Celebrating a child’s gifts is a huge source of parental pride. But unfortunately it doesn’t end there. Anxiety. Depression. Social isolation. Far from gifts, these traits can sometimes go hand-in-hand with gifted children. When a child’s intellectual development is out of sync with his/her emotional development or with the maturity level of his/her peers, issues tend to arise.
It’s not uncommon for gifted kids to be misunderstood and their behaviors to be incorrectly labeled as negative. Is she being bossy and controlling or is her behavior due to anxiety and fear of failure? Is he being rude or does he withdraw socially because he feels different and unable to fit in? Is she being arrogant or is she rightfully confident? Is he seeking attention or is he utterly unchallenged? Is she manipulating me or is she just gifted? As adults we need to recognize what’s really going on for these kids and to seek support when they are struggling.
But my thoughts on the subject don’t compare to hearing it directly from the source. Take a moment to read A Gifted Child Speaks Out: The 7 Things He Wants You to Know, written by a 14-year old gifted student who wants to be better understood.