Have you ever thought, My child is smart but socially awkward? I’ve got some reads for you. Check out these old posts on gifted education and parenting gifted children. Sadly, when it comes to public education, the situation for gifted kids and high-ability students hasn’t gotten any better since my boys were in early elementary school. And when I hear talk from educators about the expected “rigor” of common core meeting the needs of gifted students in a regular classroom, I fear things will be even worse.
Smart but Socially Awkward Gifted Kids
DH handled camp pick-up today. While waiting around for the boys he got into a conversation with a mother about her “very bright,” but socially awkward, 7 or 8 year-old son. “He’s and advanced reader and does fourth-grade math; he just lacks social skills,” she said.
I wasn’t there to assess her tone. To some it might have sounded like boasting. We should all have such “problem” children, right?
But I get it. A few times this summer Smartypants has morphed from a silly eight year-old to a mentally deficient four year-old in some very public places. I bite my tongue to keep from telling everyone we encounter about his academic accomplishments, his obsessive reading habits. No, really, he’s incredibly smart.
Smartypants was wrestling with a friend recently. They were both being extremely goofy and another boy passed by, looked at them with disgust and declared, “You guys are weird.”
As my heart shattered, I tried to think of an appropriate reprimand or comeback, but my son’s wrestling partner spoke first, “Yeah, we are!” He gave a hearty laugh and within seconds the three of them were in hysterics. The tension had diffused.
It’s tough to parent a time-traveling child, but it’s good to be reminded that they can fend for themselves.
Speaking of which, check out the current post at the Gifted Exchange Blog to read more about parenting gifted children.