DS is 10 and up until last year, he got along much better with girls than with boys. It was always the non-girly girls he was best friends with, and often girls a year or two older than he was. I never thought much about it being related to his giftedness until I read an article the other day stating that because gifted boys develop more quickly socially, they tend to get along better with girls (who also develop more quickly socially) in the earlier grades. Even now, in 4th grade, he has really two good male friends (both also gifted) and a handful of good female friends too.
I thought this was kind of interesting. So, I'm wondering has this been anyone else's experience with their gifted boys and the way friendships have developed through the elementary years?
My ds (now 15) has always had more female friends than male, and his male friends have almost all been older. But I put that down to his introverted sensitive nature, his "older" intellectual interests, and the fact that he has grown up surrounded by sisters. I wouldn't have described him as socially mature, though he has certainly always been very sensitive and empathic. His closest friends currently are a 15- and a 17-year-old girl, and an assortment of 17- to 20-year-old guys from his youth choir who he's pretty tight with. He also has a wonderful 13-year-old male friend and hangs out a lot with his sisters (9, 13 and 18).
Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up
Pretty similar with my kids. My DS 11 always wanted male friends but he just couldn't connect with them at school. He pretty much hung out with girls through 5th grade. In middle school, you get too much flack for hanging with girls and so he's managed to find some other boys who are nice enough (though they don't spend any time with each other outside of school.) Thankfully, he made several fantastic gifted male friends through theatre the past few years. Talking to their parents, their boys stories are the same as mine. On the other side, my DD 15 has always done better with gifted boys than girls.... even gifted girls.
In preschool and kindergarden DS definately had more female friends than male. He tended to make friends with fairly active/athletic girls, though. I attributed this more to the fact that he had an older sister and was used to playing "girl" games (imagination based, lots of rules, lol). This is his fourth year in a full time gifted class, though, and he has had a majority of male friends the entire time he has been in the program. I would not term him socially advanced (he is in some ways--- empathy, fairness, etc..) and is distinctly young for age in other ways.
Thanks for starting this interesting discussion! I was just thinking about how my gifted, extroverted, stereotypically boy-personality second grader has more true girl friends than boy. Right now his best girl friend is over for a playdate, as a matter of fact. He would like more boy friends, I think, but it's been harder to find a match. He has one good boy friend, but that's it. He doesn't complain, luckily. I never thought of it as a social maturity issue, but maybe that's the case. People have told me that he seems much older than he is. Since he's my oldest I'm not sure I'm always aware of it.
Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!
My son met a kid that was so like him in K it was uncanny. And although both families "choiced" into the school we lived in walking distance. When my son switched schools after 2nd grade we worked really hard to maintain the friendship. The the other boy moved on to middle school and our stayed put (he goes to a K-12 school). And after that my ds called him several times and he has never answered him back. So if you ask him - he has no friends. But if you watch him at school, and this past week was a perfect example, he has more friends that are girls. His school is an experiential learning school and he went snowboarding for a week. He told me he got so tired of the boys after the first couple hours he hung out in the girls condo and only went to sleep in the boys.
Different experience here. DS has always had close friends who are boys and mostly close in age by a year or two. These friends weren't always gifted either, although generally they were bright and academically inclined. They found common ground in typical kid stuff - games and sports and books and interests (especially music) that they enjoyed playing together. He's always had girls as friends too, but his best friends have been boys.