45-Year Study Reveals Good Parenting Is the Key to Raising a ‘Genius’
Science| | By Matthew D'Onofrio
Additionally, if a child does not excel in STEM, there is still hope in other areas such as spatial ability, which is an “untapped source of human potential,” according to Benbow’s husband David Lubiniski, a psychologist and co-director of the study. Students with average mathematical and verbal abilities yet exceptional spatial abilities tend to go on to become engineers, architects and even surgeons.
“And yet, no admissions directors I know of are looking at this, and it’s generally overlooked in school-based assessments,” said Lubiniski.
It’s not about forcing a child to be the next Einstein, it’s about encouraging achievement and happiness. Benbow and her colleagues suggest exposing children to diverse experiences, providing opportunities for children when they show strong interest or talent in something, supporting a child’s intellectual and emotional needs, praising a child’s effort over ability, allowing and encouraging children to take intellectual risks and learning from their failures, not labeling them (“gifted,” “ungifted”), working with a child’s teachers to meet their needs, and testing a child’s abilities.
Simply put, good parenting is the best way to ensure a child’s future is bright, even if they are not considered “bright.”