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Maybe some of you could offer your wisdom as to why gifted kids/smart kids/studious kids have trouble with peer relations. I've been researching and reading about this topic and somehow I feel unsatisfied by the published explanations. Why are smart people considered so weird? At times when I've socialized with non-gifted (but educated) people they will often make comments and laugh about 'weird' people. Often times these people who they think are so worthy of their ridicule are people who I personally think are very smart. But what is it about a smart person that's so annoying to these people, so oddly different? That is something I cannot understand, maybe I will never understand. People like to say that smarter people have poor social skills, but I haven't noticed that at all, in fact I think that smarter people are easier to socialize with because they have a lot of ideas and are always in a process of learning.<br><br>
I mentioned this on another thread even though it wasn't the main topic, but my son (age 8) is absolutely positive that he is not popular <i>because</i> he is smart. I know there are gifted kids who are extremely well liked and popular, but it cannot be denied that there is a correlation between being smart and being less popular. I once read that with every standard deviation difference in IQ there will be communication problems with others. Or could there just be some resentment from the other kids? I am concerned because my son's self esteem isn't that great and he doesn't think there is any benefit to being smart because it makes a person unlikable as he puts it.<br><br>
And now, after reading some of the descriptions here of profoundly gifted kids I don't even think he seems <i>that</i> smart although he does say he is the best in his class at math and the smartest boy in his class. So if he's not <i>that</i> gifted why does he believe despite what we tell him that his intelligence is problematic?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422610"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know there are gifted kids who are extremely well liked and popular, but it cannot be denied that there is a correlation between being smart and being less popular.</div>
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Really? That has not been my experience at all.<br><br>
I don't know your son, obviously, but I wonder whether he expresses (either verbally or nonverbally) his opinion that he is the smartest in his class to his classmates. That would certainly be a reason for them to dislike him. IME, kids who act like they think they are better than others (whether because of intelligence or class status or whatever) often have trouble getting along.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>no5no5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422671"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Really? That has not been my experience at all.<br><br>
I don't know your son, obviously, but I wonder whether he expresses (either verbally or nonverbally) his opinion that he is the smartest in his class to his classmates. That would certainly be a reason for them to dislike him. IME, kids who act like they think they are better than others (whether because of intelligence or class status or whatever) often have trouble getting along.</div>
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Actually, I was wondering about this too. So I made sure to tell him that some kids naturally get things faster than others and that doesn't make a person better. But he doesn't feel any reason to brag about being smart because he doesn't think that being smart is even anything to be proud of. In fact he is ashamed and embarrassed by it. He says that the reason why the other kids know he is smart is because the teacher randomly calls on kids and he is the one who always knows the answer.<br><br>
And it isn't as if all the kids hate him. He does have friends and even a best friend in the class, but somehow he still believes himself to be the unpopular 'nerd'.
 

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Well, being popular and fitting in with peers are two very different things. And feeling like a "nerd" is a different issue as well. Not to minimize that your son may feel different if he is always the one with the right answer, because I am sure that could be. But, if he has a best friend, as well as other friends, what is lacking for him? Popularity is not something to aspire to, in my mind. Having a rrewarding social relationship is. Does his real life experience of himself not match up with either his self concept or his expectations of himself? What is lacking? Perhaps he would benefit from a social skills group if there is something about his interactions with peers that HE wnts to change. Peer realtionship skills can be taught.
 

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<p>I never once said anything to indicate I was smart; and I didn't have trouble having a few good friends, but I was the opposite of popular and never going to be popular. I was comfortable with that.  I didn't suppress who I was - I didn't see the point in that. I always had at least a few good friends I could count on and that was what mattered to me. Being popular or fitting in with the cool kids was not something I felt was anything to aspire to.  I am and have been, for as long as I can remember, very comfortable with the nerd/dork/brain label. I am who I am, I enjoy what I enjoy. I think feeling comfortable with who you are (whatever that may be) and enjoying the company of the friends you have is much more important than being liked by everyone.</p>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422687"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But he doesn't feel any reason to brag about being smart because he doesn't think that being smart is even anything to be proud of. In fact he is ashamed and embarrassed by it.</div>
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And that could be the reason, right there. Kids can sense these things.
