Emotional Intelligence and Gifted Children
By Andrew Loh
There is a popular myth and a general misconception that gifted
children are more adept at handling stressful situations and
emotional instability when compared to other children. People also
tend to believe that gifted children are happier and better
acclimated to their surroundings. Sadly, in many cases the opposite
is true and even gifted children can face severe emotional
disturbances in their life. For most gifted children, their
childhood is one good mix of pleasure, thrill, enjoyment,
contentment and rewards. In fact, such children derive maximum
pleasure and enjoyment from life challenges as well as school work.
However, it is the essence of childhood that is supposed to be more
painful, challenging as well as stressful; it is a well known fact
that gifted children may feel that they are left out from their
peers because of their high expectations and hopes.
Gifted children own and master unique perceptions and feelings that
are entirely different from to those exhibited by other children.
Gifted children tend to make their own connections with the
surrounding world; gifted children possess traces of abstract
thinking and highly sophisticated and polished methods of
conclusions at a very early age. In reality, such perceptions are
unique, powerful and special. The way and manner in which a gifted
child grows and develops are entirety different than his or her
peers. Because of their specialty, most of the gifted children are
often isolated and they feel left out of the group.
In a typical scenario, parents tend to treat gifted children just
like any other normal children. Though their intentions are
perfectly alright, this approach may not be really suited for gifted
children. In a classical scenario, parents may practice the
following method of parenting to raise gifted children:
Attempts to tackle a gifted child's feeling of isolation by giving
more adult attention and care.
Excessive adult care and attention may actually increase the
Inadequate or insufficient care and attention may also result in
problems like emotional instability
Gifted children tend to perform well with those children who are
emotionally near and intellectually similar. In fact, gifted
children need peers to feel better, safe and emotionally secure.
While the feeling of isolation is an added advantage to gifted
children, sudden emotional loneliness and feelings of desolation may
actually hinder their normal emotional development. On the flipside,
gifted children can perform exceedingly well when they get enough
encouragement by their parents, teachers and peers.
People attribute very poor social skills with gifted children. In
many case, a gifted child may be completely impervious to his or her
immediate social circle because of a blind screen erected in the
process of emotional development. In other words, gifted children
may feel their intellectual capacities are so strong and robust that
they need not develop emotional intelligences.
To empower your gifted child with necessary emotional
intelligence and assorted skills, you may want to follow these
simple methods and guidelines:
Teaching the basic principles of emotional capabilities and
making your gifted child understand that emotional capability is as
important as intellectual abilities.
Teaching your gifted child the most basic social skills of
interacting with other family members, teachers, friends and peers.
One of the best methods of teaching social skills is to arrange a
weekend party for your child's friends and teachers.
Teaching your gifted child the importance of empathy and
sensitivity. Tell him or her why helping people in need are the best
kind of services and how people benefit by empathizing with other
Several other compounding factors may act as potently emotional
stressors. Under such potential situations, you may need to device
your own methods and ways to train your gifted child:
Gifted children may display poor self-esteem and self-image. As
a parent, you will need to tell your child the importance of
projecting himself or herself in a confident manner especially in
front of others. Take your child to week end parties and gatherings
and make him or her mix with other children.
A number of gifted children may face severe emotional upheavals
and disturbances in their early school years because they may
encounter a number of academic failures. This is possibly the most
critical stage in your gifted child's life. You may wish to make
your child realize that failure is the steeping stone to future
Gifted children could be great risk or chance takers. With every
second of risk they take, there is an equal probability of failure
and eventual disappointments. Risk always carries a big negative
baggage called danger. As a parent, you will need to teach your
child the potential dangers of taking risks and how they affect
their academic and non-academic performance.
Gifted children and emotional intelligence are two contrasting
issues! Parents may face acute problems when handling their gifted
children, especially when they are under severe and stressful
situations. Learning the basic methods of emotional intelligence
will help you assist your gifted child become more successful in
personal and professional life.