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Navigating the social landscape for tweens

Part 6 of Davidson Gifted Perspectives, a video series that examines a number of different gifted-related issues and viewpoints

Parenting a profoundly gifted tween or teen doesn’t come with a roadmap. During these years, gifted teenagers are figuring out who they are, their place in the world, and how to be an independent person. There are hormones, school pressures, and social turbulence. Lay on profound giftedness, and sometimes other exceptionalities, and that’s a whole host of things already! All that together can impact a person’s social experience.

During middle school, especially, we typically see a lot of shifts in the social landscape. Is there cause for concern when a Young Scholar says that they want to stop hanging out with their friends? This was the question a parent had. Their tween had been generally happy and engaged but was now pulling back a bit socially, though they said everything overall was fine. 

Some of our Young Scholars know that they are different when they are quite young. Others don’t really feel the tension of being different until they get a bit older. Socialization is a topic we talk about a lot here at Davidson, and we’ve had many conversations with Young Scholar families about navigating these years specifically.

Some Young Scholars don’t see their classmates as intellectual peers, or they don’t care about the same things as their friends so it can be difficult to connect at deeper levels. In some situations, Young Scholars find interest-based friend groups outside of their school and focus on academics during their school day. Some people are shyer and more introspective than others, preferring to spend more time contemplating as opposed to socializing. 

As parents of profoundly gifted tweens and teens, you may be worrying about their social life during these years. The landscape can shift quite a bit. Helping profoundly gifted tweens and teens to navigate social landscapes in a way that is authentic and genuine can be tricky.  

In this clip from our Parent Consulting Circle, our virtual Q&A for parents, one of the Family Services team members shares her thoughts and insight on this situation.

Register for our next Young Scholars Application Q&A Event >