Social Issues: Gifted Students in School Communities
Being labeled "gifted" or "bright" is not a good thing for many students. They want to fit in with the other students, and having these labels makes it hard for them to be accepted. Being familiar with this list of social issues that affect gifted students, will help you to recognize any problems more easily.
Bullying or Teasing
Gifted children are often the target of teasing and bullying from the other students. Being called names, shoved, left out, intimidated, and even being hit or kicked, may be considered a normal part of the day, by some gifted children.
Signs of Bullying
- Not eating well
- Not sleeping well
- Not wanting to go to school
- Complaints of headaches
- Complaints of stomach aches
If you notice any of these signs in your child, start by trying to talk to them. Let them know that you are there for them and want to help.
If you have experienced bullying or teasing, share your story with them. This will help them understand that they are not alone, and that you know what they are going through.
Help them plan out what to do if it happens again. This can be things like staying calm, ignoring it, and walking away. Explain to them that if the situation becomes physical, or they feel anxious or scared, to tell the teacher immediately.
School systems should have a "zero tolerance program" on bullying and teasing. If your child's school does not have one, then discuss this option with the school faculty.
Gifted children want to fit in and be considered "normal" by their peers. This need to be accepted, may lead to rebellious activities by your child. They may stop doing their school work, act out in class and at home, and try to hide their talents. There are somethings you can do to try and keep this from happening with your child.
Get your child involved in activities with other gifted children. This gives them a place where they don't feel the need to hide their talents. They can be themselves and connect with other kids, who understand the pressures and struggles they go through.