Gifted children possess distinct neural wiring that sets them apart from their neurotypical peers. This makes the journey of self-discovery and fitting in particularly intricate and intense for gifted children. Sometimes, it can manifest as behavior problems at school.
The first step to solving conflict in the classroom is to understand the common types of challenges faced by these individuals.
Challenges Gifted Students Face in School
Gifted child behavior problems at school can be broken into three categories: academic, social, and emotional.
Gifted students may struggle with boredom and frustration when the curriculum doesn’t sufficiently engage or challenge them. This could potentially lead to inattentiveness or disruptiveness as they seek ways to alleviate their boredom. Additionally, gifted students may develop perfectionist tendencies, fearing that they must excel in all subjects, which can lead to procrastination and anxiety when faced with difficult tasks.
The advanced intellectual abilities of gifted students can make them feel like outsiders, as they may not easily relate to their same-age peers. This sense of isolation can lead to other behavior problems at school, such as withdrawal, social anxiety, or difficulty forming meaningful friendships. On the other hand, gifted students may also exhibit assertiveness or dominance in social situations due to their advanced language skills and need for intellectual stimulation.
Having heightened sensitivities and intense intellectual capabilities, gifted students often experience emotional challenges in the classroom. They may be more prone to overthinking and, thus, increased stress and anxiety. In some cases, the pressure to excel academically may cause gifted students to internalize their struggles and feel fear or sadness. These emotional challenges can impact their overall well-being.
To prevent or work through gifted child behavior problems at school, additional support and understanding from both educators and parents is required to help them navigate their emotions and social skills effectively.
How Parents Can Help with These Challenges
- Talk with your child regularly. Encourage two-way dialogue with open-ended questions (e.g., “Would you rather do this or this?”) and a neutral tone. It’s important to avoid rushing to judgment or finding an immediate solution as your child may need time to cool down.
- Be an advocate. Discuss any issues and concerns with school personnel. Learn more with our free resources and guides to advocating for gifted students at school. By standing up for your child and making their school environment a more supportive place, you are also making sure home is a safe place for them, too.
- Speak to and work with other parents of gifted children. All children can have bad days, but gifted child behavior problems at school can be often more intense. It’s possible other parents are looking for answers as well. Consider joining a parents group, attending social events, or apply for Davidson Academy’s Young Scholars Program to start connecting.
It can be frustrating and exhausting, but remember that gifted children are only human. Parents have the power to help reduce the instances of behavior problems at school by paying attention to what’s going on in their child’s life and by being patient.
Become Part of the Davidson Academy’s Supportive Community
At the Davidson Academy, we’ve established a positive and welcoming learning environment, tailored for gifted students. Our staff not only possesses deep knowledge about the unique needs of these individuals, but also experience in dealing with gifted child behavior problems at school. Whether it’s academic progress, social integration, or emotional well-being, we are here to provide guidance and support in a few ways:
- Teacher selection is based upon a combination of traits, including professional qualifications, sincere warmth, and passion for working with profoundly gifted students. Our educators understand that students who attend the Davidson Academy may get upset like anyone else and have trouble communicating their frustrations. They are equipped to manage and properly diffuse gifted child behavior problems.
- Equally as important, our teaching methods revolve around creating classrooms where students of high ability are homogeneously grouped—rather than by age—and can thrive with like-minded peers. This immediately reduces friction and enables gifted students to learn based on their skills and interests while being surrounded by individuals they can relate to on academic, social, and emotional levels.
- The Davidson Academy’s Student Services Team (SST) is dedicated to supporting the unique needs of our students, including those who may face gifted child behavior problems at school. Composed of counselors and staff, the SST collaborates closely with students, parents, and faculty to create and monitor Prospective Learning Plans (PLPs) as well as support the academic and socio-emotional growth of each student. Should your gifted child face a behavior problem at school, there are people they can immediately turn to.
If you and your gifted student are ready to join a nurturing educational community, consider applying to the Davidson Academy. Find step-by-step instructions and get started on your application today.