Gifted Children: The Importance of Finding Intellectual Peers and Community

gifted community

Gifted Children: The Importance of Finding Intellectual Peers and Community. All kids need friends, but asynchrony exacerbates the challenge of finding a like-minded peer. Intellectual, emotional and developmental differences, societal misperceptions, and more may contribute to a sense of loneliness even in the midst of a group of age peers. Read the experiences of the GHF Bloggers and their families to find out how they approach these issues.

 

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gifted communityAdventures in the Jungle: Finding Peers for 2e Kids~ Gluten-Free Mum (Kathleen Humble)

Sometimes trying to find places my kids can be themselves and meet others with the same interests feels like a walk in the jungle. I set off with a map, but it's soon useless as the twists and turns under the canopy disorient me and I'm stumbling through the semi-dark, hoping for a clearing and a brief glimpse of light. For a few moments I'll think I've learned the do's and don'ts . . . until I tumble into a new part of the jungle.

But those glimpses of light - when connections are made, friendships formed and a real meeting of minds happens? Those moments are worth every laborious step.

gifted communityFinding her pack: intellectual peers and community in a gifted child's life ~ Not So Formulaic (Ginny Kochis)

An outsider might see a disordered obsession. Her father and I see something beautiful. She has tipped her hand (or paw, as it were) through explanations of lupine behavior and social structures. A pack functions as an extended family unit working together to survive in the wild. Their preferred prey (moose, elk, and the like) cannot be taken down alone. Lone wolves, though they may be faster, stronger, and more experienced than their pack counterparts, are extremely aggressive: a wolf who lives alone fights a more difficult battle for survival. By necessity, a lone wolf is desperate; dangerous.

She was one, once. Until she found her pack.

hopCarolynFinding peers with a move or starting to homeschool a gifted/2e child ~ A 2E Fox Revived (Carolyn Fox)

It is vital for all children to find peers and make friends but it's often a thorny prospect for a gifted or 2e (gifted with special needs) child. This prospect, however, can be further intensified with a move or with starting to homeschool. I know too well. Within the last year, we moved outside the US and then moved again within the UK, nearly two months ago.

 

gifted communityGrowing Up Lonely: The Friend Dilemma ~ Homeschooling 2e (Mary Paul)

My five-year old has a best friend and his family to support him and keep him challenged. I worried about him not having enough intellectual peers until I realized that he has the whole world to interact with through the internet. He's five. He'll find his tribe soon enough.

 

gifted communityJust What is a Peer? ~ The Fringy Bit (Heather Boorman)

What are quality peer relationships? For our gifted kids, especially, it’s relationships in which they find commonality, camaraderie, and stimulation. And sometimes that looks like 15 friends all the same age, and sometimes that looks like 1 friend, who is older or younger or anywhere in between, but who completely and fully understands my kid and cares about similar things.

 

gifted communityLike-Mindedness and the Denial Gene ~ The Fissure Blog (Justin Vawter)

This is mixed age. This is community. This is what your gifted child needs--a group of like-minded individuals brought together based on interest and ability.

 

gifted community

Making our own community and some friendships, too ~ BJ's Homeschool (Betsy Sproger)

Through trial and error, over the years, we made our own community that supported our gifted 2e daughter, and brought her some solid friendships, too. My daughter tended to make friends with kids who were more at her emotional level, than her intellectual level. The fact that they were not at her intellectual level really didn't bother her, as they connected in another way.....

gifted community 

The Rise of Anti-Intellectualism and Its Effect on Our Gifted Kids ~ Laughing at Chaos (Jen Merrill)

Our kids pick up the signals that intelligence isn’t valued in today’s society; it’s not hard for them to make the leap to “oh, I’m not valued.”

gifted communitySearching for Shakespeare ~ Teach Your Own (Lori Dunlap)

In an era where more “likes” and more Facebook friends are at the top of most people’s list of goals, it’s important to remember that quality trumps quantity. One genuine connection still counts as community, so finding someone who shares our particular intellectual passion is the primary goal for our family.

 

 

gifted communityThe Super Ball in a Room Full of Rubber Balls ~ My Little Poppies (Caitlin Curley)

When you are the parent of a gifted or twice-exceptional child, peer relationships are often an area of concern. While most children develop in a relatively uniform pattern, gifted learners are asynchronous in their development. There can be huge differences between a gifted child’s physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development. In addition, gifted children are often described as being “more” than their peers: more curious, more intense, more sensitive, more energetic...

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GHF offers resources for understanding your gifted/2e child's social needs and finding community for yourself and for your child. Check out our online classes, where kids make friends and gain mentors. Dear GHF also answers questions about community - how to find them and how to handle the social interactions.

WYOS Front Cover WEBWriting Your Own Script: A Parents' Role in the Gifted Child's Social Development, by Corin Goodwin and Mika Gustavson.

Parents of asynchronous children are often criticized as "helicopter parents" for being overly involved in their child's social development; others take a hands-off approach out of fear or self-doubt. In this book, the authors explore what we need to know and how we know when we are doing too much or too little to create and support age- and intellectually appropriate social opportunities for our children. The book also covers Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities and other challenges in social interactions.

 

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What is a Blog Hop?

A Blog Hop is a way to discover and follow blogs, as well as share your own. Every month or two, we pose a topic, our blogging members discuss it, and we link to their posts. GHF blog hops include bloggers from around the world, all of them committed to articulating the unique concerns, needs, and perspectives of gifted/2e families, especially (but not exclusively) those who choose non-traditional education for their kids.

Previous Blog Hop Topics

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FREE Downloadable Brochures:
The Healthcare Providers’ Guide to Gifted Children
The Educators’ Guide to Gifted Children
Twice Exceptional—Smart Kids with Learning Differences
Gifted Cubed -- The Expanded Complexity of Race & Culture

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