What A 45-Year Study Of Genius Kids Says About How To Raise Them
Most parents want to think their kids are geniuses, and you just don’t get the artistic merit of whatever that is hanging on the refrigerator. But raising an actual genius is a much more complicated journey, paved with homework on which even you’d get an “F.” That’s according to the Study Of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), which tracked thousands of the smartest children in America over the course of 45 years, in order to figure out how to best nurture these prodigies. (Hint: it’s not by calling them nerds.)
As the longest running study of gifted kids in history, SMPY looked at 5,000 students ranging from the top 3 percent to the top 0.01 percent of students, nationwide. The study found that the biggest challenge for smart kids is adults underestimating them. In an education system that frequently focuses on students who are struggling, gifted kids wind up falling through the cracks in less obvious ways (they call them “crevices,” for one thing). So, basically, the system often fails to help kids achieve their potential on both ends of the potential spectrum. Stupid system.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a genius to figure out how to help your gifted kid make the most of it. Researchers shouldered that responsibility for you and concluded that skipping grades was the key to keeping the truly advanced kids engaged and stimulated. Grade-skippers were 60 percent more likely to earn patents and doctorates and more than twice as likely to get a Ph.D. in STEM field. So if you get the sense your baby genius is getting bored and needs a challenge, it might be time to talk about moving up a grade. Don’t worry — they’ll have plenty of time to catch up with their former classmates when they’re employing them.
[H/T] The Business Insider