Does anyone have a gifted teen (ours is just 14) who might be keen on being a friend via emails to our GT? (or even face to face if you live in the Eastern Bay of Plenty). Ours is finding the social side of college life hard as she's so different. If there is another teen out there who is confident enough to make the first approach it might give ours an avenue to talk (though she is very private, so then again maybe not!), or at least to know she's not the only kid like that. Ours is gifted in the literary area. Also very highly sensitive...! Does well in the other subjects but the real difference is with words. Also into photography/design stuff, swimming, animals... but NOT team sports or the top 10 on the charts.
She's feeling pretty lonely right now and that's affecting her self-esteem and confidence to be around others which is tough.
Arggh - 5-6 years too late for my girl. Sounds like they would have been a perfect match. Mine has now finished Uni with a graphic design degree, and found her niche both socially and work-wise. I hope you get a response from someone as I remember well how hard those early teen years for my daughter (and me, by association and from my own teen years). Your daughter is definitely not alone, there are plenty of gifted girls just like her!
Thanks for the reply :-) Suggestions welcome as to coping strategies! Was there anything that ended up easing the situation during those years for your daughter?
It is a tough time for her, I feel mean making her go to school each day at the moment but I think it's important not to opt out. Having said that I'm trying everything I can think of behind the scenes to try and help improve the situation.
She's been assessed as being uni level 100 when she was year 8 - in English, her other subjects she's at the top of the class but not enough to jump ahead for everything, however I think she'll do NCEA1 English next year. but it, combined with the different personality issues, makes her quite out of synch with the others her age.
How did your daughter get on at tertiary level? I wouldn't be surprised if ours ended up aiming for the graphics course as well (if she doesn't go down the literary track) - it's what I did, not that I expect her to follow my footsteps but it is a fun career!
Yep, those early teen years are not that much fun at times.
I assume you have her in library book-club/s and any 'young writer' groups around. Lots of time at the library may help her find people with similar passion. I wouldn't focus so much on a 'teen' friend, perhaps there is an 'aunty/nana' type family friend who could be a bit of a mentor for her?
Thanks for your reply:-)
I agree, the library is great, we almost wear it out. We've managed to get a network of adult contacts re writing, plus have a great extended supportive set of grandparents which is utterly valuable, I know not everyone has access to that so feel very fortunate. She keeps in regular contact with that adult network. We let her know whenever we hear of an activity that might interest her, but normally she's not keen to take it up. Especially if it's a group face-to-face thing. So again, I agree with your suggestions:-)
Unfortunately the writers group she has been going to after sch is also attended by the child (they were best friends) who at the moment has most upset ours' feelings, so she's not wanting to go to it right now. Her previous teacher was a wonderful mentor, they still have ongoing contact. So all that side is great, and I so appreciate what all those people are giving to her.
The thing she is struggling with at the moment is socialising with her age - she is wanting friends her age, especially someone else at school, so does feel quite isolated in that area. She's upset with how the others are behaving towards her at school - I do feel that part of the issue is how she handles situations, she tends to withdraw and get bitter quite easily, and take things more personally than they are probably intended, so I suspect the kids she has been hanging out with have probably lost patience and given up trying to include her, and now it's moved on to cattiness. They're into different stuff to her anyway, but she's just wanting someone her age to connect with so she doesn't feel so odd.
She's very sensitive, and reactions to situations aren't always what you'd call 'normal' or predictable, and once upset she is not at all able to take on suggestions as to what could be tried next time a situation arises. It's tricky supporting her! That's why I thought if she could hook up in some way even via email with someone around her age who is similar it might help...
I really appreciate you taking the time to answer!
OK..so more of a 'fitting in' problem. I remember as a young teen reading lots of self help books about how to make friends and personal style etc. It helped me, as my parents were not very capable in that area (lovely people, just reserved).
I found that being a friend rather than looking for a friend was the way forward. Your daughter should try and continue with her group even though it's hard when you have hurt feelings. It is most likely a misunderstanding rather than a deep malicious plot to hurt her.
Also please let her know that although it's the 'worst thing in the world' right now that it gets better pretty fast and is highly unlikely to be a problem in say 5 years time.
All the best!!
Thanks - good comments. Just got a book out 'Gifted Kids survival Guide" - even if she doesn't read it I will have a flick thru!
Hmm... one day at a time:-)
I agree re being a friend - I do try to remind her that just walking up to someone and smiling is likely to open more doors than backing into a corner and scowling... but easier to say than do when it doesn't come naturally.
Thanks for commenting, it's nice to read your thoughts.