 

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This sounds like it could be more of a self esteem issue verses a social skills issue. It sounds like he is doing fine socially. However, his expectations of himself and his view of himself don't allow him to feel he fits in.<br><br>
Or it could be that he's missing something he would like to have socially rather than not fitting in. Gifted kids do often find that the topics they are interested in are not of interest to their friends and they do sometimes feel that they don't always have someone to talk to. If that is the issue looking around for, or starting clubs that would attract other kids with similar interest would be a good place to start.<br><br>
From your description it just really doesn't sound like he's failing to fit in. It sounds like he either has self esteem issues or he's experiencing a need that's not currently being met with his current peer group.<br><br>
It could even be a simple matter of his personality type. I grew up as an introvert. Our society seems place higher value on being an extrovert. I know I spent some time as a kid feeling like I wasn't fitting socially because, honestly, the big social group with constant interactions just wasn't me. I tried the big busy group of friends in college and It turns out I really do prefer my social life to consist of one or two close friends and lots of more friendly acquaintance relationship with a larger group. But it took me a long time to accept that that is okay.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422610"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know there are gifted kids who are extremely well liked and popular, but it cannot be denied that there is a correlation between being smart and being less popular.</div>
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I've never experienced this. I've certainly seen movies and TV shows where it was depicted as Nerds vs Jocks, but IME I've never actually experienced it. Way back in the dark ages when I was in high school smart was cool. The higher achieving kids were definitely very popular (class president, etc). The town where we live now (college town) has much more emphasis on high academic achievement. It may be that your ds just hasn't found the right kids yet.<br><br>
My kids go to a small private school with kids with a wide range of abilities (some 2E, some just gifted, some LD) and the kids who are well-liked are generally the funny and kind ones, but I can't think of many kids who aren't accepted.<br><br>
Could he, or perhaps some of the other kids at school, be victims of Disneyfication where the media pushes the idea that smart/high achieving kids are nerds? My kids don't get much exposure to that kind of media and their schoolmates don't either so I don't think it would occur to them to equate smart w/ uncool nerd.<br><br>
Sorry he's struggling with this.
 

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In elementary school when I was little, being different was - well, different. It didn't make a person popular. So maybe he senses this. I had friends and had fun, but I also felt like a loner and misunderstood. It took me a while to understand how to accomodate my vocabulary to those around me. I happened to have safe/normal interests or obsessions, so that worked for me. But really, I was and am different than a lot of people. I'm not PG either (well, I don't know what "level" I am, but I am pretty sure I'm not <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">). I don't know how much my intelligence set me apart as opposed to my personality.<br><br>
I think that if your son is feeling a disconnect, team sports might help. I know that did help me. Somehow encouraging him in individuality might help. Experiences that are cross-cultural can help - he will see that a lot of different-ness exists everywhere and his different-ness may be minimized. I know that I am quite comfortable in cross-cultural/international settings and I never really thought about it but it probably is because everyone is different in their own way there/I am expected to be different just because of my foreign-ness.<br><br>
Well, some thoughts/ideas for you.<br><br>
Tjej
 

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Romana, you and I were very similar in school! I was the mama hen, and I loved herding around all the younger kids in my theater programs, and kids my age would ask me if I actually liked hanging out with them... but I think we just had a better dynamic than me trying to fit in with kids who were into who likes who and gossip and tearing people down and building yourself up...<br><br>
I can't really remember KNOWING I was smart for some time. I knew I did well on certain things, but I also struggled with others (ie neatness, some math). But I do remember not fitting in well before finally clueing in that I was "smart." I remember hanging out by myself in elementary school sometimes. I don't know if these two things stemmed from the same part of me, but it certainly wasn't that I thought I was smart so I was excluded. There just weren't a lot of other kids I had much in common with! Eventually I found some in high school, but I've still struggled to socialize through college and beyond. I think it's just harder to find people you click with sometimes, especially if you live in a small town all your life! It's funny, but with moving to SD and attending AP playgroups I've found so many women I really like and admire and enjoy hanging out with. They are smart and thoughtful and curious. And some are pretty nerdy, which I like <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I agree with PPs that just finding the right match of friends, be it a couple introverts or what have you, can be helpful. I think that being popular is a tricky idea, but having good friends satisfying your social needs IS important... and sometimes intelligence can make issues, and sometimes it's just personality, and who can say how much those are mixed up? I hope your son finds some good supportive friends!
 

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I'm going to gently suggest that you have some baggage and issues with giftedness coming from your own life experiences. I read alot of conflict with the idea of giftedness in most of your posts. It sounds like this come a bit from some of <b>your</b> peer groups competitiveness and somewhat dysfunctional ideas of giftedness. It also sounds like it comes from some unmet needs of your own intellect growing up.<br><br>
Is there a chance that he's picking up on your own discomfort and/or struggles with the idea of giftedness, intelligence, the values placed on it, and it's definition? Kids of all intellectual abilities can be alot more perceptive than we give them credit for.
