is it right to tell young children that they are a genius? Could they start believing they are something more than they are therefore lose out on important social lessons. Or could it give them a much needed confidence boost in their abilities in order to show them what their true potential is? A TV show that is in its third year tests these questions – child genius in co-operation with Mensa. After each episode I shall review this question above to answer whether children are born genius or whether they are taught it, I shall also try to answer whether this method of testing a child’s intelligence is just.
The children were put through a rigorous testing of general knowledge and memory. The general knowledge round was very extensive including questions about space and history – many of the children had their specialist topic with a handful out of the selected 20 being able to answer most of the questions of all the topics. One child who exhausted the questions scoring 16 in this round explained his thirst for learning and how he felt he was addicted knowledge. He portrayed a child who was confident in his abilities but understood he had limits and was willing to put in the hours to overcome this because he was something he enjoyed to do – push his knowledge. Another child who was also confident in his abilities did not fair so well in this first round – he had parents who were NOT confident in his abilities and pushed him harder and harder to ensure he didn’t fail. He showed great determination and belief in himself to show his parents what he was capable of. However through doing this he wasn’t able to identify what his weaknesses were and therefore work harder at them, perhaps he was displaying effects of overconfidence. These two children display two different personalities and how they deal with being labelled a genius and the competition.
The next challenge in round 1 of child genius was a memory test. The children were given an hour to memorise all of the motorways and A-roads interconnecting the UK and all of the cities within. Now this to me seems a very difficult, near impossible task – now this may be because I am not a genius but children of 7-12 years this seems a very cruel task. However again a select few coped very week getting 8 out of a possible 16 with ease. The other competitors did struggle with one child who just felt the pressure got too much for her and burst into tears when she didn’t know the answer. Dependent on the individual child a difficult task could affirm any doubts a child has in their abilities, and could knock the confidence of the most affluent performer – this is not a good thought to put in any child’s head. You want children to believe they can achieve anything rather than fall at the first hurdle.
This TV show opens up other problems that I feel need addressing a few of which that I shall elaborate more in another blog but shall write briefly about them here –
- First of all one thing that seems evident is that children are getting more intelligent and that higher scores are being obtained each year. This is labelled under the Flynn effect that is interesting to note that more and more children are achieving higher intelligence scores so is the population getting more intelligent as a whole or are there more genius’? Both possibilities pose questions such as does the genius scale need to be shifted and what is a genius? – do they really exist. Perhaps this will take another blog to explore.
- Second of all I still find it a hard concept that children are pushed beyond their chronological age to receive qualifications such as GCSEs and a levels. I have never felt that this is a correct way to test or see a child potential by pushing them to receive qualifications before their peers. From watching these shows I have seen recurring themes such as overconfidence in their abilities and a lack of social development. These children tend to have poor social skills and a severe lack in friendships seeking relationships with older peers as they are on a similar academic level. Both of these things could be seen s good light such as the fact they understand their immense ability and they can interact with similar others however I feel it teaches superiority which is not desireable in a working industry.
- In the general knowledge task I mentioned a little boy who had extremely pushy parents that openly didn’t believe in his ability and so pushed him until exhaustion. This child was highly restricted on toys, TV and computer games. He rarely just got to play and hardly ever with friends. This is to me highlights concerns I have when these TV shows are aired. This child is not taught the importance of social interaction of how to hold a conversation and how to overcome problems in a successful way. He is not given time to learn about himself and what he enjoys and therefore what work environment he would like to aspire to. More than that though he is not told how to have fun, he has no hobbies and no time to just relax and be a child. To me this is the main and most important problem of these shows and competitions. Parents are so concerned with winning and proving their child is a genius they forget how to enjoy time with their child and create memories. Also most saddening of all this boy is growing up in an environment where his parents don’t believe in him, this doesn’t set up for an overly positive relationship and again will leak into social interactions and belief in himself.
- One parent certainly showed a pushy streak but once explored a little more his true motivation for putting his son through on the show was revealed. He believed there was something special about his boy that he too should believe in, his father thought that the show would show his son what he can achieve if he just believes in himself. Although his son was knocked out at this first round he said the following thing in the terrier after that made me think of a good reason for this show ‘entering this competition was never about winning, it was about showing him that he is special and if he pushes himself that he has the potential to do anything. It teaches him perserversnce and a great skill of knowing where your strengths and weaknesses lie and therefore how to work on them’. This is a wonderful way to look at the competition and a true advantage of ever creating this competition of intelligence – that’s it’s about learning about yourself NOT winning. Furthermore teaching children that greatness is within them is a great parenting technique and should not be downplayed.
