Posted by gtchatmod
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.
About the author: Lisa 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.