 

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What does "popular" really mean? Really it simply means that one has a reasonable amount of people who like him/her. If your DS hs friends, then he is at least somewhat popular. I don't think being popular is really the problem.<br><br>
It does sound like your DS is feeling out of place and different though. I think this happens to very smart people in general for a few reasons, and that some of the school dynamics that you've talked about in other threads are at play specifically in your DS's case.<br><br>
I think gifted people often don't feel like more typical people really understand them. I think this is b/c more typical people really just don't actually understand the gifted. Gifted people often spend most of their time interacting with typical people editing out what they really would like to talk about, or keeping the level understandable for the other person, or being looked at like they just grew an extra pair of eyes on eye stalks out of the top of their head. Even if the gifted person has <i>friends</i> among their more typical peers, they can't fully relax and be themselves with those peers. The gifted person can feel very lonely while surrounded by buddies.<br><br>
Typical people often have difficulty understanding gifted people. When the gifted person is not keeping up an average facade, typical people get lost. The typical person looses interest if they can't follow what the gifted person is going on about. Some times the typical person will completely misconstrue what the gifted person was saying and think the gifted person strange or some such.<br><br>
Gifted people often have trouble gaging what level they need to speak at to meet the typical person at their level. If they over compensate and talk down to the typical person (remember typical is a range so there is not one single right level) they come across as conceited or patronizing. If they talk over the persons level they come across as "nerdy."<br><br>
None of these things are a matter of lacking social skills. It is a matter of simply not always having enough in common with one peers.<br><br>
Many of the issues your DS is having are probably specifically related to the specific dynamics of his class though.<br><br>
One is that you mentioned in another thread that the teacher was having him tutor other students. This is setting your DS up for social problems. First it is just going to make him feel like an outsider and self conscious. It also makes his place in the class social structure complicated. In a typical US public school classroom there is a clear sense of <i>us</i> and <i>them</i>. The "<i>us</i>" is the students, the "<i>them</i>" is the teachers/faculty/staff. When your DS starts tutoring others, he gets caught in between <i>us</i> and <i>them.</i><br><br>
Another issue is that parents of other students in the class have put a huge value on their kids being "gifted." This cause a need for competition. Part of competition is psyching out the competition.<br><br>
The gifted program being full is another problem. It sets your DS up to be perceived as a "poser." The other student will think "if he's <i>really</i> so smart, why isn't he in the gifted program?" Since most 2nd graders haven't had the opportunity to read the chapter "The Search for Intelligent Life in Kindergarten" in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FNurtureShock-New-Thinking-About-Children%2Fdp%2F0446504122%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1274319641%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">Nurture Shock</a>, they are not likely to understand the pitfalls of a gifted program that fills up in K.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422610"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">At times when I've socialized with non-gifted (but educated) people they will often make comments and laugh about 'weird' people. Often times these people who they think are so worthy of their ridicule are people who I personally think are very smart.</div>
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Some one can be smart and be weird. One of my kids is. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Gifted IQ and yet autistic. *if* we are able to find ways for her to live up to her potential, she'll be a weird and yet very successful person. That's my real goal for her.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">But what is it about a smart person that's so annoying to these people, so oddly different?</td>
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may be the people ARE weird. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> A lot of people who are aspie are super smart and yet off a little socially. I guess I don't see what the big deal is because I love someone who is smart and weird.<br><br>
Not all smart people are weird. My other DD is *just* gifted and makes friends easily.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">my son (age 8) is absolutely positive that he is not popular <i>because</i> he is smart. I know there are gifted kids who are extremely well liked and popular, but it cannot be denied that there is a correlation between being smart and being less popular. I once read that with every standard deviation difference in IQ there will be communication problems with others.</td>
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no, I just don't buy it. But I have a kid with a high IQ who easily adjust to other people . (may be it's just her personality, may be it's because she has a sister with autism).<br><br>
I've never really gotten the label "popular." It seems to carry connotations of not just having friends, but having cool clothes and the latest gadets and permissive parents, and thinking they are better than others. I suspect that few children actually <b>feel</b> popular, even the ones that other kids consider popular.<br><br>
I have a child who makes friends easily, but I don't know that I want her to be "popular" in the way that word was used when I was in school. It's great that she blends well and that other people like her, but I don't think it would be in her best interest to get her self-esteem from her peers' approval.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">So if he's not <i>that</i> gifted why does he believe despite what we tell him that his intelligence is problematic?</td>
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He feels that something is off in his world and he is blaming the only thing he can think of.<br><br>
