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Gifted children are often teased. They not only appear different to their peers, but they also perceive themselves as different — and at a very young age. They are interested in different activities than other children their age, and they tend to have a longer attention span and a more intense way of approaching problems and situations. At the same time, young gifted children are highly sensitive; in fact, heightened sensitivity is one of their characteristics. They may seem more mature than their age-mates, but they do not have the coping skills to ward off the slings and arrows of life.
If your 2- to 4-year-old child is upset about being teased, you can:
• Sympathize. Offer love and support and a warm hug, and tell her you're sorry that her feelings were hurt.
• Ask for information. Try to find out who said what, when, and where.
• Explain. Your child probably doesn't realize that children tease other children for many different reasons, and dislike is only one possibility. You can help her learn that children may tease others because they are envious, or they think teasing is harmless. Sometimes teasing is even a way of saying "I like you."
However, if the teasing persists, you may want to speak to the adult who is around when the teasing occurs, explain your child's feelings, and ask her to intervene.