Also in my son’s first semester journal was this small but vital true/false quiz regarding communicating and problem solving with peers. First, as a parent, I appreciate this, because most people (or I perceive that most people) don’t realize that a person who has been identified as gifted genuinely does interact with their world in different ways, but I can’t exactly explain away my son’s seemingly rude conversational skills with “oh, he’s gifted”. For example, currently our eldest has an oral comprehension level of a student in his senior year of high school, but he’s in elementary school. I remember when we first tried youth soccer when he was three and he sobbed on the sidelines that he’d never be as good as his coach because he couldn’t get the correct trajectory. The word “correct” isn’t typical for a three year old, much less “trajectory”. Plus, he used both words accurately in context. The typical trait of perfectionism was already evident. He couldn’t relate to his peers on the soccer team, and they couldn’t relate to him, at least not without some help. A child who is gifted isn’t only highly intelligent or exceptionally good at reading. There’s just a lot more to it than that. Second, for my son, I’m glad his teacher took time to normalize that working things out with friends might be harder for him. If my son is using words that high school students use and his classmates are using elementary vocabulary, this will cause some disconnectedness. This sheet of paper assures my son that it’s ok to have trouble talking to people, that you don’t have to be perfect at everything. It tells him that if having friends feels like hard work, it’s probably because it is. #1 on this list was a reminder to me to be patient, with him and with myself. It looks like my kid might argue with everyone. Though he will eventually learn to better control his retorts, he may always live in the world of rhetoric. It’s ok that I’m tired and exasperated some days, if not many days in a row. My son is learning how to navigate the world of people and relationships, practicing on me. I should give myself some credit for that and not be so hard on myself for getting irritated and hurt. I’m living with a kid who adores me, but doesn’t understand he’s bossing me around all day, always ready to tell me why he is right and I am not. I guess one plus that I’ve missed is that when he says he thinks I’m the best mom, he has no doubt that he is right. I may not feel like the best mom, the perfectionism I see in him mirroring my own, but in this particular instance, it is his perspective that matters more than mine.
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January 22, 2022
2 thoughts on “Helping kids who are gifted talk to their friends.”
Thank you for this. Jackson has problems with perfectionism and is so hard on himself. This helps.
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I’ll write more on it in the future, especially if it’s helpful. I’m glad I had something useful for you today!