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.

highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

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 Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks