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    #182972 - 02/24/14 08:46 PM Friendship troubles
    greenlotus Offline

    Registered: 02/17/14
    Posts: 579
    We just discovered that our daughter (age 3rd grade)is gifted and reading all that entails, I wonder about her friendship woes. Both in kindergarten and 1st grade the girls whom she declared "best friends" decided that they didn't like her. She even asked them later whey they couldn't be friends anymore which I thought was so brave. She has always been the loner on the playground. This Fall she wrote numerous books titled "How to be Popular" (she is always writing and illustrating books). I watch her in her Girl Scout troop sounding rather "know it all". It's so painful to watch. She does play well with her sister who is 1 year older, but is convinced that her older sister is better, smarter, etc than her and so ends up mad (her sister does not have the IQ that the little one has). How do people find friends or help their kid find friends? I will be looking into summer gifted activities, and she is in chess. She gets pulled out for an AG math class, but I just don't see her making friends in school. To sum it up, I feel my heart break for her. She says it's easier to be alone.

    #182980 - 02/24/14 11:04 PM Re: Friendship troubles [Re: greenlotus]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4363
    asked them later whey they couldn't be friends anymore
    Did she get meaningful responses from them? Anything which the two of you may discuss to a potentially lead to a better approach to friendship?

    she wrote numerous books titled "How to be Popular"
    Are there good tips in her books? For example, anything which might lead to a discussion on how to implement the ideas on a day to day basis?

    sounding rather "know it all"
    Afterward, at home, are you able to discuss what you observed and suggest alternate ways she might choose to say something?

    convinced that her older sister is better, smarter, etc than her and so ends up mad
    Have you shared that perceiving (or misperceiving) that someone may have more (or be more) does not need to lead to negative emotions like anger or jealousy; For many people this type of perception may lead to admiration and emulating the person. It is a choice we make.

    How do people find friends or help their kid find friends?
    From your post, discussing friendship may be key so that a kiddo is best able to utilize the opportunities presented by school, extracurriculars, etc to connect positively with others she meets.

    Here is a link to an article on the Davidson Database, Tips For Parents: Gifted Children's Friendships

    If a book may make a good discussion opener, there are many focused on social/emotional life available from Prufrock Press, Great Potential Press, and others. Some are written especially for children. Parents often pre-read books in order to prepare for discussion with their child when their child reads them.

    Good luck to you and your DD with this. smile

    #182985 - 02/24/14 11:32 PM Re: Friendship troubles [Re: greenlotus]
    Wesupportgifted Offline

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    I do not want to be redundant, but everything that you wrote is pretty much how it is, but that said, there really are pros and cons to everything and in the long run I feel that the pros will outweigh the cons. Diversity is inherent in nature and our society needs all types of people. It would seem strange too is everyone was the same, so we have to embrace the differences and not feel bad about it. It really can be a great thing, it's just different. I hope that helps. Gifted people are rarely the most popular, but they are usually the most respected. That is what I wanted to say.

    #182986 - 02/25/14 12:29 AM Re: Friendship troubles [Re: greenlotus]
    ashley Offline

    Registered: 03/26/12
    Posts: 639
    In our case, I take my role as friendship facilitator seriously. I arrange playdates at the science museum, enroll DS in many enrichment activities in a group setting (academic as well as art and sports) and have started a local lego league and a local science group for him and his friends. DS has been around peers that are older than him and above him in abilities through these activities. He gets exposure to how other gifted kids think and at the same time works on bettering his own skills. And he has been around the same set of kids for a while now that they have become friends.
    At school, we let him figure things out on his own. Sometimes, he dumbs down to make friends, sometimes he acts goofy and becomes the class clown to be popular, sometimes he does not care, but most recently, he has been playing alone.

    #183023 - 02/25/14 07:49 AM Re: Friendship troubles [Re: greenlotus]
    Dude Offline

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    One thing my DD taught me early on is that social interactions/behaviors are the single most complicated thing we've had to teach her, so I don't have any advice on any shortcuts. It's a looooooooooong process.

    Like ashley, DW and I take our role as facilitators very seriously. We do things a little differently, because ashley's list of interventions includes too many structured activities, and the single best vehicle for working out social mores is through unstructured play.

    Early in DD9's life, DW and I made ourselves available to play with DD for hours each day. We mostly followed her lead, though we quickly let her know when she was engaging in unfriendly behaviors, and modeled the kinds of behaviors we'd like to see in her. As time went on DW and I began to assert our own personalities a bit more, so DD could learn that different people like to play different games or in different ways, and she had to learn how to accept that.

    When she was 3, DD started to play with the other kids in the neighborhood, sometimes at our house, sometimes at theirs. When they were at our home, we played with them sometimes, but mostly left them to themselves, monitored for any signs of conflict, and stepped in as mediators and teachers as needed. This is how we started arming her with the kinds of skills she'd need to deal with people whose behaviors don't match what she'd become accustomed to at home.

