All parents are, or at least should be, proud of their kids for drawing stick people and labeling them as members of their family. But some kids are outstanding artists and start adding in details — like excellent details — while their friends are still learning how to draw stick men. If you can tell what your child is drawing without them telling you that the stick man (who looks just like the stick woman) is daddy, then your child probably has above-average intelligence.
Kids usually start saying their first words around 15 months of age, but some exceptionally bright toddlers are speaking in entire sentences by then. Not necessarily sentences that could win them a Pulitzer Prize, but still putting words together in ways you do not usually see until kids are two. If your kid starts saying words before his first birthday and is putting words together by 15 or 16 months, you might want to go on and start heavily investing in that college fund. But then again, a kid that smart might go on to get a full scholarship.
Is your kid begging for more books to read, even if he has already read 20 library books this week? Does he want to learn more about a particular topic or do some science experiments (and where did he learn about science experiments, anyway?)? If your kid is always looking for more mental stimulation, especially if he just cannot be bothered with the television, then he is probably really super smart. Moreover, while you would probably love a break if he would just watch Barney for half an hour so you could do some laundry, you can appreciate the giftedness that is appearing at a very early age.
Of all the signs that your child may be a genius, this one is probably the hardest one to stomach. Your beloved pride and joy just cannot bring himself to play with other kids at the playground. He has no friends at preschool, and worse yet, he does not seem to care because he just does not like other kids. However, according to the British genius organization Mensa, one sign of child genius is not being able to tolerate other children. Maybe your kid finds other children dull and unenlightened because they would rather eat dirt than learn about outer space.
Kids usually start learning reading skills about the time that they start kindergarten, but some extra savvy youngsters start picking up on reading when they are in preschool. Being able to read some words before starting kindergarten is definitely a good sign. Reading books? Bringing books to daycare and reading them to her classmates? That kid is a genius. Make sure you take her to the library regularly so that she can read to her heart’s content and continue developing that astounding intellect. She will probably go on to get a Ph.D. one day. Keep reading to learn more about the signs of a kid genius!
You are trying to teach your daughter numbers, but it turns out she already picked so much up from Sesame Street that she can count to 20, even though she is only two. Furthermore, next thing you realize is that she already knows all of her letters and is ready to start reading. Being able to learn new topics easily is an early sign of genius in children. Even in school, if your kid is having to learn new topics and does not seem to be struggling, you may want to make sure that the college fund you are putting away is enough to cover an Ivy League education.
You thought your kids were playing a game together and would give you the chance to get a break, but then you hear them yelling and crying because Mary is making up extra rules that were not part of the game. While Mary does need to learn to play the game fairly without making up different rules, Mensa says that kids who make up additional rules for the games that they play are showing signs of brilliance. So go easy on Mary and recognize her intelligence while you help her see the importance of playing fairly. Keep reading to learn more about the signs of a kid genius!
You told your kid last week that no, she cannot have chicken nuggets every single day. And then this week ended up being more hectic than you expected, and you fed her chicken nuggets with macaroni and cheese three times. And then the unthinkable happens: she reminds you that this is the third time this week that you have given her chicken nuggets for supper! Stop reprimanding yourself for not feeding her gourmet meals every night and start planning on teaching her letters so that she can start learning to read. Why? Because that kid is smart.
You may be wondering why Wendy wants to be the best at everything in her preschool class, especially when you have intentionally taught her to be cooperative rather than competitive. However, she is constantly pushing herself to be better and better, even when those around her cannot keep up. Kids who are high achievers can be absolute geniuses, but there is a downside. They can bring anxiety on themselves that they cannot handle, so they need support to help them learn to manage their mental health. After all, being a kid genius is not everything and comes with a price tag.
