Someone shared an interesting infographic with me recently about how to raise smart kids. I wanted to post it here not because I believe there is a “formula” for turning kids into geniuses, but because I think it’s a good conversation starter.
As an occupational therapist, I like that it addresses the fact that there are certain childhood occupations (i.e., meaningful activities that kids engage in) that can enhance brain function and learning. Conversely, it also demonstrates how other childhood occupations can negatively impact development.
But the most interesting fact presented in this graphic is the final one.
Check it out:
Isn’t that interesting? I know from experience that this is true — many kids I’ve known who are smart and “know it” do not possess the same work ethic or adaptive skills (such as dealing with failure) as those who are also smart but rely on their work ethic to help them succeed.
This was especially true in my career as both a competitive gymnast and gymnastics coach. More often than not, the gymnasts who were praised for their immense talent from an early age (like the “smart kids” group) were more likely to drop out of the sport or become extra lazy and whiney when it got “hard” than those who were known for their good work ethic (like the “praised for their effort” group). The gymnasts who had less talent (even if they were really good gymnasts) but a better work ethic were more able to successfully overcome adversity – such as injuries or poor scores – and ultimately step up to the challenges of the higher levels. I saw it in the beginner levels. I saw it in the higher levels. I saw it in the college ranks. And I saw it as a coach.
What do you think about this? Have you ever seen this play out in real life?
(This infographic was produced by OnlinePsychologyDegree.net)