    Fast forward 6 years, and we're still basically doing the same things mentioned in the paragraph above, in addition to talking about her school experiences and counseling on ways to deal with the situations she encounters there.

    This past weekend there were, at various times, five kids hanging out at our house with DD, so something must be going right.

    #183034 - 02/25/14 08:44 AM Re: Friendship troubles [Re: greenlotus]
    blackcat Offline

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    It helped a lot when we grade accelerated DD and suddenly she was with kids who were older. She went from being bossy to everyone to hanging out more in the background.

    That said, she can still be a know-it-all but tends to hold it in pretty well (at least when she is on her ADHD meds). She is now 8. Her best friend is a boy who is over a year older and they are both into computers. They talk on the phone about computers and DD will say someting like "give me a minute, let me pull that up on the LAN server." I'll hear "What! What!?" Coming through the receiver, the kid has no idea what she's talking about. DD starts getting impatient and expasperation starts coming out in her voice. Pretty soon she just wants to get off the phone. That said, at least this kid is at least somewhat close and they have similar interests and things in common. I think the key is to try to find kids at the same level (even if they are older) but that can be very difficult. We have also done a lot of work on social skills, for instance you have to talk to your friends nicely, you can't boss them around even if they are acting dumb, etc.

    #183042 - 02/25/14 09:23 AM Re: Friendship troubles [Re: greenlotus]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Yes, with an only child, we've taken the approach that we have to actively demonstrate cause-and-effect for our DD.

    So if she does/says something that a peer would find unacceptable, we let her know that.

    It's not always easy, because of course as loving parents who are emotionally mature, we do NOT necessarily have the kinds of knee-jerk responses that children do-- but, for example, if she's a sore loser in playing a board game, we demonstrate disgust and refuse to play the next time.

    Stuff like that helps to build pro-social skills. As does talking about social dynamics, human motivations, etc. Basically-- be a student of human behavior and interactions.

    As for friendships, being DISLIKED is a matter, IMO, of not-so-awesome social skills, not of giftedness per se. Being lonely, on the other hand, is a matter of being quite different from one's peers.

    My DD has no trouble being well liked. In fact, it's often a bigger problem that she doesn't especially like those who adore her. She doesn't tend to have friends who "get" her completely, though she certainly has no trouble "getting" them. It is the one-sidedness of this that makes her feel lonely and sad.

    For that, I don't have much in the way of advice.
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    #183046 - 02/25/14 09:40 AM Re: Friendship troubles [Re: greenlotus]
    Saritz Offline

    Registered: 09/06/12
    Posts: 80
    Just my 2 cents here. Your daughter sounds like me in 3rd grade. Because of my own less than ideal experiences, I take an active role in making sure we have a family social circle that includes some of DS8 and DS6's friends from school. We are lucky to be in a TAG magnet that is also close to our home, so a lot of our neighbors are also at school.

    I tell DS when he says something that might be hurtful or offensive to a friend.

    We try to keep his social opportunities broad-based, ie, we still socialize with families from our old neighborhood, we have church friends, school friends, cub-scout friends and friends from our life before kids. Many of these groups do not cross over, although some do.

    Neither of our DSs seem to have a lot of very close relationships, but there are varied social situations in which they feel safe and comfortable.

    It is my hope that this environment that we are creating will give both DS the social confidence they need for college and beyond, even if they end up sharing our fate (and I think they will) of having difficulty forming close friendships.

    Your daughter may or may not have an easier time as she gets older, but I think the broader you can keep her "safe" social groups outside of school, the better.

    #183263 - 02/26/14 05:59 PM Re: Friendship troubles [Re: indigo]
    greenlotus Offline

    Registered: 02/17/14
    Posts: 579
    Unfortunately both girls could not tell her anything except that they no longer wanted to be her friend. I think that she might have been smothering them - she likes having just one friend although that seems to be changing.
    Her "popular" books mainly discuss looks. My daughter has noted that the blond girls are more popular than girls of color.
    If I bring up alternate items to say, she just exclaims that she doesn't know why someone would not want to know this or that fact. We do work on this skill.
    I do understand that it's a choice about emulation vs. jealousy - she is adamant about her opinion of her sister. I do follow the "Siblings Without Rivalry" method with limited success.
    Thank you for your link.

    #183265 - 02/26/14 06:02 PM Re: Friendship troubles [Re: Saritz]
    greenlotus Offline

    Registered: 02/17/14
    Posts: 579
    Thank you for you reply. We do have her in other social circles. I have just discovered that a couple of families will be starting a SENG support group somewhere near us so I am hopeful for finding some other friends for our daughter. We are probably going to do some social skills work with a therapist.

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