Guide to Gifted Children (Webb, Gore, Amend, DeVries)

Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Children (DeLisle)

Cybraryman’s Coping Strategies Page  

Books and Book Reviews from Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

Perspectives in Gifted Homeschooling Series

Bright, Talented, & Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners

Giftedness 101 by Linda Silverman

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