- One mother entered both of her sons to this competition however has started to spark rivalry between the brothers even this early in the competition. To me this anecdote highlights that brothers of all people are going to have similar backgrounds and therefore way of thinking about things and experiences with the world. Therefore battling these against each other does not seem wise – they should be happy with the similarities AND differences between them rather than compete with them. Furthermore everyone has different abilities so whose to say that one is better (more genius) than the other? By doing this it could enforce negative feelings towards ALL abilities which is highly damaging to this child’s performance.
- Intelligence should not become a competition but unfortunately this is what it has become in education and the workplace nowadays. However competitions such as this show a child how competitive the world of work really is which could be highly beneficial for those aspiring towards hug her education such as Oxford, Cambridge and Russell group universities.
In this episode I feel that parents definetly had a bearing on their child’s genius due to the strict parenting and pushing them towards this competition whether it was the child’s desire or not. But it remains to be seen whether these children have a common personality trait that makes them highly interllligent. So far from this first episode it seems all these children have very diverse personality traits shown through low and high contientiousness, low and high neurotism and varying degrees of openness making it difficult to pinpoint any similarities so far. Another contributor underlying genius could be coding of information – perhaps those children labelled genius have particular methods to think about and remember information that are superior to the rest of the population, I shall explore this in the upcoming episodes.
Episode 2 –
This episode included an advanced arithmetic test and a memory test. First of all the maths test included a written stage where paper and pen was permitted and a mental arithmetic stage. One little boy names Mika definitely knows what he wants from this competition – money, fame and power, his mother explains it as a will to win.
However another competitor Thomas is in the competition for a completely different reason – to understand his potential. It was his step sister who first nominated him towards the co,petition after spending countless days walking to school and getting lessons thrown in – he recieved GCSEs and a – levels before he was 11. Now Thomas has been seen as the one to beat since the first episode he seems to know his skill set very well and has many tricks to help him understand. Now from experience I always struggle when revising always worrying that I am not using the best technique to enable me to do my best – this is something far from Thomas thoughts perhaps it is part of his higher intelligence. In the mental arithmetic test his technique was to close his eyes as he explained this made everything black and he was able to see the numbers control and manipulate them. I feel that this just highlights Thomas’ talents showing him as highly intelligent child with special abilities to enable him to attack any task with his full potential. His talents are seen to be effortless as he knows his mind and the best techniques for him while other children work hard to even match closely to his achievements. (At this point I feel as though Thomas will win this competition and could possibly take on past competitors – we shall see what happens at the end of this competition.) As I mentioned The other children had to make grand efforts to try and answer the majority of the questions to get through to the next round. I would like to research more into intelligence and whether tat the moment intelligence is defined as one mark or whether it is separate as to whether it just comes to the child or whether it takes extensive training. I feel both these intelligences are completely different and therefore need that recognition. I would love yo hear your thoughts on this.
Another participant suffered from over confidence – something that unfortunate these children suffer a lot from as they are constantly told that they are better than others and therefore believe that they can achieve anything. (Which can be good for self belief but not for soil interactions and dealing with times that they don’t match this. This participant was Julian – he is recognised in Russia for being a genius and had a TV show about him which has given him his confidence which could be seen as over confidence. In the maths test he believed he didn’t need to revise as he was better than the rest and so he would just be able to do it. This was not the case as he did not score well which his parents saw as a good thing as he was able to learn he did need to listen and revise no matter what he thought.
At a complete polar opposite of Julian is holly – she lacks any confidence in her abilities and shies away from the spot light. Her mother sees the competition as a good way to allow holly to believe in her abilities even if she passes just the next round. Another reason for competing is the fact her mother wants her to reach her full potential something she felt she did not reach herself. Despite her lack of confidence in this competition she has one of the highest IQ and managed 10 points out of 15 so it just shows the vast difference in personality types and perhaps this determines whether the intelligence reaches the full potential or not.
