Is your teen gifted and struggling with his or her behavior? Read these tips for dealing with emotional behavior in gifted teens.
There are some commonalities in teenagers who are intellectually gifted and reaching toward maturity. Learning from the experiences of others who have been down that road can help a family deal with some of the issues specific to gifted teens and related pitfalls. While no two gifted teens will present the same set of challenges, anticipating certain issues will give a parent the time and forethought in handing those that do affect their children.
Dealing with Emotional Behavior in Gifted Teens
Gifted Teens are the Same as Their Peers Yet Different
Many gifted teens will express that they hear from their parents and teachers that they are just like other kids, but gifted teens feel (and are) different. Though many of their basic needs are the same, the need for boundaries, discipline and rules for example, the manifestation of the need for rules will not occur in the same time frame or sequence as will be the case for the normal teen.
For example, a teen who has skipped two grades in school will be dealing with older friends, behaviors and problems that his peers in earlier grades may not face until they are at a more mature age. Coping strategies for gifted teens who are the same – but different – should be encouraged.
Allowing the gifted teen the opportunity to associate frequently with other kids who are like him will give him more confidence. With practical advice from others, he will be better equipped to deal with issues.
For example, “teasing” from older classmates will likely occur at some point, if he skipped grades. Fortifying him with some ideas on how to react to this without taking it as a personal affront will bolster rather than deflate his self-esteem, as well as add to his arsenal of coping skills.
Gifted Teenagers are Driven by Their Creativity
The gifted teen can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the power and drive of his creative expression. For an adult who experiences this, it can be invigorating and empowering. But for a teenager, the experience may make him feel alienated from others, particularly if they do not share this drive.
Many parents of gifted students utilize family counseling as one avenue to help the gifted child, along with the rest of the family, deal with these powerful feelings. The teen needs to understand that this is a normal reaction and healthy.
Gifted Teens Need Their Solitude
Parents may be prone to overloading a gifted teen with activities so that she will not get bored and become disruptive. This can be a mistake, since gifted teens are more apt to need some “think time” than normal teens.
Many gifted teens take up a journal or some form of writing to express emotions, write down their ideas, etc. This is a very healthy and appropriate outlet for them.
In summary, giving the gifted teen enough space to set his own time schedule, pursue the interests that he is most excited about and opportunities for interaction with others like him will result in a good balance in his day-to-day hectic life.
Taking cues directly from the gifted child, whether he is overwhelmed or bored, and acting on this information, will help in addressing his behavior and emotional needs.>> Click here to sign up for my email list and get access to my FREE printable library!