Tips For Parents: Gifted Kids and the Social Scene
Fonseca, C.
Davidson Institute for Talent Development

This Tips for Parents article is from a seminar hosted by Christine Fonseca, who provides advice on helping gifted students understand social dynamics.

Gifted kids can have a difficult time making friends related to their intensities and the many attributes of giftedness that potentially impacts peer relationships. Below is a list of tips that can help take your child from struggling to succeeding when it comes to understanding social dynamics:

  • Start off on the right foot by making sure the child is practicing healthy habits that include:
    • Get plenty of rest
    • Eating well balanced meals
    • Find time to exercise and relax every day
    • Remember to play
  • Teach the child to discern between the things within his control versus those things outside of his control. The Hula Hoop technique can help:
    • Imagine there is a hula hoop on the ground and step into it
    • Everything outside of the hula hoop you have NO control over
    • Everything inside of the hula hoop you have 100% control over
    • The next time you are angry or upset think about the hula hoop. Is this something you have control over, something you can change? If so, make the needed changes. If not, let it go. There is little you can do anyway.
  • Learn the difference between introverts and extroverts and help your child determine which one is true for them. This can help in determining the cause and solution for potential problems with peer interactions.
  • Help your child deal with their intensities. Here are a few specific strategies to help:
    • Teach the child that his feelings are a normal part of his personality.
    • Build activity into the day.
    • Teach relaxation techniques.
    • Allow for creative thinking and creative outlets.
  • Teach your child these five success tips from 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids (Prufrock Press):
    • You don’t always have to be right.
    • Be a problem solver, not a problem maker
    • Never try to hide your giftedness to make friends – it won’t work anyway
    • Accept yourself and others as you are
    • Don’t take yourself too seriously

These tips will start you on your way to teaching your child the skills they need to develop healthy peer relationships that can build a sense of connection in your child and help further develop resiliency skills.

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