How to make your child successful

  • 11/10/2016
Classroom (Getty)
Classroom (Getty)

Everyone likes to think that their child is gifted, and a recent study has revealed some ways to help ensure these gifts are not lost.

Since it began in 1971, the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth has tracked 5,000 of the smartest children in the United States - the longest running study of gifted children in history.

Dr Pani Farvid, AUT Senior Psychology Lecturer, spoke to Paul Henry about the study to discuss the three biggest things it identified about success.

It is important, "to identify gifted children (or highly intelligent children) by giving them support and encouragement, and pushing them."

Teachers and family members are still important as they can identify gifted children. It is misguided to assume the smartest kids can achieve their full potential without being pushed.

"If a child isn't challenged, if they're not stimulated beyond their capacity, they basically lose motivation and get distracted."

Much of the research shows that kids with an early aptitude for science or maths tend not to receive the help they need from a younger age. Teachers will often devote their time to struggling students rather than continuing to push those who are topping the class.

Even having a private tutor can be a good idea to give them the support they need.

"Over 60 percent of the people who had been put up ended up becoming highly important engineers, had done their Ph.D, had become surgeons, and those who didn't became more "mediocre."

When researchers compared a control group of gifted students who didn't skip a grade to those who did, the grade-skippers were 60 percent more likely to earn patents and doctorates and more than twice as likely to get a Ph.D. in a field related to science, technology, engineering, or math.