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Hoagies' Blog Hop August 2014: Gifted Friendships

Friendship. One word that has many meanings. For most kids, friends are those they play with.  But for the gifted child, friendship is often far more than that. Gifted friendships can be more complex, more deep, and more difficult to find.

Don't miss our previous Blog Hops, May: The "G" Word, June: Gifted @Play and July: Summer Reading.  If you'd like to join our next Blog Hop, visit Gifted Blog Hops.  Special thanks to Pamela S. Ryan for our Blog Hop graphics!

Find more on the social and emotional needs of gifted children and adults on Hoagies' Social / Emotional Aspects of Giftedness, and read research and articles including Factors in the Social Adjustment and Social Acceptability of Extremely Gifted Children Recommended by Miraca Gross, and Gifted Kids at Risk: Who's Listening? Recommended by Pat Schuler, plus more!

5 Tips for Helping Gifted Children Make Friends by Colleen on Raising Lifelong Learners
Making friends can be hard for any child, but for socially awkward gifted children or twice-exceptional kiddos, the challenge is only multiplied. While their brains are working on overdrive, and they can have an intelligent conversation with an adult expert in the field in which they are interested, put them in the same room with kids their own age, and all bets are off...
How school policy affects gifted children’s friendships (and what you can do about it) by Gail Post in Gifted Challenges
When my children were in middle school, almost all classes based on ability grouping were eliminated. Besides the educational rationale for this policy, it was designed, in part, to encourage children of all abilities to interact, "learn from each other" and develop friendships.  Of course, this experiment in match-making failed miserably...
Friendship Among Gifted Students in High School, College, and Beyond by Amy in GetTheeToCollege
After years of working with (and once being labeled as) a gifted student, I've noticed certain qualities among what could be considered a good "friendship" emerge both in others and in my own life: But first, we have to expand our definition of "friend" beyond what's considered conventional...
Making friends as a newly-minted adult by Shannon R, guest blogger for Discover Your Awesome
When you're a gifted adult, how do you find friends? Even if you found your tribe in college, what do you do when they're far away and you suddenly have a busy work schedule and no idea how to find people off-campus? Here are some practical things and some bigger picture ideas to keep in mind, both of which may help you along the way to finding new friends...
Gifted Friendships: You Are Not Alone! by Carolyn K., in Hoagies' Nibbles and Bits
Gifted friendships are hard to define, and often even harder to find. Gifted kids in a classroom full of kids who want to play with them and invite them to parties, may feel alone and crave this rare commodity. Gifted adults may feel alone in spite of lots of acquaintances at work and in other activities. There are lots of people around us every day, yet we feel strange and isolated. What are we missing?...
Friendship and the Gifted Child by Institute for Educational Advancement
Does your gifted child like to spend recess alone? Does she only have one or two friends? Does he have one very intense friendship? Does she only have friends that are significantly older or younger than she is? Does he only make friends in his extracurricular activities rather than at school? These are common behaviors of gifted children, and it is not unusual that parents of gifted children have concerns about their child’s friendships. Gifted individuals possess a unique combination of characteristics that can influence how and why they establish friendships...
Friends (Enemies) Forever by Braver than you believe
"I'm never gonna play with you ever again!" This is generally followed by loud, agonized sobs on the part of the recipient and a smug, seemingly unfeeling look on the part of the speaker. How many times have you heard one of your kids say that to the other (or your child/his friend)...
The Gifted Teen Has Found His Peeps…er…Peers by Crushing Tall Poppies
My teenage son is highly gifted. He can talk a blue streak about technology, current events, physical science - really anything that doesn’t have to do with cooking, cleaning or personal hygiene. He can hold any listener captive for hours, and not just with mindless chattering, but talking about real-life, in-depth, advanced topics using words that I don’t even know or use. His favorite audience listeners? Adults...
Overexcitabilities and Finding Tribe by Jayde Piltser, Discover Your Awesome
Reach out. Ask for help. Offer help. Initiate. Feel awkward. Collect rejections. Repeat. Cry or scream or eat chocolate or retreat for a while or meditate or write or move. Find your tribe. It is better than you can possibly imagine, even when it is still clunky and awkward...
Retiring Special Friends in Everyday Learning by Hand-in-Hand Homeschool
As parents, we strive to nurture our children into confident people who can find their comfortable niche in society. It can be painful to let our kids make decisions – like carrying a stuffed animal around in public – that may ultimately lead to teasing. (Or, is it the disapproving looks from other parents we fear?)...
Finding True Peers by Elgarmummy
I feel bad that El does not have peers with similar interests and mental age, but I am glad that he does not dwell on what he does not have. I never felt I truly belonged to any cliques when I was younger, but I had always managed to find a small group of friends eventually. I hope he will be able to form meaningful friendships in the future, but in the meantime, I will just have to read up on whatever he is interested at the moment, and go deep into the topics, so that he has somebody to talk to. Thank goodness for the internet and the library...
Lonely Find Your Pips and Find Your Pips, Part Two by Paula Prober, Your Rainforest Mind
You weren’t popular. You still aren’t. You were too excited by Jane Austen. You were too curious about black holes and sea anemones. You were too emotional when you were teased. You were too incensed when teachers were unfair. You were too disappointed when the world let you down. You still are.

