All children can get bored but there may be special challenges with a child identified as gifted. Although all four of my children were identified by the school as gifted, my youngest has the biggest issue when it comes to being bored. Here is some information on boredom and the gifted child.
Boredom in children is a recurrent theme. However, dealing with boredom if a child is gifted in one way or another can lead to special challenges. A child with special talents may be more stubborn in dealing with the boredom on a personal level or it might be hard to find something to hold the child’s interest.
Reasons for Boredom in the Gifted Child. A gifted child may become bored for the same reasons as other children. They may get tired of what they are doing, they may want something new to try, they may need a change of scenery, they may just need some parental attention…the list can go on.
For a gifted child, it may be harder to keep things on hand that keep their attention. If something isn’t challenging enough to hold their interest, they seem to get bored faster than other children. Often children who are intellectually gifted in an area are less developed in areas such as self-control and self-amusement. Often gifted children are believed to have ADD or ADHD simply because they are bored and don’t have enough stimulation.
Problems with Gifted Children at School Due to Boredom. Gifted children often need more stimulation than others. This can be problematic in the school setting where kids are basically treated the same and all taught in a similar way in a classroom. Sometimes the child can get into trouble simply out of curiosity trying to stay amused while the other students are focused on the lesson.
The gifted child may purposely act out in the classroom as a form of seeking attention. When the teacher has to stop for this child, the boredom is temporarily relieved. I have been lucky that our school has a small program for gifted children. It seems to be enough for my youngest. Also, for now we are dealing with her extreme shyness, so she doesn’t purposely misbehave as a way to draw attention to herself at school.
The Gifted Child and Boredom at Home. Although it’s true that gifted children need extra stimulation, especially in areas they are strong in, it doesn’t mean it’s up to parents to constantly keep the children occupied. As parents, it is up to us to understand if children need to occupy themselves or if they are in need of guidance or parental attention.
We are also working on my daughter’s self-esteem and perfectionist attitude. Often she will think she’s bored and refuse to find something to do simply as a way of getting some kind of positive reinforcement or encouragement. I need to remember that if I am giving her adequate one-on-one time and family time, she needs to learn to amuse herself. It will encourage her self-discipline and creativity by allowing my gifted child time to relieve her own boredom.
Born to Explore! The Other Side of ADD; Gifted or ADD?
Carol Bainbridge; Behavior Problems – Can boredom cause behavior problems in school? Gifted Kids, About.com