Rather than focus on the "does being smart mean people don't like you" thing (which is super negative), spend some time figuring out what is the root of what he wants in his experience and how to go about getting it:<br><br>
~ Does he want to have friends over more? Invite them.<br><br>
~ Kids who are interested in certain nerdy things he likes? Find a club for him to join. (my *just* gifted DD found kids she really enjoys through a chess club)<br><br>
~ An easier time in conversations with peers at school? Work on conversation skills by teaching him to ask open ended questions. Some kids need to learn social skills the same way they would learn an instrument or a new language -- it doesn't come naturally to them.<br><br>
~ Want to be able to talk about certain TV shows or movies? Watch them with him.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422610"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Why are smart people considered so weird?</div>
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Several thoughts: Some smart people are weird. Some people of average intelligence are weird. When we notice weird, smart people, we attribute their weirdness to their smartness. When we notice other weird people, we attribute it to something else. We don't notice smart people who aren't weird because they fit in. So people notice more smart weird people and think that all smart people must be weird.<br><br>
Second, there is something called asynchronous development that does make it harder for some kids socially when they are children. My dd's ability to talk, think and see patterns is ahead of her ability to communicate these ideas socially and to take others' needs into account. She is a very social kid. She's not overly weird <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">, but she <i>is</i> hard to get along with at times because she has definite ideas of how the world should work. Her way usually <i>is</i> better because she can make connections other kids can't. But other kids can't see that. Combine that with the fact that dd doesn't suffer fools gladly and you have a kid who had a fair amount of social 'conflict' at 4-5. She's just turned six (today!), and I see huge development in her ability to get along with others. But she is going to struggle a bit through school, I can see. I did too. But I always had a couple friends and for that I'm grateful.<br><br>
Third, I think we need to divorce 'popularity' from solid emotional development. They're not the same thing. You can be popular and emotionally well developed, popular and emotionally not well developed (which is a really bad combination). You can be 'unpopular' but emotionally well developed (as several people here have elegantly described) and unpopular and emotionally not well developed (which is a major problem). I don't care about popularity, I do care that my kids are emotionally well developed.<br><br>
My sister's 3 kids are all very well liked socially. They're also really bright. Really bright. <i>All three</i> had a close group of friends that provided social support, and her oldest (and possibly her youngest) would be considered popular, I think.<br><br>
I don't want my kids to be popular (it's actually a social burden). I want them to be emotionally well developed and have a couple good friends that can provide support. I want them to feel comfortable being themselves. It helps that we've got an intellectual family, and so they can always be themselves at home. We will seek out a community where they can be themselves elsewhere too.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422610"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">it cannot be denied that there is a correlation between being smart and being less popular. I once read that with every standard deviation difference in IQ there will be communication problems with others. Or could there just be some resentment from the other kids?</div>
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I will deny that correlation until someone presents me with solid evidence that this is true. Maybe I'm biased because I'm a linguist and work with highly verbal people, but most of the smart people I know are excellent communicators. We get how language works. We're able to adjust our language to different situations.<br><br>
By being president of our PTO this year I learned just how lousy many people are at communicating. The number of problems I've had to mediate based solely on communication difficulties between various parents is astounding!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422610"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am concerned because my son's self esteem isn't that great and he doesn't think there is any benefit to being smart because it makes a person unlikable as he puts it.</div>
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<i>This</i> is the problem. Your son's self esteem isn't that great. Whether it's due to smartness or not, is another question. From your other posts, it sounds like he's been both bullied and discriminated against. That would do a number on anyone's self esteem.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>JollyGG</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15423719"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This sounds like it could be more of a self esteem issue verses a social skills issue. It sounds like he is doing fine socially. However, his expectations of himself and his view of himself don't allow him to feel he fits in.<br><br>
Or it could be that he's missing something he would like to have socially rather than not fitting in. Gifted kids do often find that the topics they are interested in are not of interest to their friends and they do sometimes feel that they don't always have someone to talk to. If that is the issue looking around for, or starting clubs that would attract other kids with similar interest would be a good place to start.<br><br>
From your description it just really doesn't sound like he's failing to fit in. It sounds like he either has self esteem issues or he's experiencing a need that's not currently being met with his current peer group.<br><br>
