Back to school means a lot of things to a lot of people. For some of our gifted kiddos, it means back to the social grind. Many of our gifted children struggle when it comes to making friends. The five tips below can help your gifted children feel more comfortable in the social aspects of their lives:
Healthy Habits: Start off on the right foot by making sure the child is practicing healthy habits that include the following:
- Rest – no one functions well on little sleep, and while many gifted children need less sleep, it is important that they develop healthy sleep habits
- Eat well – well-balanced meals are the key.
- Exercise and relaxation – both are needed in a healthy, well-balanced life
- Playtime – gifted children are often very serious. Building in playtime, preferably with others, can help provide much-needed balance
Perspective: Teach children how to discern between the things within his control versus those things outside of his control. The Hula Hoop technique can help:
- Imagine there is a hula hoop on the ground and step into it
- Everything outside of the hula hoop you have NO control over
- Everything inside of the hula hoop you have 100% control over
- The next time you are angry or upset think about the hula hoop. Is this something you have control over, something you can change? If so, make the needed changes. If not, let it go. There is little you can do anyway.
Temperament: Learn the difference between introverts and extroverts (my post earlier this month may help) and help your child determine which one is true for them. This can help in determining the cause and solution for potential problems with peer interactions
Intensities: Help your child deal with their intensities. Here are a few specific strategies to help:
- Teach children that their feelings are a normal part of his personality.
- Build activity into the day.
- Teach relaxation techniques.
- Allow for creative thinking and creative outlets.
Social Skills: Teach your children these five success tips from 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids (Prufrock Press):
- You don’t always have to be right.
- Be a problem solver, not a problem maker
- Never try to hide your giftedness to make friends – it won’t work anyway
- Accept yourself and others as you are
- Don’t take yourself too seriously
These tips will begin to help your children develop the social skills needed to develop healthy peer relationships at school and beyond.