But maybe you don’t care about being popular now. It no longer matters. But you do need community. Your tribe. Or a friend. One good friend. So what do you do?...
Connected Yet Disconnected? by Aurora Remember
Last weekend I went to a conference on meeting the social emotional needs of the gifted (SENG). I found it rather funny to observe that in a conference full of self identified outsiders, I still felt like an outsider. This may surprise some because I am an extrovert and I enjoy social connection immensely, but in the vast majority of settings there is often a small part of me that feels a little on the fringe...
The Search for Friends: Part 2 by Mrs. Warde, Sceleratus Classical Academy
Early Bird and Builder Boy spent every morning for a week at our church's Vacation Bible School. Early Bird came out of it with another friend; Builder Boy didn't. I asked Builder Boy about it, and he said that the other boys (there were so many kids that they were divided by grade and gender) were "stinking and annoying." I asked him what he meant about that, and he did not like that they were "pushing and kicking and cutting [in line]" while he was the only one following the rules. On one hand I was proud of him for being discerning, and not following the crowd in bad behavior. On the other hand I was sad for my isolated son in whom I saw so much of my own, lonely childhood self...
Donkeys live a long time 4: Gifted Friendships by Jo on Sprite's Site
Sprite was obviously disturbed that she did not know where she fitted into the world of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In fact Sprite often has a problem with working out exactly how she fits in. Sprite has always found making and keeping friends quite a challenge!...
In Search of Friendship and Finding Peers by Lisa Conrad on Gifted Parenting Support
Many theories have been posited and research papers written about gifted children and how they approach friendship; but it’s not rocket science. They seek out their peers. People who are most like them. They might be the same age; or not. They almost certainly share common interests and enjoy each other’s company...
Friendship Algorithm by Diane Hale, in Schooling the Gifted
In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, "Sheldon" thinks he has isolated the algorithm for making a friend... The irony of the episode to me, however, is that Sheldon HAS friends. He has found his "people." He struggles making new friends perhaps because there aren't many people like him.
This is a reality for many of our gifted children. Their peer group narrows simply because of their intellectual ability and often their asynchronous development. In other words, they have a hard time finding other kids that read the same books as they do and they don't necessarily develop social skills at the same rapid rate as they develop other skills. Below are friendship Do's and Don'ts for parents of gifted children....
Like-Mindedness and Finding Your “Peeps” by Gift-Ed Connections
Sometimes we do everything we can to help them “fit in” and “make friends”. If instead we encouraged them to claim their “uniqueness”, celebrate their difference and build on their strengths, we set them on the path to authenticity where their comfort with themselves allows them to be comfortable with the differences in others…even if they’re not like-minded mathematicians, bookworms or philosophers. Sure, it may take time to find that elusive “soul-mate” but then again, I have found some of my “peeps” in the most unexpected places!
Friendship 101 for Smart Kids and Their Parents by Planet Smarty Pants
In addition to being choosy about which activities to join, she is also choosy about her partners. A magical “click” happens only with certain type of kids – mostly with those who are a little dreamy and goofy at the same time. Not surprisingly, her best friends are also intelligent, articulate, and willing to engage in negotiations when deciding on what to do together. She strongly prefers 1:1 time with either of her three best friends rather than playing in a group...
Lasting Weirdness by A Voracious Mind
For my ten year old, Liam, friendships work best if the other children are creative and imaginative. We have given up on finding intellectual age peers because they simply do not exist for him. Fortunately, there is one family in particular where all four boys get along beautifully as do the parents and I...
Invisible Friends by Suki Wessling in Avant Parenting
Imagination is one of the most wonderful things about childhood – before children are self-conscious enough to hide it, they can create the friendships they need, play out social scenarios, and incorporate fascinating details from the wider world into their own little lives...

Updated December 01, 2020

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