two-friendsIf you’re the parent of a gifted child, you most likely know how hard it can be for your child to find his true peers.  If you’re not the parent of a gifted child, you might be wondering what I’m talking about.  True peers? As opposed to what?  Untrue peers?  Remember that a peer is someone like you.  If you think of your own peers, you most likely think of people in your generation who share your interests, who think like you do, who maybe have a similar education level, or who at least thinks on the same level you do.  Why is it so hard for gifted kids to find true peers?

The main reason gifted kids have a hard time finding true peers is asynchronous development. That means a child who is 8 years old might be more like 12 intellectually, but still 8 emotionally.  Or he might be 10 emotionally and socially, but 8 chronologically and 12 intellectually. And yet he is forced to spend his days in a room filled with 8 year olds.  Unless there are other gifted kids in that classroom, he is unlikely to find an intellectual peer. Let’s say the classroom has 2 or 3 other gifted children. Does that mean they are all alike?  They are all the same age intellectually?  They all share the same interests? Of course not. Gifted children are as different from one another as non-gifted children are from other non-gifted children.

Imagine what it would be like if the only people you could socialize with are those who are the same age you are. At work, you can collaborate only with those your age.  You can socialize only with people in your neighborhood who are your age.  If you can’t find anyone who share your interests, well, that’s too bad. You just need to get along with others. If you can’t, then we’ll just say you have a problem socializing and can’t work well with others.

Adults are lucky, though. We don’t have to stick with people our age.  And if we don’t like the people we work with, we can leave and find another job. Even if it’s hard to find another job, we do still have that option. We can also find our work situation more tolerable if we have good friends outside of work. We can find our true peers in different places and in different ways. We can join clubs and organizations. We can take classes.

Our children can do none of that on their own. They can’t change schools and usually can’t even change classrooms. They can’t join organizations and clubs or take classes – unless we help them.  That is what I did for my son. He had no true peers in his classes at school, so I found places for him to go and I took him to those places. Our first – and best – place was Super Saturday classes. Those were classes designed specifically for gifted kids. We had to drive nearly 2 hours to get to them, but it was well worth the drive. Being with other kids who were his true peers made a world of difference. He no longer felt “weird” and alone.  And neither did I.

http://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/two-friends.jpghttp://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/two-friends-150x150.jpgCarol BainbridgeFor ParentsSocial Emotional IssuesFriendships,Socialization
If you're the parent of a gifted child, you most likely know how hard it can be for your child to find his true peers.  If you're not the parent of a gifted child, you might be wondering what I'm talking about.  True peers? As opposed to what?  Untrue...