It could even be a simple matter of his personality type. I grew up as an introvert. Our society seems place higher value on being an extrovert. I know I spent some time as a kid feeling like I wasn't fitting socially because, honestly, the big social group with constant interactions just wasn't me. I tried the big busy group of friends in college and It turns out I really do prefer my social life to consist of one or two close friends and lots of more friendly acquaintance relationship with a larger group. But it took me a long time to accept that that is okay.</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>JollyGG</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15424646"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm going to gently suggest that you have some baggage and issues with giftedness coming from your own life experiences. I read alot of conflict with the idea of giftedness in most of your posts. It sounds like this come a bit from some of <b>your</b> peer groups competitiveness and somewhat dysfunctional ideas of giftedness. It also sounds like it comes from some unmet needs of your own intellect growing up.<br><br>
Is there a chance that he's picking up on your own discomfort and/or struggles with the idea of giftedness, intelligence, the values placed on it, and it's definition? Kids of all intellectual abilities can be alot more perceptive than we give them credit for.</div>
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I think Jolly's very insightful and wise here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>eepster</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15425535"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What does "popular" really mean? Really it simply means that one has a reasonable amount of people who like him/her. If your DS hs friends, then he is at least somewhat popular. I don't think being popular is really the problem.</div>
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IME, being popular doesn't mean liked, it means desired or coveted, and often involves negative self-esteem. I'm not that interested in popular <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">. I wonder what the social dynamics are in his school.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>eepster</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15425535"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think gifted people often don't feel like more typical people really understand them. I think this is b/c more typical people really just don't actually understand the gifted. Gifted people often spend most of their time interacting with typical people editing out what they really would like to talk about, or keeping the level understandable for the other person, or being looked at like they just grew an extra pair of eyes on eye stalks out of the top of their head. Even if the gifted person has <i>friends</i> among their more typical peers, they can't fully relax and be themselves with those peers. The gifted person can feel very lonely while surrounded by buddies.<br><br>
Typical people often have difficulty understanding gifted people. When the gifted person is not keeping up an average facade, typical people get lost. The typical person looses interest if they can't follow what the gifted person is going on about. Some times the typical person will completely misconstrue what the gifted person was saying and think the gifted person strange or some such.</div>
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So, do gifted people never have meaningful relationships with non-gifted people? Even if they're married, or are a gifted person's child?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>eepster</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15425535"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Gifted people often have trouble gaging what level they need to speak at to meet the typical person at their level. If they over compensate and talk down to the typical person (remember typical is a range so there is not one single right level) they come across as conceited or patronizing. If they talk over the persons level they come across as "nerdy."</div>
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I think that's about being an effective communicator, including code switching. I sure assume that my gifted friends with strong science/math backgrounds code switch when they're talking to me, or simply don't talk about math and science with me because that's a high level of interest for them and a virtual non-interest for me.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>eepster</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15425535"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One is that you mentioned in another thread that the teacher was having him tutor other students. This is setting your DS up for social problems. First it is just going to make him feel like an outsider and self conscious. It also makes his place in the class social structure complicated. In a typical US public school classroom there is a clear sense of <i>us</i> and <i>them</i>. The "<i>us</i>" is the students, the "<i>them</i>" is the teachers/faculty/staff. When your DS starts tutoring others, he gets caught in between <i>us</i> and <i>them.</i><br><br>
Another issue is that parents of other students in the class have put a huge value on their kids being "gifted." This cause a need for competition. Part of competition is psyching out the competition.<br><br>
The gifted program being full is another problem. It sets your DS up to be perceived as a "poser." The other student will think "if he's <i>really</i> so smart, why isn't he in the gifted program?" Since most 2nd graders haven't had the opportunity to read the chapter "The Search for Intelligent Life in Kindergarten" in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FNurtureShock-New-Thinking-About-Children%2Fdp%2F0446504122%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1274319641%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">Nurture Shock</a>, they are not likely to understand the pitfalls of a gifted program that fills up in K.</div>
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Totally agree. And peer tutoring is a total non-starter to me.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422610"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Maybe some of you could offer your wisdom as to why gifted kids/smart kids/studious kids have trouble with peer relations. I've been researching and reading about this topic and somehow I feel unsatisfied by the published explanations. Why are smart people considered so weird? At times when I've socialized with non-gifted (but educated) people they will often make comments and laugh about 'weird' people. Often times these people who they think are so worthy of their ridicule are people who I personally think are very smart. But what is it about a smart person that's so annoying to these people, so oddly different? That is something I cannot understand, maybe I will never understand. <b>People like to say that smarter people have poor social skills, but I haven't noticed that at all, in fact I think that smarter people are easier to socialize with because they have a lot of ideas and are always in a process of learning.</b><br>
