So you think your baby’s gifted? Join the club.
We all want to believe our progeny is exceptional, but just because they’ve grasped “mama” two months before their peers doesn’t mean you have the next Kim Ung-Yong on your hands*.
*former South Korean child prodigy, once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under “Highest IQ”. Is in no way related to the North Korean dictator of a similar name. Your genius child would, naturally, have been able to tell the difference.
Luckily, Mensa UK has come up with a checklist to help parents already convinced of their offspring’s superior intellect, convince everyone else of it as well. According to the website, a gifted child will typically display some of the following characteristics:
1) Ask lots of questions
Prodigies are naturally curious, so expect to be challenged with “How”, “What”, “Where”, “Why” and “When” on a daily basis.
Endless repetitions of “Are we there yet?” and “But why?” are unlikely to indicate advanced cognitive development.
2) Good memory
Particularly unhelpful when you’ve said something less-than-flattering about your mother-in-law in front of your child, which they then decide to recall when she comes to visit six months later.
3) Sense of humour
For children or otherwise, GSOH is tricky one to gauge. You might be in stiches at the comedic genius of your four-year-old’s Book of Mormon-esque piece of musical theatre, but that doesn’t mean your mother and her friends will share the sentiment.
4) Reading at an early age
No bedtime stories for your precocious princess – she’s more likely to read you to sleep. And that Sophie Kinsella book you’re planning on taking on holiday? Think again. You shall be expected to provide offerings from the Man Booker Prize longlist.
5) Prefers the company of adults over children
Don’t we all?
6) Has an awareness of world events
You know that Jean-Claude what’s-his-face that David Cameron is hell bent on stopping becoming president of whatchamacallit? No? Your prodigy does. Best brush up on the general knowledge.
7) Unusual hobbies or an in-depth knowledge of certain subjects
Does your child play the zitare? Enjoy plane spotting? Can he tell you all about the bacterial cultures involved in cheese making? He’s not weird and destined for social exclusion, he’s a genius!
8) Has a large vocabularly
It won’t be “James hit me first” or “Go away, I hate you”, but rather, “James initiated the physical altercation” and “Withdraw from the situation, as I’m experiencing feelings of antipathy towards you.”
9) Natural leader, likes to organise group activities
That’s the family summer holiday sorted, then.
10) Is fond of telling stories or composing songs
Taylor Swift was writing music from no age and look where she is now. Prodigy? Then again, she also reckoned she could tame Harry Styles, which would indicate questionable levels of intelligence.
11) Tends to question authority
A tiresome trait. Are you sure you still want a genius in the family? Normal is sounding ever more appealing.