Gifted children are first and foremost children. That means that they have the same social and emotional needs that other children have. However, gifted children tend to be intense and those intensities create needs that other children don’t have. When we fail to understand those needs, if those needs aren’t met, gifted kids may be at risk for academic underachievement, social isolation, and even depression.
Gifted kids are often misdiagnosed as having any one (or more) of a variety of behavior problems. The reason for this misdiagnosing is that what is perfectly normal behavior for a gifted child looks to some people to be problem behavior. A bored, gifted child, for example, acts quite a bit like a child with ADHD.
Exploring Social and Emotional Aspects of Giftedness in Children
This article by Deirdre V. Lovecky from the Roeper Review is a thorough discussion of the factors like excitability and divergent thinking that affect the social and emotional lives of gifted kids. It also provides ways parents can intervene to help their kids.
Highly gifted children and peer relationships
Here’s another article by Deirdra Lovecky. This one discusses the peer relationships of highly gifted kids. It’s not always easy for gifted children, especially highly gifted ones, to find true peers. This article explains why.