Yes! We are all geniuses! You are as smart as you allow yourself to be on a given topic or skill.
I just read the most amazing book! Let's first talk about why I read the book. My daughter is "gifted". What does that mean? What do I do? How do I know what she needs? I don't know the first thing about raising a "gifted" child. So, I started searching for answers, reading and then I attended a seminar here in Kansas. One of the featured speakers was "The Gifted Guru, Lisa Van Gemert" (you can visit her website here). She was phenomenal! Anyway, I've been following her and subscribed to her newsletter as I search for answers.
In her latest newsletter she recommended reading, The Genuis in All of Us by David Shenk (2010). If you have a gifted child or maybe question your child's education and learning, you have to read this book.
I won't spoil the story, but it was a fascinating exploration of how intelligence and abilities can be learned. Greatness is a process. Talent is a process. A process of repetitive, rigorous and consistent practice. People aren't just born awesome. Nope, not even Michael Jordan or Beethoven.
Genes are definitely at the core of our existence but more importantly our environment, nutrition and activity has so much more to do with who we are and who we become. In the current public school system of "no child left behind", it begs the question of, are we creating normal, average children? or are we truly providing an opportunity for every child to find that thing, that talent, that activity, where they will excel. The environment must allow for a child to develop and grow. Are we providing that environment, every day? Are we challenging our youth? Without unnecessary pressure?
I have several, but one of my favorite pieces from the book is this. "..., Parents are not supposed to make things easier for kids. Instead, they are supposed to present, monitor, and modulate challenges. The great success stories in our world come about when parents and their children learn to turn straight into the wind and gain satisfaction from marching against its ever-increasing force." (Shenk, 2011, p. 115)
So let your kids dream big! Support them! Encourage them! Provide them opportunities to grow! Read the book and you'll pick up some additional subtle things you can change as you interact with your child. It really just stops and makes you THINK!
You can find the book here on Amazon.
Shenk, D. (2010). The Genius in All of Us. New York: Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.
You can find the book on Amazon by clicking the image below.