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4 Reasons Gifted Kids Need Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

What is social-emotional learning (SEL)?

Social-emotional learning, or SEL, is the process of developing the skills and knowledge needed to understand and manage one’s own emotions, as well as those of others. It’s all about building a foundation of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills that are crucial for success in life.


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Why do gifted kids need SEL?

SEL empowers us to navigate social interactions and emotions with confidence. This is particularly important for gifted kids, as these children often face unique challenges that SEL programs can address. Here are four compelling reasons why gifted kids need SEL in their education.

1. Gifted kids often experience intense emotions.

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Gifted kids are often highly sensitive and can experience intense emotions, both positive and negative. They may struggle with feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed and may have difficulty managing their emotions in social situations. SEL programs can teach them how to identify and express their emotions in healthy ways, as well as how to regulate their emotions in order to cope more effectively with stress and interact with others.

2. SEL can help gifted kids thrive socially.

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Gifted kids sometimes have difficulty understanding social cues and navigating social interactions. Their unique wiring may cause them to struggle with making and maintaining friendships. Gifted kids may also be perceived as socially awkward by their peers. SEL programs can teach them social skills, such as active listening, empathy, and perspective-taking, that will help them to build better relationships with others and to gain a deeper understanding of social dynamics.

3. Gifted kids face unique stressors.

Gifted kids often face unique stressors, such as being intellectually under- or overstimulated, having high expectations placed on them by adults, and feeling isolated from their peers. These stressors can lead to feelings of anxiety and pressure, which can negatively impact their mental and emotional well-being. SEL programs can teach them coping strategies, such as mindfulness and self-compassion, that will help them to manage their stress and maintain their overall well-being.

4. Gifted kids can benefit from developing a growth mindset.

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Gifted kids often possess a natural talent for learning but may struggle with setbacks and challenges. Developing a growth mindset, in which they learn to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth rather than viewing them as setbacks, is vital for their development. SEL programs can teach them how to persevere and to develop a sense of resilience in the face of adversity.

Where can you find SEL resources?

Through SEL programs, gifted kids can learn the skills they need to manage their emotions and navigate social interactions, cope with stress, and develop a sense of resilience. By providing young gifted children with these essential skills, adults can help them to thrive both academically and emotionally. Royal Fireworks Press offers many books that help young gifted children with social-emotional learning such as mindfulness and self-acceptance. Check them out at, and discover all of our valuable gifted resources, award-winning curricula, and best-in-class online learning opportunities

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