We also met to other participants in this first test – brothers Ethan and kale. Their mother is very determined to show that her sons have what it takes and had big dreams for them. When asked what they wa t to do after school both answered university and specifically which one as if no other university existed. However it was quite clear this wasn’t there dream and something that their mother had taught them and that they should strive for nothing less. The last thing she says to kale as he steps in to the stage is don’t let your nerves get the better of you – now I feel this would do the opposite for his confidence as this now is all he can think of. Perhaps if a more positive parenting technique was employed he would be able to believe in his abilities giving him a better chance of showing his full potential.
Next came the memory test which meant that the participants had to memorise the world map and times to answer questions of time zones in comparison to towns. This enables the team to see the speed of recall, holding names and numbers and manipulating these for the questions. Thomas again had a technique to remember the information – sing – he felt this was a good way to get the information in his head for easy recall. His mother says some thing interesting at this point about swapping brains with her son – how does he process things and how different is it from her! In this tough task he manages to score 11. David had no technique and did little revision but still managed to go through albeit with a much lower score, 3. Holly was able to compose herself after her fabulous last round and was able to get through the round with 2 points. Mika after his troubling first round managed a score of 5 but again this sent his confidence booming and didn’t let this go unnoticed for his competitors. But what about those who don’t get through – two boys who were brothers (Ethan and kale) had a lot riding on them and unfortunately were knocked out at this stage. Both ended up crying and believing that they had failed their mother! I feel this is a horrible emotion to put upon on your child and I feel is a step to far in order to prove to your child they need to work hard to succeed.
From this episode I’m starting to believe that it is the child who determines their intelligence rather than there parents influence – it may be inherited but to be shown it must be paired with the correct personality and belief in abilities to understand the best way to help these abilities to reach their full potential.
Episode 3 –
This episode saw the competition take a very different turn – a much more difficult one with the pressure heightened. The children had to do two tasks again but this time the bottom 2 of each round went out so there was no back up to see them through. First of their was a definitions and anagram part were they had to revise the language and comprehension behind the words in order to get a good score. To do even better one judge noted that the better competitors would pick the words apart to ensure they knew the true meanings behind the words. I felt this was very hard for the children (again I am not a genius) but 20 letter word strings to spell out and remember seemed a bit over the top to me and could cause serious damage to some of the other children’s confidence if they did not succeed. The parents most of all seemed to be becoming very competitive making sure that there child was not to be knocked out at this crucial stage.
Thomas is usually consistent in the topics scoring first in all of them so far. He notes that he is feeling the pressure as he knows that spelling and comprehension is not is strong point and is doing some serious revision to help get him through this stage. He scores 6 on this stage with only one in the second section (anagrams) which is perhaps due to the fact these are very tough to revise for. Furthermore you have to have a particular brain in order to unscramble the words to make sense quickly. Although he only scored 6 this is still top but this time he is joint with David. Perhaps this lower score from Thomas just highlights the difficulty of the competitions at this late stage and perhaps how they are becoming above and beyond what these children can do well and should be reviewed so as to not knock these children’s confidence to low.
Two of the boys who are the competition are heavily urged on by their fathers. Giovani hasa father who was a chemistry genius and was unable to go any further with it due to finance – therefore he pushes giovani to show his intelligent as he was never able to. In this difficult task giovani was able to score three. The next boy who stepped up was David he had a very strict father who wishes he worked harder and doesn’t believe in him. This challenge was in English which was not his first language therefore it shows how intelligent he is understanding these words especially in a different language at such a young age. David was able to get the same score as Thomas (6) without as much revision (is this more intelligent or does intelligence lie in knowing your abilities to work at your best. Both of these boys had fathers who were strict and wanted their sons to push themselves to show their true potential. However these boys react differently – David rises to the occasion and knows his ability doing well whereas giovani feels under pressure and perhaps doesn’t do as well as he could of. This opens up the question of how much does personality control intelligence and how it is used to its potential.
On the other hand another boy entered himself into the competition as he wanted to show his parents how intelligent he felt he was. His parents were a little sceptical as they didn’t want to be let down and His confidence knocked if he was knocked out of the competition. In this part jack ended up with the same score with holly and therefore had to go to sudden death to determine who would be knocked out. I find this again a little over the top as these children are already under immense pressure to show how intelligent they are and now they are battling against one another – seems a little harsh to put young children into this environment. Perhaps these environments need to be examined into which children can cope under them and whether these are personality traits that we want to empart on children these days. Holly is the competitor with one of the highest intelligence though she struggles with confidence meaning that under pressure she can struggle to perform at her best. This is exactly what happens under the sudden death stage and unfortunely gets knocked out alloys as she started. Jack is lonely towards holly when he wins asking if she is ok which is a lovely quality to see in children who are so competitive and geared towards academia.
