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Can your child be a genius?

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Yes, you read it right. The question is, ‘can your child be a genius?’

The simple answer to this question is ‘yes’.

The 21st century discoveries about the human brain and its functioning have revealed the astounding fact that human abilities are not fixed at birth. In other words, what you are able to do with your life is not fixed when you are born. It is not all in the genes. It is not just nature: nurture plays a significant part in the moulding of what a person is, and what he/she can be.

Brain plasticity  or neuroplasticity refers to the amazing ability of the human brain to modify its structure and functions according to the changes within the body and/or in the external environment. (‘Plasticity’ comes from the Greek word ‘plastos’ meaning molded).

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In his book ‘The Brain that Changes Itself’ psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., offers an introduction to the brilliant scientists advocating neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they’ve transformed. The book describes real life stories of stroke patients learning to speak again, and the amazing story of a woman born with half a brain that restructured itself to work as a whole. It is a book that changes the way we think about our brain, its nature, and its potential.

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

The genes we inherit from our parents are finite, no doubt about that. However, our brain’s ability to develop is infinite. New brain cells are being born all the time, and to keep them alive and growing, we have to stimulate them.

Herein lies the promise of neuroplasticity in the moulding of children into adults who are capable of realizing their potential. For, genius is nothing but a human being who has realized his/her innate potential! What Mozart, Einstein and da Vinci had was innate potential plus the right environment.

All geniuses started life in exactly the same way. They had parents who supported the development of their individual gifts and talents. They had the right environment and stimuli that led to the optimal development of themselves.

Discovering and developing your child’s gifts and talents

You can think about your child’s gifts as the merging colours of a rainbow. The possibilities are endless. All children are born with three natural abilities that provide them with the potential to think like a genius: the abilities to think, to learn and to develop their own individual way of thinking and learning.

Some pointers on how you can help your child fulfil his/her innate potential are given below.

Riddles such as these explore the commonalities and relationships among things. Engage in such riddles and games with your child, so that their lateral thinking abilities develop. Puzzles are a great way to develop this ability to think outside the box.

Ultimately, it is the parents and their parenting style that decides a child’s future. Each child is unique. Parents will have to adapt the guidelines above to suit their own children’s needs.

Can your child be a genius? Yes, he/she can be, if you give him/her the right environment, the right stimuli and the right guidance.