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Q:

My gifted child is struggling with fitting in and making friends, what can I do to support them socially?

Hi everyone,

I have a gifted child who seems to be struggling with fitting in and making friends in their peer group. As a parent, it is concerning for me to see that my child is so intellectually advanced, but possibly lacking in social skills. I want to support them in any way I can, but I am not sure where to start.

My child consistently performs at a high level academically and has a unique perspective on the world. However, they often feel like they do not belong or that their peers do not understand them. This has resulted in my child feeling isolated and alone, which is heartbreaking for me to see.

I have talked to my child's teacher, and they have mentioned that they have noticed this trend in the classroom as well. They suggested finding extracurricular activities or programs that might interest my child and allow them to interact with like-minded individuals.

I would appreciate any advice or personal anecdotes from parents who may have gone through a similar situation. How did you support your child socially? What worked and what did not? Any advice on finding socialization opportunities for gifted children would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for any insights or experiences you can share with me.

All Replies

eichmann.benton

Hello fellow parents,

I completely empathize with this concern. My son has experienced social struggles since he was young, and as he's grown older, it's become clear that his giftedness does play a role in this. One of the things that has worked well for us is identifying his strengths and finding ways to foster them.

For example, my son has a knack for learning foreign languages. We found a language exchange program in our community that matched him with a native speaker his age who also wanted to learn English. This was a fantastic opportunity for him to connect with someone who shared his interest, and he was able to develop a close friendship over time.

Another aspect that's helped my son is offering him additional challenges to keep him engaged. We worked with his school to create a program where he could take on more advanced projects and collaborate with older students. This has given him a sense of pride in his work and has allowed him to gain recognition from both teachers and peers.

Lastly, we've encouraged him to pursue activities outside of school that he's passionate about, such as coding, writing and playing Dungeons & Dragons. These have given him a sense of community and a place where he feels he can be himself.

I hope this perspective helps, and I wish you all the best in supporting your gifted children as they navigate their social lives.

lskiles

Greetings,

I just wanted to share my personal experience as a gifted child who struggled with socializing in school. Looking back, I think one factor that contributed to my difficulty in making friends was my tendency to be overly critical of myself and others.

As a gifted child, my mind was constantly analyzing and dissecting the world around me. This made it hard to just relax and enjoy socializing with my peers. I would often overthink every interaction and worry that I was not measuring up to some standard of perfection in my head.

What helped me break out of this cycle was learning to be more compassionate and empathetic towards others. I started volunteering at a local animal shelter and found that helping others in need gave me a sense of purpose and connection. It also taught me important skills like active listening, teamwork, and communication, which improved my social skills.

I also found that pursuing creative projects like painting and writing allowed me to express myself in ways that I couldn't in social situations. This gave me a greater sense of self-awareness and confidence.

So my advice to parents of gifted children struggling with socializing would be to encourage your child to find ways to connect with others through shared interests or volunteering. And to teach them to be kind to themselves and others, recognizing that no one is perfect, and that's okay.

Best of luck to you and your child.

koch.demarco

Hello everyone,

I can relate to this issue as my gifted daughter had similar challenges growing up. She was often bored in school and didn't relate to her peers who were more interested in mainstream gaming and reality TV. As a result, she was labeled as "weird" and "nerdy," leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

One thing that seemed to help her was expanding her social network beyond her peer group. We started attending events like science fairs, art shows, and programming seminars where she could meet other gifted individuals and professionals. This helped her to realize that she was not alone in her interests and that there were others out there who valued her intellect.

Additionally, we encouraged her to start her own projects, such as creating a science blog or programming her own games. This gave her a sense of purpose and accomplishment that boosted her self-esteem.

As she got older, we found that her social skills improved naturally as she found her niche in college and beyond. She still struggles with small talk and socializing in large groups, but she has found a small community of like-minded individuals who value her uniqueness.

In conclusion, my advice to parents of gifted children struggling with socializing is to encourage them to seek out like-minded individuals beyond their peer group and to encourage them to pursue their passions. With time and patience, they will find their place in the world.

tyson32

Hi there,

I completely understand where you're coming from as my child was in a similar situation. As a gifted child, my son struggled to make friends in his age group, and it was heartbreaking to see him feeling so isolated. We tried enrolling him in various mainstream programs, but he found it challenging to fit in and connect with others.

We eventually found a gifted summer camp that he loved and allowed him to connect with other kids who share his interests and passions. This has been invaluable in helping him feel like he belongs and boosting his self-confidence.

Another thing that has helped is connecting with other families with gifted children through local support groups and online forums. We now attend regular meetups and have developed some close friendships with families who understand the unique challenges we face.

In terms of extracurricular activities, we experimented with a few different programs until we found the right fit. For my son, it was chess club and robotics club where he found other kids who shared his interests.

Overall, my advice would be to keep trying different things until you find what works for your child. It can be a frustrating and emotional journey, but when you find the right community and activities, it can make all the difference in your child's social and emotional well-being.

murray.arch

Hello everyone,

As a parent of a gifted child who struggled with fitting in and making friends in school, I discovered that it was important to provide my child with a safe and supportive environment at home. Gifted children often feel like they don't fit in, and they need a sense of belonging somewhere.

We tried different approaches, such as finding extra-curricular activities that she liked, such as a chess club, which allowed her to interact with like-minded peers. We also tried attending talks or events on giftedness, so she could meet and network with professionals or gifted adults. However, the challenge persisted, and the key component that made the biggest difference was the safety net that we had created at home.

We made sure to provide a space for her to be herself, express her thoughts and share her interests. The conversations that we shared often involved intellectual or nerdy discussions, and I made an effort to show interest or learn something new. This was crucial for my daughter, as she felt that her interests were appreciated.

One piece of advice that worked well was creating or participating in virtual communities, such as a coding group or a book club, where my daughter could safely interact with like-minded individuals without the fear of feeling isolated, judged, or bullied. In some cases, social skills could be developed online and then transferred to face-to-face interactions.

In summary, nurturing your gifted child's well-being requires creating and maintaining a safe environment at home and providing opportunities to socialize with like-minded individuals. This creates a support system that will give your child the confidence to express themselves and continue to pursue their interests, ultimately building their social skills.

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