Peer Relationships of Gifted Children

Webb, Meckstroth, and Tolan, Guiding the Gifted Child, 149-50

…some gifted children, particularly ones who are exceptionally gifted, need only a few friends.  Sometimes their peer needs seem to be mostly satisfied by just one special friend, typically in a relationship that is quite intense.

Such gifted children often have little interest in being “popular,” particularly if this means spending time in relationships that are superficial.  They would rather select fewer friends, preferring relationships with enough meaning and depth to satisfy their need to relate and to be accepted..

Even so, most gifted children would like very much to have a wide range of meaningful relationships, and many of them do want to be popular even at the sacrifice of some of their own interests.  These children usually try to fit into several peer groups at the same time.  Parents may have to do a lot of extra driving, and may be surprised by the variety of groups and the age span of friends.  Mixed-age groups, such as are found at hobby shops, are typical for gifted children.


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