The social and emotional characteristics of gifted children sycamore canyon school
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The Social and Emotional Characteristics of Gifted Children Sycamore Canyon School. Presented by: Rachel Guyette Elementary School Counselor May 28, 2009. Challenges faced by Gifted Children Cognitive complexity can be paired with emotional intensity. Perfectionism Underachievement

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The Social and Emotional Characteristics of Gifted Children Sycamore Canyon School

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The Social and Emotional Characteristics of Gifted ChildrenSycamore Canyon School

Presented by:

Rachel Guyette

Elementary School Counselor

May 28, 2009

Challenges faced by Gifted ChildrenCognitive complexity can be paired with emotional intensity

  • Perfectionism

  • Underachievement

  • Friendships

  • Stress

Eight Great Gripes of Gifted Kids

  • No one explains what being gifted is all about- it’s kept a big secret.

  • School is too easy and too boring.

  • Parents, teachers, and friends expect us to be perfect all of the time.

  • Friends who really understand us are few and far between.

  • Kids often tease us about being smart.

  • We feel overwhelmed by the number of things we can do in life.

  • We feel different and alienated.

  • We worry about world problems and feel helpless to do anything about them.


  • Encourage your child to take risks and provide them with strategies to overcome their anxiety or apprehensiveness.

  • Allow your child to see your imperfections and model coping strategies.

  • Play games with no winners or losers or activities that are not graded or judged.

  • Increase your awareness of the phrase, “Do your best.”

  • Set realistic expectations.

  • Pursuit of excellence vs. Perfectionism.

  • Savor in past accomplishments.


How to foster an achievement oriented child

  • Value academic tasks: Encourage your child’s interests and foster multiple opportunities for them to explore passions and be challenged.

  • Self worth: Build their confidence level and provide specific compliments that focus on effort.

  • Environmental perceptions

  • Self regulation: Teach time management, study skills, coping strategies, and personal standards.


  • Practice physical relaxation exercises such as belly breathing, stretching and visualizing positive images.

  • Create rituals for relaxation activities such as taking a bath, listening to soothing music, drawing, writing in a journal, or taking a walk.

  • Role Play stressful situations.

  • Be in tune to how you are handling your stress in front of your child.

  • Respond with empathy and provide a few choices or strategies to calm down.

  • Be flexible, accepting, encouraging and patient.



You are alone

In your long exploration

Of the world of difference.

Yet, as the light consoles the darkness

And the flame consoles the desolate wick,

So a friend brightens the darkness in your heart

And makes life a joy

8 year old Jessica Bloom

From the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.


  • Connect with other GATE students

  • Academic Summer Camps

  • Engage in after school activities that build friendships.

  • Help your child build bully resistance skills



  • When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers By: Jim Delisle, P.h.D. and Judy Galbraith, M.A.

  • The Colorado Handbook for Parents of Gifted Children By: Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented

  • The Gifted Kids Survival Guide By: Judy Galbraith, M.A.

  • Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves! By: Trevor Roman and Elizabeth Verdick

  • Perfectionism: What’s bad about being too good? By: M. Adderholdt-Elliott

  • Once Upon a Mind: The Stories and Scholars of Gifted Education By: Jim Delisle, Ph.D.

  • Managing the Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted By: Connie Schmitz and Judy Galbraith, M.A.

  • Guiding the Gifted Child By: James Webb, Elizabeth Mackstroth, and Stephanie Tolan

  • The Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Kids By: Sally Yahnke Walker

    Websites and Articles:


  • How Not to Talk to Your Kids The Inverse Power of Praise By: Po Bronson





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