I mentioned this on another thread even though it wasn't the main topic, but my son (age 8) is absolutely positive that he is not popular <i>because</i> he is smart. <b>I know there are gifted kids who are extremely well liked and popular, but it cannot be denied that there is a correlation between being smart and being less popular</b>. I once read that with every standard deviation difference in IQ there will be communication problems with others. Or could there just be some resentment from the other kids? I am concerned because my son's self esteem isn't that great and he doesn't think there is any benefit to being smart because it makes a person unlikable as he puts it.<br><br>
And now, after reading some of the descriptions here of profoundly gifted kids I don't even think he seems <i>that</i> smart although he does say he is the best in his class at math and the smartest boy in his class. So if he's not <i>that</i> gifted why does he believe despite what we tell him that his intelligence is problematic?</div>
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Do you see the conflict in the two statements I highlighted above? From your posts, you seem to live in a pretty strange, intensely in each other's business community which seems to be causing you real turmoil.<br><br>
Our culture is pretty normative, so yes, 'odd' is going to be demonized to some extent. The weird/odd/nerd stereotype is just an archetype that forms part of our cultural story. There's some grain of truth in it, but it's an oversimplication.<br><br>
I think of giftedness as neurological atypicality, and so while it underpins so much, it isn't necessarily determinative of everything. I think kids can be socially awkward and out of tune while having "smart" interests or just "odd" interests (like computer programming versus obsession with star wars). Both of those kids are going to be termed "geeks" and it's the social awkwardness that they both share. We recently went to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid and there's one kid who's a nerd or geek because he's socially motivated (he's trying so he's on the radar rather than invisible), socially awkward and has gross habits.<br><br>
(and the star wars comment was a knock at my DH and kids <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">).<br><br>
I know quite a number of gifted kids and they've all been socially successful because they've been in schools that have embraced difference. The one who was least socially successful was largely thus because of his mother who was omni-present and demonstrably treated him as precious - so it really wasn't his issue, it was hers.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>joensally</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15427522"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think Jolly's very insightful and wise here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Thanks.
 

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Romana - This is so like my daughter! A lot seems similar to me as well, but she really takes on the 'mother' role at times.<br><br>
She has many friends, and lots of kids who like her. But, they don't really get her and she feels that. It feels lonely sometimes to be quite different.<br><br>
To make matters worse, one of her good friends has a very competitive mother. She would often react very jealously if my daughter would play with any one other than her daughter. I tried to manage as well as possible to encourage both girls to expand their playgroup and comment on how wonderful that they both were developing a multitude of friendships. We seem to have gotten past that mostly but now have a new issue or a new face to the old issue LOL. I find my daughter's friend to be exceptionally bright and witty. She may not be at the same academic level as my dd, but they really enjoy each other. The mom made a really hurtful comment though. She said she thought my daughter felt too 'smart' for hers. I have never heard or seen my daughter express such a thought. I asked if the other girl felt that way, but no, it was just the mom. She says she sees how mature my daughter is and how advanced and she knows her daughter is not bright at all (not true at all!). She feels like any moment my daughter is not actively conversing/playing with her daughter it is because my daughter feels too smart. Sigh.....as if social stuff wasn't tough enough.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>joensally</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15427574"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So, do gifted people never have meaningful relationships with non-gifted people? Even if they're married, or are a gifted person's child?</div>
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I seems to me that it's more of an issue of it just being more work and effort to have a meaningful relationship with someone of a very different intellectual level. My college boyfriend was at a pretty different level from me, and it was just tiring sometimes.<br><br>
Of course most relationships are tiring in one way or another, so I don't think this particular aspect excludes meaningful relationships. However, I find adults do tend to gravitate towards other people of the same intellectual level.<br><br>
In a young person who doesn't have the experiences of an adult this difficulty probably seems more intense, and they have less control over whom they get to socialize with than adults do.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>I think that's about being an effective communicator, including code switching. I sure assume that my gifted friends with strong science/math backgrounds code switch when they're talking to me, or simply don't talk about math and science with me because that's a high level of interest for them and a virtual non-interest for me.</i></td>
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Some people are better at switching than others, but the simple act of switching in the first place can leave one feeling like they need to hide their true self.
 
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