If your child is a genius, here are some strategies to help them stay on top

Parents always want their children to be as smart as possible, as this sets them up for success later in life. This desire can come with a lot of pressure, both for your child and for you as the parent. No matter which of the types of learners your child is, there are some things you can do to help your genius child stay at the top. 

Test your child’s abilities

It is hard for parents to be objective, so you should always have a third party test your child’s abilities. This will let you confirm that they truly are a genius. Keep in mind that a generally accepted guideline is that a child is “gifted” if they perform within the top 10 per cent of their national or local norms. It will also provide useful information in the form of weaknesses that they should work through. 

Testing your child’s abilities can even find something that would otherwise hold their genius back, such as ADHD or dyslexia. This is particularly important since gifted students with learning disabilities are likely to be overlooked, as confirmed in a study by Olenchak & Reis. 

Provide them with resources to grow and succeed, including challenges 

There are various types of learners, but all children benefit from being given the resources and tools they need. Your child may be a genius, but they cannot magically learn without any resources. 

Providing resources can be as simple as buying your child books, getting them a library card, or getting a membership to a local museum so they can learn more about its contents. It will also sometimes cost a little more, such as letting them take that summer course, hiring a private tutor, or signing them up for online classes to supplement what they learn in school. If your child is a genius, the topics learned in school may not be challenging enough, but you do not want to hold them back. 

Importantly, some of these resources should challenge your child and push them out of their comfort zone. The online classes or tutoring are a perfect example of this. Yes, your child could succeed in school without supplemental learning, but that learning brings them further ahead of their peers and challenges them. You need to keep things interesting for your child, as if they are not challenged, they may give up in the future at the first hurdle. 

Avoid assumptions and pressure

When your child seems particularly gifted at a young age, it is easy to assume that this will carry over throughout the rest of their life, but this is not always the case, as types of learners can change throughout life. You want to not only avoid making assumptions about their future talent but also prevent them from making those assumptions. Similarly, avoid putting too much pressure on them to maintain their genius status throughout life. 

It could be devastating for your child to feel that they are set up for success only to fall short of their goals. At the most basic level, this particular tip means having a backup plan in place. For example, even if your child works their whole life towards the goal of going to a specific highly regarded university, have a backup plan, as well. 

Support emotional needs in addition to intellectual ones

The previous point touches on this, but to set your genius child up for future success, you need to take care of them emotionally as well as intellectually. For example, having a backup plan means they will not feel lost if they cannot reach their dreams. Another example is avoiding pressuring your child to succeed. That will only lead to stress. Instead, encourage them to do the best they can and let them know that you have faith in their abilities. That will translate into confidence in themselves that helps them achieve their goals. 


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