Gifted Children in the Real World

Gifted Behavior

Sensitivity; empathy for others; desire to be accepted by others

Diverse interests and abilities; versatility

Thinks critically; is self-critical and evaluates others

Enjoys organizing things and people into structure and order; seeks to systematize

Love of truth, equity and fair play

Can see cause-effect relations

Seems “too serious” for a child of their age


Adapted from Webb, J.T. & DeVries, A.R. (1998). Gifted parent groups: The SENG model. Arizona: Gifted Psychology Press, Inc.

How Others May See It

Too sensitive to criticism or peer rejection

  • Strong need for recognition
  • Different and alienated

Scattered and disorganized

  • Easily frustrated over lack of time
  • May expect competence in all areas


  • Rigid
  • Nothing is ever “good enough”
  • Continuously disappointed or discouraged

Critical or intolerant toward others

  • Easily discouraged or depressed
  • Disappointed in others’ behavior

Constructs complicated rules or systems

  • Bossy, rude or domineering
  • Rigid

Difficulty in being practical

  • Excessive worry
  • Humanitarian concerns

Refusal to accept feelings, traditions, or matters to be taken on faith

  • Oppositional
  • Questioning of authority

Inappropriately concerned about “adult” issues like morality, ethics, and philosophy