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Sometimes the Gifted child feels isolated from the rest of the world because of the exceptional abilities he or she possesses.  Facing these feelings of difference alone can create frustration.  The suggestions that follow are intended to help parents enhance the potential of Gifted students.  


· Help the child relate to friends who may not be so bright or talented.  While Gifted children should recognize their abilities, they should also learn to put them into perspective with the abilities and interests of others.  Instead of setting themselves above others, they should learn to look for strengths in friends as well as for ways to share their abilities in a productive manner.


· Explore the difficulties that arise from too many viable choices.  As Gifted individuals mature, they usually find that they are able to excel in many areas, which at first may seem exciting and fortunate.  As classmates begin to focus on areas of specialization in which they can excel, however, the Gifted student may be faced with making a difficult decision among many equally viable alternatives because they may excel in any of them.


· Provide structure and boundaries for behavior.  Often, Gifted children are able to argue very convincingly about their “rights” to be excused from conventional behavioral requirements.  At times the requirements may be examined, but at other times they should be accepted on the basis of adult perspective even when they seem illogical to the child.


· Encourage the gifted and talented to challenge themselves.  Because of their superior abilities, Gifted students often work at only partial capacity in various areas and still succeed.  This approach to learning, however, may ultimately create difficulties because the individuals may acquire extremely poor learning habits that they may not be able to overcome when they are sufficiently challenged.

 

· Discuss feelings of difference with the child as they arise.  While we do not want to create problems when they do not exist, we should always be ready with an understanding attitude when problems appear.


· Help Gifted children set realistic self-expectations.  Because of their exceptional abilities, such individuals are often expected to perform at high levels at all times.  After a while they internalize these expectations and sometimes feel inadequate when they fail to maintain consistently high levels of performance in all areas.


Gifted:

Feeling Isolated