One of the characteristics of gifted children is that they can be friends with kids that are much older than they are. Their friendships are often based on similar interests they have. A ten year old gifted child who is interested in space, astronomy or cosmology might have to hang around with a teenager to find someone who can understand concepts most children his/her age have no interest in. My sons went to the high school in seventh grade for math. This was not something they could discuss with most of their friends. One friend even said my son’s problem was that he was too smart. It can be a problem to identify with others who are like-minded.
How many friends does your child have that love to read? My son and his best friend would have reading contests to see who could read the most pages in five minutes. He got plenty of exercise, but loved reading most of all. Some kids are crafting worlds in cosplay or online. Most children are outside on summer days, riding their bikes or swimming, but it is harder if parents work.
Another characteristic I often commented on is that I often can tell a gifted child because they converse like an adult. A friend once pointed out that we expect a lot from our kids because they seem older than they actually are. I walked onto my parents’ back porch once and my father stopped me from interrupting my middle child’s soliloquy. I don’t remember what it was about, but this is the child that explained at age 6 how money works.
Relationships can be dysfunctional as well. With emotional overexcitabilities being part of many gifted individuals’ lives, feelings get hurt, resentments are remembered forever, and the need for control can throw many family members into conflict. Forgiving and communication are an essential part of mental health and can mean the difference between family members remaining in touch or splitting apart. Stress management skills and awareness of how our actions affect others can help individuals keep their lives on an even keel.