Behavior Problems in a Gifted Child


You would think that the gifted child — with her high IQ and advanced mental abilities — would be every teacher’s favorite pupil and every parent’s prized child, but this is not always the case. Some gifted children exhibit behavior problems as a result of their giftedness. These problems can make it difficult for the child to interact with others in a positive manner or succeed in school. By understanding these behavioral problems that your gifted child may face, you can help him more effectively navigate the challenges to ensure that he shines.


While gifted children certainly have the intelligence required for academic success, their freethinking ways and desire to explore can lead them to have trouble in school. As BornToExplore reports, research has found that 13 percent of high school dropouts were actually gifted. Regardless of how intelligent a child may be, a failure to behave in school could have lifelong ramifications. Parents of gifted students who struggle behaviorally should dedicate time and effort to helping the child get her behavior back on track.

Off-Task Behaviors

One common complaint of teachers in regards to gifted students is off-task behavior. Often, these gifted students already understand what is going on in class or have already taught themselves the content about which the teacher is lecturing. This leads these students to tune out the lesson and create their own entertainment. This off-task behavior is also a distraction to other students. Additionally, students who are off-task may miss assignments, which leads to a poor grade.

Impact of Emotional Giftedness

Many students who are intellectually gifted are also emotionally gifted, reports BornToExplore. Children who are emotionally gifted feel things more acutely than the average child, making it more difficult for them to control their emotions or handle positive or negative stimuli. Children who possess this emotional giftedness may be more likely to act out in class or more prone to becoming upset and withdrawing from contact with peers and teachers.

Easy to Anger

Because things come so easily to gifted children most of the time, they are often prone to anger easily when they do experience challenges. These students commonly become frustrated if there is something they do not understand, or they struggle to debate when they feel their ideas are superior to others. This can lead to conflicts with peers or even with teachers.

Preventing the Problem

If your child is gifted, you can help him keep his behavior within the acceptable boundaries. To ensure your child’s behavioral success, you must focus on teaching him how to deal with his emotions. Make it clear to him what is expected of him in class. Be an involved parent. Speak to the teacher if you notice a problem and encourage her to contact you.



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