Friends - FamilyEducation
09/21/2007 at 08:57 AM

I have a 4-year-old gifted son.  He doesn't have anything in common with his 3 and 4 year old peers, but 5 and 6 year old kids are all in school and other activities, making it hard to find them.  Any activities he is interested in are always divided by age, placing him back with the 3-4 year olds.  Any ideas?

Even though your son is gifted, cognitively and inellectually on a par with five and six year olds, he is still the chronological age of four.  What is his true social age?

Where on the maturational scale does he fall when it comes to social development? On what are you basing your accessment of his "not having anything in common with his three and four year old peers?" It may be that he has a lot in common with them but that his social maturational growth is not yet, quite where his cognitive and intellectual growth and development is.

My opinion...Your son needs to learn how to play with the three and four year olds even though he thinks like a five or six year old.  Absent his ability to interact with the children his own age, future foundational social growth and social maturity will be affected. 


Many efforts on his part to play with his peers are met with either confusion or disinterest.  Sometimes they'll sit and he'll read to them.  He is in to cooperative and pretend play, and they don't get it.  Any time he has played with older children, both cousins and strangers, he is actively engaged and cooperative, sometimes becoming the leader in the group.  He even plays moderately well with younger kids, including his younger brother.  He understands that they are younger and gets down to their level.  But he doesn't understand that there is a difference between him and other 3-4 year olds and becomes easily frustrated.