sexta-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2014

Early Childhood Giftedness & Aggressive Behavior

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Early Childhood Giftedness & Aggressive Behavior

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By Debra Pachucki

Gifted children often become angry with themselves for failing to meet impossible goals and unrealistic expectations. 

Aggressive behavior is not uncommon in gifted children. Feelings of frustration, anger and impatience can manifest in different ways, and for different reasons. Learn about common causes for aggressive behavior -- and other emotional difficulties -- in gifted children so that you can better understand your child’s behavior and help him manage his feelings accordingly. If aggressive behavior persists, consult a school counselor, therapist or other child development professional.

Heightened Sensitivities

Gifted children often have heightened sensitivities that are more intense than other children’s, according to Dr. Wendy Roedell in her article, Vulnerabilities of Gifted Children." Heightened sensitivities often result in intensified or exaggerated reactions to ordinary childhood problems, Dr. Roedell says. A gifted child may respond aggressively to a seemingly insignificant issue -- getting an answer wrong on a test or being unable to tie his shoes, for example -- as he experiences an increased sense of frustration, anger or impatience over the situation. Provide understanding, support, guidance and encouragement to help your child overcome obstacles and emotions.

Social Difficulties

Gifted children are more likely to experience social difficulties than their peers, according to research compiled by the National Association for Gifted Children. Among these social difficulties is an inability to disagree positively with others and a tendency to exhibit inappropriate behavior. Gifted children may lose patience with class partners or teammates quickly or become controlling toward their peers in a way that comes across as aggressive to others. Teach your child the importance of camaraderie and teamwork with family activities, such as completing household chores or playing a board game together. Gifted children who are able to be group-oriented and flexible are most successful in dealing with their peers.


Many gifted children set goals for themselves that are impossible to reach, which causes them to wrongly perceive themselves as failures. They can quickly become frustrated with their own self-perceived inabilities or inadequacies, and act out aggressively. Dr. Roedell recommends providing specific feedback to children who act out in response to perceived failure to redirect her focus toward improvement.

Other Adjustment Difficulties

While gifted children exceed their peers in some developmental domains, they lag behind in others -- particularly in areas of social and emotional development. Other adjustment difficulties that may cause aggressive behavior in gifted children include the pressures of high adult expectations, role conflicts and inappropriate environments. A child under the stress of mastering a musical instrument as quickly as his parent expects, for example, may act out frustration in the same way a gifted child trying to fit in with peers of a lower-ability level would. The same holds true for a gifted student who is stifled in a basic-level classroom. Expose your gifted child to a variety of activities and peer interactions, assert reasonable expectations and enroll her in appropriate academic and extracurricular programs where she can be suitably challenged and shine.

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