My Gifted Child Wants More Friends: What Can I Do?

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Have you ever wanted to know how to help your gifted child make friends? Confused about how to navigate the barriers to developing friendships? In this presentation, Drs. Agnes Meyo and Dan Peters will lead you through the effective, straightforward steps any parent can take to help his/her child find and keep friends.

In cooperation with the Mensa Foundation.

Published in: Self Improvement
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  • My Gifted Child Wants More Friends: What Can I Do?

    1. 1. MYGIFTEDCHILDWANTSMOREFRIENDS:WHATCAN I DO?Agnes Meyo, PsyD &Dan Peters, Ph.D.
    2. 2. First, let’s clarify the goals.
    3. 3. Do you want… more invites from others?
    4. 4. more friends?
    5. 5. more verbalizations of contentment?
    6. 6. more texts, emails, or calls from friends?
    7. 7. more motivation on your child’s part to find more friends?
    8. 8. more polite interactions with adults?
    9. 9. more activities with friends?
    10. 10. It’s important to know what the goals are...
    11. 11. so you cantrack progress and outcome success
    12. 12. and don’t inadvertentlyundermine the process.
    13. 13. It also allows for adjustments inmethods, rewards, or pacing.
    14. 14. Next, whatare theconstraints?
    15. 15. genetics{such as natural tendencies towardsextroversion or introversion}
    16. 16. time constraints{just how busy are you?}
    17. 17. motivational level{how much does your child want it?}
    18. 18. neurologicalconcerns{are hyperactivity,impulsivity orothers issues atwork?}
    19. 19. What are theMYTHSassociated withincreasingsocialization?
    20. 20. MYTH:Parents can’t setup play dates forolder children.
    21. 21. REALITY
    22. 22. Actually,parents canbe the BESTat pickingfriends forthe gifted.
    23. 23. {just don’t let themknow you’re doing it – it can be our secret}
    24. 24. MYTH:The more themerrier!
    25. 25. REALITY
    26. 26. Never! Actually, one-on-oneis virtually always best.
    27. 27. Three is a
    28. 28. Since four or more may create anoverwhelming social environment,
    29. 29. the gifted may prefer isolation orfeel left out in a crowd.
    30. 30. MYTH:Trying out newactivities ispreferable.
    31. 31. REALITY
    32. 32. Avoidsurprises.
    33. 33. {the time to trybungee jumpingfor the first timeis NOT with anew friend}
    34. 34. Use “tried and true”options for activities.
    35. 35. Try to plan, predict, and prepare foras many scenarios as possible.
    36. 36. A trial run at the site of the play date mayseem excessive, but it offers a level ofcomfort/predictability.
    37. 37. MYTH:Sleepovers are agreat way tostart afriendship.
    38. 38. REALITY
    39. 39. WARNING! FAILURE ALERT!
    40. 40. All initialactivities needto be short.{maybe an hour or so}
    41. 41. Long engagementsmay be going so wellthat they might wantthem to last forever.{don’t give in}
    42. 42. If the “HoneymoonPeriod” wears off during the first encounter,
    43. 43. they may never want to get together again.
    44. 44. {leave while they still want more}
    45. 45. MYTH:Social skills groupsare the best atteaching strategiesfor socialization.
    46. 46. REALITY
    47. 47. Unfortunately, the skill setsmay not generalize easily tonew environments.
    48. 48. {specific feedback, individualizedinstruction, rewards, and practiceoften work best}
    49. 49. MYTH:It’s easy make friendseven if their familymembers do not haveclose relationships.
    50. 50. REALITY
    51. 51. Uh, no.
    52. 52. The easiest way to makefriends is when thefamily members alreadybelong to a social group.
    53. 53. {e.g. church, boating club,baseball team, book club}
    54. 54. MYTH:Hygiene andattire aresecondary.
    55. 55. REALITY
    56. 56. Showering, brushing teeth,clothing, and brushing hairreally influence a firstimpression.
    57. 57. {believe it or not, thesefactors may completelymake or break a friendship}
    58. 58. MYTH:Periodic contactcan maintain arelationship.
    59. 59. REALITY
    60. 60. The memory ofa great socialengagementcan fade if notfollowed up byadditionalenjoyablecontacts.
    61. 61. {regularlyscheduledshortactivitieswork well}
    62. 62. MYTH:Play dates athome are best.
    63. 63. REALITY
    64. 64. Maybe theyare best foryour child,
    65. 65. but play datesshould bedesigned sothat the otherchild has fun,too.
    66. 66. Pairing yourchild with aguaranteedgood time willincrease thedesire for theother child towant to playwith your childagain.
    67. 67. It doesn’t always have to be a dog andpony show; just make sure it’s something fun for both kids.
    68. 68. MYTH:Empathy andsharing alwayscome naturally.
    69. 69. REALITY
    70. 70. Wouldn’t that bewonderful?
    71. 71. Most have compassionand sensitivity,
    72. 72. but many struggle with “seeing theworld through someone else’s eyes.”
    73. 73. It can help to ask,“Do you want to have friendsor do you want to be right?”
    74. 74. What strategiesfor making friendswork the best?
    75. 75. Five Things You{or your child}Can Do Now.
    76. 76. Learn these skills:
    77. 77. listening {not just hearing}
    78. 78. maintaining eye contact
    79. 79. askingquestions
    80. 80. respecting personal space
    81. 81. sharing
    82. 82. Practice the skills.
    83. 83. trialruns
    84. 84. try alternative techniques
    85. 85. Select three{potential} friends.
    86. 86. Find peers with common interests.
    87. 87. Match personalities.
    88. 88. Pursue family friends. {cousins!}
    89. 89. Make contact with all. {cast a wide net}
    90. 90. Schedule a one-on-one activity.
    91. 91. Select an enjoyable activity.
    92. 92. Ask at least a week beforethe date of the activity.
    93. 93. Prepare for allpossibilities.
    94. 94. Keep the engagement brief.
    95. 95. Follow up.
    96. 96. Send a short “thankyou” email or text.
    97. 97. Indicate thata future event is desired.
    98. 98. Wait atleast a weekto ask again.
    99. 99. Find aregularlyscheduledactivity toattend.
    100. 100. Let’s review.
    101. 101. To help thegifted with socialskills, you needto set goals andclarify them.
    102. 102. There are manymyths aboutsocialization thatare not true.
    103. 103. Remember the five steps toincrease the socialization.1. Learn skills2. Practice skills3. Select three potential friends4. Schedule one-on-one activity5. Follow up
    104. 104. And mostimportant of all . . .
    105. 105. Keeptrying!
    106. 106. Contacts & CreditsIf you would like more information or assistance with your child’s {or your own}social success, please contact Dr. Meyo or Dr. Peters.Dr. Agnes Meyo, PsyD. agnesmeyo@yahoo.com Dr. Dan Peters, Ph.D. drdanpeters@summitcenter.us summitcenter.usPresentation Design & Editing:Mensa Foundation mensafoundation.orgFor information on what Mensa and the Mensa Foundation have to offergifted children, their families, and educators, please contactGiftedYouth@mensafoundation.orgImages:Unless otherwise indicated, all images courtesy of sxc.hu.Slide 15: DNA by Jorge Lucero, FlickrSlide 71: iStock photo number 1399686_21236547Slide 88: Morguefile photo number 144169

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