Parents of gifted children need to be extra careful to pay close attention to their gifted child while they are going through a divorce. While gifted children can be resilient and better than normal at communicating ideas, their emotional sensitivity and inherent sense of justice and fair play make for a potential trouble spot in an already chaotic situation.
In this blog, we’ll examine some of the characteristics of gifted children, then explain what you can do to help them process a divorce scenario.
One of the hallmark characteristics of gifted children is their emotional intensity. Gifted children can be overwhelmed when experiencing significant life changes, and they may need an outlet to be able to discuss what they are going through. Often, gifted children respond to environmental changes with significant levels of stress.
Making these changes even more difficult is the strong sense of morality and social justice that many gifted children display. These children appreciate a strong sense of moral order and the feeling that things are balanced. While they are exceptionally perceptive and are able to discuss situations rationally, they often lack a dedicated supportive peer group that can discuss issues with them.
Gifted children are often resilient. Their ability to think about a situation using logic and their ability to make connections can assist them in getting through major changes, such as the divorce of their parents. They are also more willing to have adult conversations about topics and to seek out advice from trusted adults.
One of the ways that parents can help gifted children through divorce is to simply provide an outlet for communication. Depending on the age of your child, you can discuss the situation with more nuance and complexity than you normally would with a child. Parents can even role-play how to communicate or how to handle situations that may be bothering them. Think of this as a teachable moment.
It’s important for a gifted child to learn well-being and how to take care of themselves emotionally. Being appreciative for what they have and expressing gratitude can begin to shape an empathic connection with others. While they may experience stress from watching a significant relationship end, it’s important that they understand that not all relationships are like that and that they can build their own friendships and significant relationships and nurture them.
Of course, you will want to keep an eye out for behavioral changes that indicate maladaptive coping strategies. During a divorce, it’s easy to get sidetracked by numerous things. However, if you notice that your gifted child is becoming very emotional or withdrawn, you need to stop and intervene by asking what’s wrong and communicating. If your child doesn’t want to talk directly, they may be willing to channel some of their anxiety or feelings into a journal or other artistic outlet.
A caring, experienced family attorney can ensure that the needs of your gifted child are taken into account while going through a divorce. Family Matters Law Group has helped clients with gifted children throughout the Atlanta metro area and would love to hear your story. We understand that gifted children have special needs and we fight hard for families so that everyone is taken care of. Contact us today.