When we’re talking about a two-year-old, a long attention span does not mean that he is able to sit through a college lecture on quantum dynamics. But is your kid able to sit through an entire two-hour movie, such as Finding Nemo, without any problem? There is a reason most kid shows are just a few minutes long: kids have a short attention span. If a toddler can sit through a whole movie and be paying attention the whole time or listen to you read an entire story from beginning to end, you have a smart kid on your hands. Keep reading to learn more about the signs of a kid genius!
Your three-year-old is learning to read, even though kids usually learn to read in kindergarten. Or, your five-year-old is learning how to add and subtract numbers when his classmates are still learning what numbers are. Your eight-year-old is teaching herself how to code and even build computer games and apps. If your kid is learning things that are years ahead of his age, then he is a genius, especially if he is learning not just one thing but many different things at an accelerated rate.
For some reason, your six-year-old would rather sit at the adults’ table while all of the grown-ups are drinking coffee and talking about boring adult things instead of playing outside with the kids. When you ask her to go play, she goes to her room and plays by herself instead of joining the others who are playing outside. You may think that she is antisocial and maybe even autistic, and maybe she is. Nevertheless, she is also showing one of Mensa’s classic signs of child genius: she would rather be around adults or by herself than with other kids.
You may be irritated that your son will not let go of the fact that he only got a small slice of cake and his sister got a bigger piece. Alternatively, he only got nine library books, and his brother got ten. Furthermore, you have a perfectly good reason why his brother got an extra book, but he just will not let that one go. Your kid probably has a very strong sense of justice, and if you harness that well, he will become a champion of those who are less fortunate. Keep reading to learn more about the signs of a kid genius!
There is a reason why so many books for beginning readers use the same words repeatedly: young kids tend to have pretty small vocabularies. However, do you have a little professor who is picking up words that she hears you say? Granted, kids will always pick up on what happens around them, especially on things that their parents say or what they hear on the television. Nevertheless, if you have a three-year-old who is using words that are not on Sesame Street or in her favorite book because she is picking them up from you, then you are raising a genius.
Generally speaking, kids like music. They enjoy dancing (even if there is no music playing) and banging on anything that they can to make sounds. But is your five-year-old sitting at the piano and playing more than “Mary Had a Little Lamb”? Is he paying attention to songs and pretending to play along to complex harmonies? Musical giftedness is a classic sign of child genius. Moreover, keep in mind that music can help kids who are experiencing high levels of anxiety, and let’s be honest, many child geniuses are good at stressing themselves out.
You don’t expect that your four-year-old is aware of global issues, but then one day, she asks you about climate change or about starving children in other countries. She probably picked something up from the news that you were watching and then completely astounded you by understanding what was being said. Most kids are only aware of what is going on with them, and sometimes the people immediately around them, like their parents and siblings. If your youngster is already showing awareness of global issues, then there is no doubt that she is a genius.
Kids are notorious for asking questions, and yes, sometimes they ask ridiculous questions just to be annoying. However, is your daughter intently asking some very probing questions because she really wants to know the answer? What is the sky really made of? Why is the sky blue? Why did the cow jump over the moon? After a few rounds of these questions, you can tell if your kid is just trying to push your buttons or if she really has a curious, inquisitive mind and is eager to know as much as she can about the world around her. Keep reading to learn more about the signs of a kid genius!
Your son does not have one particular thing that he loves about daycare because he loves everything. He loves playing with blocks. Your child loves learning about buses and dinosaurs and the color yellow. He loves playing outside on the playground and listening to the teacher read books. If your kid is engaging in a lot of different interests from a very early age, then odds are, he is not strange. He’s smart. Really, really smart, and you may want to help him develop those interests and become a well-rounded person.
On the flip side of being interested in a hundred thousand different things, some kids are deeply intrigued by one thing in particular. The six-year-old who has already checked out all of the library books about dinosaurs and cannot get enough about dinosaurs because they fascinate her to no end. Or, the two-year-old who only wants to talk about firefighters and go to the fire station and play with his toy firetruck. The four-year-old who goes to the zoo only to see the monkeys, and then they only want to look at books about monkeys and watch shows about monkeys. Those kids know what they enjoy, and they are smart.
