8 Things the World Must Understand About Gifted Children
Gifted children are often misunderstood by society…
Wait. You know what? I’m gonna write this truthfully. This is going to be written from the heart. I am going to tell you quite honestly how I feel about this matter using the very words and thoughts that are pushing to filter through my exasperation, heartache and anger. Upfront, I will say that I am yielding to a powerful case of emotional writing.
I am frustratingly tired of people misunderstanding and mistreating gifted children, especially in our schools, all because they just don’t know enough about the social and emotional quirks of gifted children. Let’s face it, we should always treat each other with respect and consideration, but we know that is not always the reality.
Envy, competitiveness, lack of compassion and resentfulness should never influence our behavior towards others. However, gifted children seem to be affected far more often by these negative emotions cast on them from others. Why? I would have to say because people just don’t understand that gifted children are so much more complex than the smart, perfect, life-is-easy little people the world thinks they are!
So, here are the 8 things the world must know about gifted children:
1. There is more to gifted children than their intelligence.
Gifted children are affectionate, fun-loving, innocent, and yes, sometimes they do misbehave. Their IQ’s do not make them circus freaks, Doogie Howsers or anomalies.
2. They are emotionally very sensitive.
Gifted children may take a small, critical comment and internalize it to the point that they may start to hate themselves or believe everyone hates them. Comments or situations others don’t think twice about can wreak emotional havoc on a gifted child.
3. They may think like an adult, but can also act like a much-younger child.
Two words: asynchronous development. Gifted children’s reasoning and critical thinking may rival most adults, but that doesn’t mean they should be expected to socially and emotionally handle adult situations. And they definitely should not be disciplined for not acting like the adult they seem to be. They are children and they should be treated with respect.
4. They have a strong sense of right and wrong.
Justice and fairness must always prevail in a gifted child’s life. Little white lies, pretense, double-standards, exaggeration or faulty reasoning will NOT fly with a gifted child. Not ever! So, don’t go there.
5. Gifted does not mean perfect.
They are not perfect; they are human beings just like everyone else. Just because they are gifted, please do not expect them to be perfect little soldiers.
6. Being gifted does not equal straight A’s.
Not all gifted children are high achievers. Many times gifted children because of their emotional sensitivities and above-average intelligence suffer from anxiety, fear of failure or perfectionism, and other factors which can prevent them from being successful in school.
7. They are not gifted in everything.
Gifted children can excel in Math and Science, and then just really suck in English and Reading.
8. They have a very keen sense of social dynamics.
Gifted children can have the ability to size-up an adult who may not be acting like an adult should, and they understand the social dynamics of the situation. They can also zero in on peers who are envious or overly competitive, and they understand why. They know what you do and why you do it!
I’m sure there are others characteristics that you would like to add to this list. Here’s your chance to let everyone know what you want them to understand about gifted children! Please add your thoughts to the comments below!
And then pass it on!