In 2013, I attended a lecture given by Dr. Kathy Koch at the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention. I thought the information she shared was incredibly valuable and wanted to share it with you too.
You might have noticed it already, but there’s a bit of genius in your child. In fact, just about every child has characteristics of genius that parents can nurture and encourage.
12 Genius-Like Characteristics to Encourage In Your Child
- Curiosity –Ever notice how your child wants to know what, when, why, how, and what if for just about everything? The questions may seem endless at times, but encourage them. Children are designed to be curious. Your child is simply being a young scientist/historian, eager to learn and explore his environment (and sometimes beyond) and excited to know the when and where of everything under the sun. This might be the most important genius characteristic to encourage. Curiosity is a thirst for learning!
- Playfulness – Play is an important part of childhood. Far from a frivolous activity, play is actually your child’s job and provides opportunities for learning that cannot be predicted in advance. Get down on the floor, get outside, or sit down at the table to play and engage with your child. You won’t regret it.
- Imagination – As adults, we are often too caught up in our day-to-day tasks to spend much time in imagination land. But imagination is the gateway to creating and becoming something…more. A child who can close his eyes (or keep them open) and block out his surroundings to create his own world, his own fun, or something brand new has a definite bit of genius in him.
- Wonder — Is your child very observant? Wonder is the natural astonishment of the world around you. While you’re going about the business of your day, there are likely a frightful number of things you just don’t notice. After all, you’re busy, and as a parent, your attention is pulled in many different directions at once. Fortunately, your child is freer to notice the tiny details that we adults overlook. From beauty in everyday things and oddities to amazing colors and interesting faces, your child’s mind is observing and cataloguing more than you can imagine.
- Creativity — Have you seen the spark of creativity in your child?Ever leave a child alone with craft supplies, building blocks, pen and paper, or even just a bunch of random toys? Your child’s vivid imagination makes him capable of creating amazing things, often just in the interest of staving off boredom but sometimes with a planned purpose.
- Sensitivity — Children are often very sensitive to the emotions of those around them. They notice when another person is sad, happy, angry or frustrated, and they care. This caring is one way children connect and engage with the world around them.
- Does your child demonstrate persistence? It’s easy to give up when something seems too hard, takes too long, or becomes too frustrating. Children, however, often come back to such a task again and again (even if they’ve put it aside for a while), committed to completing it and sure they will find a way to make it work.
- Inventiveness —Inventiveness goes hand in hand with creativity and observance. It starts with noticing a problem and ends with creating a hands-on solution. Even very young children demonstrate inventiveness—during play!
- Humor — The ability to find humor in everyday things is a powerful quality. Humor adds joy to one’s day, diffuses negative emotions, stimulates creativity, and facilitates memory. Go ahead and encourage your child’s funny bone!
- Vitality — Is your child energetic?Sometimes watching children bounce around makes us adults tired, and it’s a reflexive response to scold children for being too hyper. Instead, praise your child for his vitality as all that energy means your child is interested in, connected with, and responsive to his environment. Your child is living every moment to its fullest.
- Flexibility — Children are amazingly adaptable. They can flex their minds to fit new situations in the blink of an eye, adapting thoughts, emotions, and processes to fit what is happening in the now instead of whatever occurred before.
- Joy — Is your child loquacious? Children can be little chatterboxes at times, and while it may not seem so when you have a headache, this is a good thing. Conversation helps children connect with others and learn more about social interaction and their environment. It leads to questions (and hopefully answers), which stimulate creativity, imagination, and inventiveness. And the more children engage in conversation, the larger their vocabularies become, which is a good thing all around.
No matter what age and stage your child is in right now, it’s a safe bet that he exhibits most, if not all of these genius characteristics. Recognize and encourage every sign of genius in your child!