Babies and toddlers can get bored pretty easily and then want to move on to another activity that will entertain them. Intellectual kids can focus on the same activity for a long time, even when they are just toddlers or preschoolers. Plenty of tots will get bored after two minutes of trying to build a Lego tower. Genius kids have the focus to keep working on that one tower until it is done to their liking, and by that time, it might look like it is part of a Medieval castle. At the same time, your kid may have ADD and be unable to focus like that but still be wildly intelligent.
Kids are pretty good at experiencing extreme emotions but do not understand what emotions are and why they affect people so much. However, is your son in kindergarten and already able to communicate his feelings? And not just in a superficial way, but in a way that communicates he really understands what he is feeling and why? He is angry because his friend pushed him down at recess. He is sad because his teacher wasn’t at school today. Kids who have emotional depth are brilliant, and not just intellectually. Their emotional intelligence is off the charts. Keep reading to learn more about the signs of a kid genius!
Plenty of kids have an imaginary friend, and no, having one does not make your kid weird. Having a strong and vivid imagination is a sign of intelligence in young children. Nevertheless, do you know what would really indicate that your kid is a knock-out genius? Having an entire imaginary world. His imaginary friend has a mom, dad, brothers, sisters, and even a pet and goes to an imaginary school. You may think that your kid needs therapy and may even have schizophrenia, but the signs of schizophrenia are not the same as an overactive imagination. Your kid is probably just smart.
Does your preschooler regularly say things that are so funny that you spit out whatever you are drinking because you are laughing so hard? Kids are amusing, but those who are genuinely witty and can make other people laugh are usually also on the bright side of genius as they grow up. If your daughter can tell jokes at the dinner table, and not just lame jokes that she heard at preschool, but ones that she made up and that really make you laugh, she is a smart cookie. Keep reading to learn if there are ways to help nurture your kid to becoming a genius. Or if you already notice these signs, what you should do about it.
13. There Are Ways to Help Nurture Your Children’s Intellects
Your kids may not be showing many of these signs of high intelligence, but you still want to do whatever you can to help them excel in school and launch them into a promising and fulfilling career. There are things that you can do to help enhance their intelligence, even if they may not graduate as valedictorians or go on to found a Fortune 500 company. But make sure you do not lose focus and, in your efforts to raise a smart kid, you forget about even more important qualities, such as kindness, respect, and concern for the less fortunate.
12. But Should You Try to Turn Your Kid Into a Genius?
Experts who have been studying highly gifted children for decades agree that no, you should not try to turn your child into a kid genius. They also agree that some children are born with innate giftedness that needs to be nurtured and developed. Prevailing wisdom may suggest that genius kids take care of themselves, but they need guidance as they explore their powerful intellects and also learn to function in a world in which they will never be equals. Parents who want to turn their kids into geniuses run the risk of turning their kids into anxious basket cases who are so driven to perform and try to please people that they are unable to thrive.
Open-ended questions require more than a one-word response, so they are more likely to elicit a meaningful conversation. Instead of asking your son if he liked school today, ask him to tell you something that he learned and something fun that he did with a friend at school. Also, make sure that you never use baby talk with your kids; instead of helping them open up to you, using baby talk will cause them to shut down. Engaging your kids in conversation helps them develop their vocabulary and social skills, and they will become more comfortable talking with other people. Keep reading for more parenting tips for raising smart kids.
Kids can tell the difference between a compliment and laying it on thick. And experts warn that giving kids too many compliments can turn them into people-pleasers who are always trying to do the next thing that will earn them praise. Instead of complimenting everything that they do well, give meaningful feedback that shows that you saw their effort, even if they did not succeed. Maybe your daughter made a C when you know she could have made an A. Instead of falsely praising the C, talk to her about what she can do to improve her grades and encourage her to do those things without stressing her out.