The next round was a hard spelling section and as soon as they got a letter wrong they were out of this round. The lowest 2 scorers would then be out of the competition. First of all we have a look at thomas again, he shows that sometimes intelligence must be nurtured. He works with his mother constantly (he even asks for a schedule designed by his mother to work through weeks before the competition) Thomas is very dedicated and shows that his brain can handle a lot of complex information. Thomas opens up the question of nature and nurture – does his dedication play a part or (as his mother believes) is it genetics? Thomas father was also very intelligence and his mother believes that he has inherited this and despite his dedication he would have been this intelligent regardless. Thomas manages to score 6 on this spelling round despite the complexity of some of the words – Appropinquty and other 20 letter words which would be difficult for clever adults (again I feel is pushing some of the children beyond their ability and may instigate low self belief.
Last of all in this round we see David’s turn – he is the little boy with the parents who don’t believe he puts in enough work and have isolated him for this competition. David’s situation does puzzle me though – does he have a personality where his parents lack of confidence in him washes over him and he believes in him self regardless performing at his best? Or if they slackened off would he be able to perfect even better ( whatever the answer I do think parents should believe in their children and support them all the way – I wish David had this to confide in when he doesnt quite match his expectation. This is exactly what happens as he unfortunely doesn’t get any spellings correct and therefore is out of the competition – he does appeal his answer and blame his lucky pants before leaving the show highlighting how he associates his failure with other attributes and believes his intelligence is very much there (an admirable trait in this circumstance!)
As I get through this series I am establishing a disliking for these shows – either the children are taught to be top of the class and regard academia higher than social situations. Or the children have parents who are overly strict not allowing children to have a true childhood and can show the children that they must work even harder for their parents to be proud of them (this should be known at all times between children and their parents.)
Episode 4 –
This episode sees the 8 remaining children taking part in two very intensive rounds. First of all they must take part in a logic and reasoning round and then a memory task involving all of the bones in the human body – unlike last week all children take part in both rounds with both scores being added determining who shall be knocked out. The logic and reasoning round is explained by a professional in the area that the children will have to make use of their working memory to extract all the information to solve the problem – only those with the most advance working memory will gain those high scores. The next round includes a memory task of all the 206 bones in a human body. They have 1 hour to memorise these and shall be questioned on them in the second round.
The first boy that is featured in this episode is Giovani, his father is keen to sharpen his mind and ensure that he uses all of his intelligence to get through the rounds and ultimately win. His father is perceived as a very strict man and even when told of criticisms to his tactics he says no to pushing his son to hard – if anything he feels he doesn’t push him enough. When Giovani is on the podium we see his father battle with guilt as his son is struggling to answer the questions on logic so adopts a technique to try his hardest on all questions rather than attempting all questions like his father would have wished. We see a battle of speed vs accuracy and neither is better as it depends on the child and the situation interaction of the questions which determines whether a higher score is received. This got me thinking about training of techniques to use when struggling with a particular task. Giovani’s dad seemed to think that if only he had trained Giovani speed over accuracy then he would have been able to get a few more points. I am not sure whether this would be true – surely under pressure it is the personality of the contestant that will shine through with the method that comes to mind first determining how the questions are answered – this cant be trained. Perhaps the difference in the methods chosen by each child determines their intelligence as some methods will be better for certain tasks. If a child understands which method is best for each situation is this where the true intelligence comes from rather than it being taught.
