For students who are gifted, it can be difficult to know what social skills to develop. Here is a guide to help you get started. Many gifted students struggle with social skills because they are not taught how to connect with others effectively. This guide will teach you the basics of socializing so that your child can excel in all areas of their life, including relationships and networking.
The Importance of Social Skills
Social skills are vital for a successful life. They allow people to interact with others and build relationships, which can be incredibly beneficial in both personal and professional settings. In addition, social skills are essential for maintaining positive relationships with family and friends. Though they may seem like trivial matters, poor social skills can have a significant impact on one’s overall well-being. Thus, it is important to develop these abilities early on in life if one wishes to have a fulfilling career and personal life.
Ways a Gifted Child Can Build Social Skills
Gifted children often have difficulty building social skills because they are not used to the slower, more gradual pace of communication that is typical for most children.
To help gifted children build social skills include the following 5-week social development plan. Include one of these ideas each week. Walk alongside your child and allow them to plan future social skill-building activities with you. Gradually layer these skills. Remember, this is a guide. For some, a ‘week’ may be a month or a season. The key is to go at a pace that makes sense for you and your child. However, many parents like the idea of mild tests over 5 weeks to see which areas really need attention in the long run.
Week 1: Language Skill Development
Parents can help their talented children develop a routine for communicating with others by reading and writing. Many times, gifted children have ideas that they cannot express because of limited communication skills. This leads to intense frustration because they have a strong desire to connect. The vocabulary gained through a good reading and writing program can help ease social anxieties and provide them with the tools for greater connection. We have witnessed children who transitioned from a non-verbal diagnosis to a highly functional and highly social personality- all because of routine reading and writing. Just be sure to make language skills fun and engaging!
Week 2: Peer Interaction
Parents can also encourage their gifted children to participate in social interaction activities, such as playing in groups or club activities. Gifted children often feel shy and anxious in social situations, so it is important they are given role models who enjoy interacting with others. If your child has a strong desire to connect with others, be sure to encourage that desire.
Week 3: Community Involvement
Parents can provide safe exposure to routine adult interactions, such as public meetings at a faith-based group, civic group, or neighborhood association meeting. When gifted children shadow their parents in real-world encounters, they can experience a range of social interactions, just as their parents do. This can help them develop self-confidence and understanding of the consequences of appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
Week 4: Volunteer work
Some gifted children have overcome social anxieties by volunteering. One of our parents has an elementary-aged child who reads to a local pre-school. They have shared how much it boosted their child’s confidence and communication skills with people of all ages.
Week 5: Active Listening
Although this can be combined with Language Skills Development, Active Listening deserves its own category for several reasons. First, this is a basic skill that all children should learn, especially those who are gifted. Second, it is one of the most important skills for understanding the inner and outer circles of influence. Third, when gifted children are hypersensitive to their surroundings, it is usually because they do not understand how to distinguish between safe and unsafe circumstances. The auditory sense may be overstimulated or underdeveloped. This can be remedied through intentional practice and counseling, much like a type of physical therapy.
Finding safe social activities: what to look for when planning for gifted children
Gifted Children and Safe Social Activities: 5 Wisdom Tips
When preparing safe social activities for gifted children, parents need to be aware of a few things.
First, parents should make sure that the activity is age-appropriate.
some activities may be too dangerous for younger children and not appropriate for older ones. Some gifted children may fall within an intellectual group that is filled with a lot of older children. For example, if your 12-year-old qualifies for early college classes, that does not mean they are mature enough to handle teenage and adult social situations on their own.
Second, look for activities that will challenge gifted children but are still safe.
Younger gifted children may be physically smaller than most of their academic peers. When this is the case, you cannot trust that a teenager will execute good judgment regarding the safety of your child. Sometimes, even adults will assume emotional maturity because of academic giftedness. However, most 10-year-old boys will still desire a 10-year-old boy’s toys and playtime- high test scores or not.
Third, they should make sure that the group has a history of working with gifted children.
Children will be impressionable, and gifted children even more so. Their sponge brains are so absorbent that they will be easily influenced by anything, including strange adults. This is especially true when it comes to giftedness in children. They are ideal candidates for emotional manipulation and can be easily used as pawns in adult games of power.
Fourth, gifted children should choose a healthy activity that interests them.
If an activity doesn’t interest them, they may not enjoy it as much and could be more likely to get bored or injured. Finally, they should be sure to watch out for signs of impostor syndrome. If a child feels that they are somehow faking their talent, it can set up a downward spiral.
Fifth, gifted children should always communicate with their parents or guardians before participating in any new activity.
This is so that any concerns can be addressed. Make it easy for your child to communicate. Find ways to ask questions without interrogating them, putting them on the defensive. This could cause them to shut down, and that is the last thing you want. A gifted child left to their own thoughts can be dangerous.
Popular safe social activities for children
Parents are always looking for ways to keep their children safe and happy. One popular way is to encourage them to engage in safe social activities. Here are six of the safest social activities for children:
1. Playing with dolls or other toy figures can be a fun way for young children to explore their emotions and role-playing skills.
2. Singing together as a family or clan can help foster close relationships and communication skills.
3. Going on walks or hikes together can be an opportunity for kids to learn about nature and make new friends along the way.
4. Building LEGO® structures, playing video games, or coming up with imaginative play ideas can keep young minds engaged and entertained for hours on end.
5. Involving younger children into household chores or helping older siblings learn new skills can strengthen their social skills and help them develop a strong sense of independence.
6. Volunteering together can build strong bonds between the family and community while giving kids an opportunity to make a difference in the world.
Online Social Safety: Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe While Socializing Online
When it comes to keeping your gifted child safe online, you want to do everything you can to ensure their safety. Here are some tips for online safety for parents of gifted children:
1. Have a discussion about online safety with your child as soon as they start using the internet.
Gifted children often have higher levels of curiosity and intelligence, which can make them vulnerable to cyberbullying and other online dangers. Discussing online safety guidelines together will help keep your child safe while they explore the world wide web.
2. Set up parental controls on your computer and home network.
This will help restrict what websites your child can visit and what content they can see. You can also set filters on your devices so that only approved websites are viewable.
3. Teach your child about safe search engines like DuckDuckGo.
This is a search engine that does not track you or sell your information. It will also allow your child to see the most up-to-date content without unwanted ads and affiliate links.
4. Teach your child about the risks of social media and how to protect themselves from predators online.
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, but it can also lead to harm if you let your child share too much personal information on their profile.
5. Create a safe room in your home where you can monitor your children’s media use.
Teach your child how to recognize and avoid adult predators online. Predators use a variety of strategies to attract children, such as pretending to be a young child or befriending them on social media.
Parent’s Role in Developing Social Skills
Developing social skills can be a hard task, but with the help of a parent or guardian, it can be easier. Children need to be able to build relationships and interact with others in order to develop their full potential. When parents support their children in developing these skills, it can open up many doors for them in life. By encouraging their children to interact with others and learn from their mistakes, parents are helping them build better social foundations that will serve them well throughout their lives.