Social/Emotional Issues

Parenting and working successfully with gifted students to facilitate realization of their potential requires that we understand each individual student’s social and emotional perspective. If we do not understand the student’s full range of social and emotional needs, we may not be able to assist the student in his/her pursuit of sustained academic rigor in individual interest areas. The social/emotional realm is “a topic that is critical to the healthy development of gifted youngsters. However, it is a painful and elusive subject for so many of our gifted young people. An observer, not familiar with the characteristics of giftedness, might think that above-average intelligence, ability, and talent would produce a high sense of self, enabling children to feel secure and pleased with themselves. But we who work and live with bright children know that the opposite is too often the case. Their age peers don’t usually connect to the, thinking they are weird or ‘geeks.’ Their teachers may expect them to conform to grade-level requirements, following a prescribed, but confining curriculum. At times even their parents don’t understand their mood swings – from great job to uncontrollable tears, their sense of inadequacy, and their intense concentration on interests to the exclusion of everything else.”

Galbraith, Judy and Delisle, James. The Gifted Kids Survival Guide: A Teen Handbook, 1996 .

Webb, James T. Guiding the Gifted Child, 1989.