Do you want to know if your kid is a genius or has a high IQ? As parents, we believe that our kids are best-and they are! Even so, you need to look out for signs that indicate that you are actually raising a genius. (Hint: It has nothing to do with marks).
Before we move ahead, did you know there is more than one type of intelligence? Traditional academic measures are incapable of gauging the different types of intelligence people possess. IQ is just one type. The different types are Musical intelligence, spatial intelligence, Bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence, Interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, and naturalist intelligence.
We as parents need to be aware of what these signs look like so that we can know whether or not we are raising geniuses. Although it can be difficult to tell whether a child is gifted or not, there are few tell-tale signs we can look out for.
Let’s dive in.
1. They remember everything!
Does your child remember everyone who came around to visit the last Diwali function? Can they recall places they visited and when they visited them without fail every time? Can they recall whatever they studied or read with minimal errors?
My brother’s 11-year-old daughter can. She does pretty well in her studies and can recall names and phone numbers with incredible accuracy.
A good memory is necessary for children to learn and retain information. However, it is not just for learning, but essential in decision making in everyday activities as well. If your child has a strong recall power, then they are likely to have a high IQ.
Studies have shown that kids with strong memory power are also pretty good liars! That is because their vast memory gives them the capacity to construct a very believable lie.
At the same time, kids do not need to be born with strong memory skills. You can help them develop these skills with different activities. Studies have proved that reading can develop good verbal working memory in kids. Playing memory games at an early age is another option. You can also try asking them simple questions like where their friends or relatives live, questions they should know the answer to.
2. Do you have a little bookworm in the house?
“Reading is to the mind is what exercise is to the body”, wrote English essayist, poet, and playwright, Joseph Addison.
My Chachi used to constantly tell us how her eldest started reading at a very young age. From classics like ‘The man in the iron mask, ‘Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn’ and everything Enid Blyton wrote, he had read them all by age 11-12.
Just like our body, our brain needs stimulation as well. On average, extremely intelligent kids begin reading by age four and most others start by the time they are seven.
Once they begin to read, they discover the joy of it and soon they are hooked. An intelligent kid will go through novels at an amazing pace. “Children with strong reading skills are more likely to have higher intelligence levels as young adults, according to a study,” says a study by King’s College and the University of Edinburgh.
3. They know who killed the cat!
“I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious” – it is believed Albert Einstein said these words.
Curiosity is immensely valuable as a trait to have. It pushes the desire to learn in us. According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, “curiosity is as important as intelligence.” I believe curiosity is intelligence manifested. Children who ask a lot of questions demonstrate an innate desire to learn. They seek out opportunities to learn and eagerly pursue avenues that provide them mental stimulation.
Is your child not asking that many questions? Or are they not asking intelligent questions? Don’t worry. You can spark their curiosity yourself.
I tell this story about Israeli parents in my webinar and in my online courses. You need to ask them intelligent questions which make them think. It can be something simple like, “What was the best subject you studied today?” or “the best question you asked today”
If they are already curious, let them run wild!
4. Do they have the funny bone?
A search for humor and intelligence will take you to articles equating humor with high verbal and non-verbal intelligence. If your kid frequently tickles your funny bone or grasps complex jokes quickly, these are signs your kid has high intelligence.
In my own life, I can remember a few classmates who used to be master pranksters and excellent at joking around all day. They would regard studies the same way we regard a fly on the wall-with indifference. Despite it, they all graduated with flying colors when the time came to prove their merit.
Such kids score more on emotional intelligence. Bonus point, they are also fun to be around!
A sense of humor can also be a sign of greatness. Look at respected politicians like Shashi Tharoor today or the Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee who lead the Lok Sabha debates with witty humor; or celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan who is known for his witty remarks on talk shows. They all use humor and wit to get their points across.
5. Are they musical?
If your kid plays an instrument well, they may be intelligent. Studies done over the years have shown that association with music or art leads to a definite increase in the gray matter of the brain. For example, those who play the keyboard display higher development of the area of the brain that controls finger movements. Musical education can have surprising benefits as well.
I remember I had put my son in guitar classes after he successfully nagged me for a month. I was pleasantly surprised when he composed a song to remember some particularly technical parts of Hindi grammar. He still remembers it to this day. I believe we should expose our children to music at a young age even if they do not have any particular talent. It unlocks their creative thinking.