Home > Kids > Values and Responsibilities > Instilling Values > Teach Gifted Children Empathy
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Teach Gifted Children Empathy

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: My daughter is about to start first grade. She is very smart and not your average six-year-old. She doesn't play with dolls, or Barbies, or anything like that -- she would rather be playing on the computer or doing gymnastics, being the center of attention. Sometimes she is a little too bossy. The other day she put down another little girl who was new at gymnastics and hurt her feelings. Is this normal or is my daughter just downright mean and ruthless?

A: Your daughter's behavior is entirely normal, although obviously not acceptable. When your daughter hurts another person, explain to her privately what she did and how the other person feels as a result.

You don't mention siblings or close friends so it sounds like she is an only child (your "center of attention" comment) and may have been around a lot of adults. Social skills are not inborn in humans, we have to learn them, and the way to learn is to be around other people.

Try to involve your daughter in settings where she will be around other children and can learn to get along. Gymnastics and computers are wonderful, but they are usually individual efforts. Sign your daughter up for Brownies or a team sport such as soccer. If you have a church or house of worship, encourage her to get involved in group activities there.

People are social beings, and you want your daughter to learn to get along with others. This is an important skill for a 6-year-old as well as a 36-year-old. As she gets older her peers will help her to learn social skills, but those lessons are sometimes painful. Get her started well now so that she will be successful with relationships later.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.