As parents, we want to make life easier for our kids. We want them to struggle less than we had to so that they can realize more of their potential than we could. However, when we do not allow them to think through challenges and learn to solve them, we rob them of the ability to face the world with courage and confidence. When your child runs into a problem that he or she does not immediately know the answer to, don’t solve it with the misguided notion that you are making your child’s life easier. Let him or her think and come to the answer. Keep reading for more parenting tips for raising smart kids
Early childhood education begins in infancy, as even newborns are able to recognize people and phrases. Your child is never too young to begin learning! Even if you have an infant, talk with him or her constantly. Call out numbers are you are using them, such as if you are cooking, say how many cups of flour or sugar you are pouring. Read books to your kids. Enroll them in a quality preschool that will give them a head start on the skills that will help them succeed in school. Furthermore, remember that education is more than learning information; it is learning the social skills that will set them up for life.
Your child probably comes to you with lots of questions, and you may be eager to answer them. After all, shouldn’t you be a fountain of wisdom that your child can drink from? Nevertheless, you are doing a disservice if you are not teaching your son or daughter to look things up online or in books. Being able to find the answer on their own will help them be able to navigate the world when you are not always right there to tell them how they should do something. Spend an afternoon teaching your kids how to look up answers (and, importantly, how to spot a bad source).
Experts agree that reading is the foundation of knowledge, and when you share your love of reading with them, you set them up for success. Kids whose parents read to them are more likely to learn things quickly and retain knowledge better than their counterparts whose parents do not read to them. Reading to your kids also helps their brains form connections so that they are better able to interact with the world around them. Even if your kids are old enough to read books on their own, read to them and read with them. You can even let them read to you. Keep reading for more parenting tips for raising smart kids
In the effort to raise well-rounded children who will become successful and happy adults, many well-meaning parents schedule their kids for activities every single day of the week. The kids never get the chance to relax at home because they are constantly going from one thing to the next. One long-term problem that emerges is that kids who are overscheduled do not develop executive functioning as well as kids who have time to relax and figure out the things that they are interested in. Letting your kids decide how they want to spend their time is vital in the development of their executive function.
You may get irritated when your kids constantly come to you with seemingly inane questions that you have answered a hundred times over. However, if they really are curious about the world, that trait is something that can be nurtured because it can increase their intelligence. Take your kids places that will nurture their curiosity, like museums, libraries, and art galleries. Children’s museums are great places to get kids excited about exploring and learning more about the world. The curiosity that you nurture today could turn into the scientific inquiry that sets them apart years from now.
As parents, we want to protect our kids from having to experience the disappointment, discouragement, and setback caused by failing. But failing is an integral part of success, and robbing our kids of the chance to fail ultimately robs them of the ability to learn, grow, and find what they are really good at. Don’t always try to rescue your child. Instead, teach him or her problem-solving skills, which are hallmarks of geniuses who are functioning well in the world. Especially if your child truly is a genius, you want to make sure that he or she learns how to fail early on so that when the stakes are high, he or she is ready and able to face the situation ahead.
What you feed your kids really does matter. Moreover, while there is nothing wrong with chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese occasionally, kids need lots of nutritious food. They need to be eating fruits and vegetables that are high in nutrients and low in sugar. They also need healthy fats that will help their brains develop and grow so that their intellects can reach their full potential. What kids don’t need, no matter how much they ask, is sugar. Sweets are fine in moderation (and not giving them sweets at all will cause them to binge). But remember that if you want to raise a genius, you have to feed a genius. Keep reading for more parenting tips for raising smart kids
Kids need rest, even if some seem like they are wound up 24/7. More than they need to be scheduled with lots of activities to feed their growing minds and bodies, they need 10-12 hours of sleep every night, depending on their age. Sometimes they need more, so letting them sleep in is not spoiling them. If your kids are not getting enough rest, then their brains are not getting what they need in order to grow and thrive. If you are concerned that your child might not be sleeping enough or that he or she might be sleeping too much, talk to the pediatrician about how much sleep is necessary.