Dr. Helen

The Trials and Tribulations of the Gifted

I have to take CE credits for my license as a psychologist each year and decided today to take an e-course on gifted children and adults. Usually, these CE credits are a real chore where the professional goes through the motions to get enough information to answer a series of questions in order to get a certificate. However, I was pleasantly surprised to actually read a few things about gifted children and adults that was actually helpful. I thought my readers might find some of the information about gifted kids and adults helpful too.

The article I read was by James T. Webb,PhD, one of the authors of Guiding the Gifted Child: A Practical Source for Parents and Teachers. I looked the book up and read the the description:

Gifted children have unique social and emotional concerns. Their characteristics, combined with current educational practices, often put them at risk for problems.

This award-winning book contains chapters on motivation, discipline, peer relationships, sibling relationships, stress management, depression, and many other issues that parents and teachers encounter daily with these children.

It has been called “The Dr. Spock book for parents of gifted children.”

According to the article, people do not understand kids who are gifted and see them as immature emotionally because they may seem overly excitable or sensitive. A gifted kid can often see in his “mind’s eye” what he wants to do or construct but his motor skills don’t allow him to do it. He or she becomes frustrated and has a meltdown or emotional outburst and people think he/she is immature. Judgement also lags intellect as gifted kids often feel stressed because they attempt to deal with emotions and social concepts beyond their capacity. Sometimes experience is the only teacher and gifted kids are still just…kids.

Gifted kids also tend towards perfectionism and might avoid taking risks. They expect much of themselves and others. They can see possibilities, but at the same time, they see potential problems and “consider alternatives and outcomes to such a degree that taking action is hindered.”

If you want to read more about gifted kids and adults, you can go the website Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted here.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage based on a modified Shutterstock.com image.)