Next onto the podium is 8 year old Neha she is described by her mother by being a young genius as she would ask intellectual questions about her mothers university thesis from just 3 years old. When asked about her home life she explains that she doesn’t do anything unless it is educational geared towards her aspiration of being a medical marvel. This strikes a nerve with me as this is not much of a childhood and makes me sad that this is all she has been taught is worthwhile doing. You can see from her mannerisms with the other children she has little social skills meaning she is overconfident and boasts about her abilities. This doesn’t seem like a life for any child and is more than likely going to end up very lonely with little knowledge of others. Unfortunately in this round she only scores 2 and is left feeling rather disappointed. I feel that this little girl now has nothing to fall back on – she didn’t do so well in this round and just left with disappointment and guilt however if she was more involved in social activities or other hobbies she may be able to say well at least I tried and I’m good at all these other things and have people who love me – for this little girl this statement is sadly far from her thoughts. In the next round Neha scores 5 but has to wait to see if this is enough to see her through. As every child finished their round she is the first to ask what they got – working out how she ranks and whether she can stay in the competition. To me this highlights her overly competitive nature not sparing the thoughts of others just to make sure that she does well. This is saddening to see in such a bright young girl who should be more interested in friendships and parties at this age rather than competition and beating others. Finally it comes to Giovani’s turn where he just beats her by one point putting him through to the next day. Surprisingly Neha reacts well and says that it was a good experience and she is taking this as a positive experience.
Next child that we see on the podium is Julian – he is a very confident 12 year old perhaps a little too confident who is overwhelmed with the interest to study British culture. He believes he will be good at this round due to his high IQ score and therefore doesn’t revise. Again once on the podium the pressure takes over and he finds himself spending a lot of time on each question costing him time – he still manages to get a respectable score. However, in the next round we see that Julian’s confidence defeats him as he runs out of time gaining no points – he is out of the competition.
Next up is Thomas he is feeling the pressure today as he has been the long-standing winner with little competition. His mum is watching nervously but has faith in his abilities due to his determination but also due to his late father also having a high intelligence with similar interests. Thomas really shows what true intelligence is (I feel) he has the intelligence to understand how he works best and to devise strategies to really get the results. This is seen in the next round where he sings to memorise the bones as he knows that this is the best way for him to encode and then recall the information when he needs it. However, this wasn’t to the taste of all competitors and he was moved as he was distracting others particularly Neha. Another way that Thomas is different to the other competitors is that he is the one setting the goals and the revision timetable, most other children have a parent urging them on and in some cases rather strictly which knocks any determination from these children.
This is true of next competitor Jasmarhit, he struggles with the amount of work his dad gives him and can’t keep up. His dads dreams of what he can achieve are limitless and all Jasmarhit wants to do is make him proud. I find this saddening as Jasmarhit should know that his dad is proud of him no matter what but unfortunately with his competitive dreams this is far from his fathers words. He performs well in both rounds but upon meeting up with his dad after he is told it is not enough and he must do better next time if he wants to do well.
From this episode I am still sure in Thomas’ abilities and am certain we shall see him as the winner. This is not only because of his high scores in almost every round but because of the ways he uses his intelligence – he knows what methods work for him and what doesn’t. In this round I see a true interaction of genetics determining intelligence. Thomas has highly intelligent genes and his personality allows him to use this to the best of his ability. He comes from a loving background where his mother helps where she can but the revision and results are very much driven by Thomas. I still stand by my last statement in the last review – children should know at all times their parents are proud and it seems this competition has opened up strict parenting to ensure their child is seen as the best where this should be a given no matter what. Surely if parents start pushing their children to hard to succeed then they ARE intelligent but perhaps NOT a genius and they should just enjoy their child’s company while they can rather than causing arguments and resentment over such a trivial classification.
Episode 5 –
The next and final episode saw the children choosing their specialist topic to battle it against each other for the title of child genius 2015. As mentioned by the Mensa official it would take great skill for the children to hold their nerve and perform well – a true test of their personality. Then the top two would take a head to head to find out between them who was the genius.
First to take the the podium was Thomas his specialist subject was History and mathematics of cryptology – secret messages. He and his mother had been practising 4 hours a day to ensure that tho as had revised every inch of this topic. His mother had an interesting trick for revision as she noted Thomas worked best when doing two things at omce. So they would play tennis or go running whilst questioning Thomas to entire he was encoding the information in the best way. When Thomas starts you can tell he is in his element and this is when his mother can relax, if Thomas was answering the questions before they were finished she knew he could do it because it was his territory. In the end Thomas manage da grand total of 24/25 gruelling questions. As noted by the questioner many of the questions were degree level and beyond so he did extremely well indeed.
Giovani is next up to the podium and his father is worried that he will be pushed for time if he thinks about every questions as he has in previous rounds. Giovanis specialt subject is space and time. His parents can be strict with Giovani as they want to see him succeed! When interviews they do say they are in awe ofgiovanis talents even when they push him so hard. Dad is very competitiveness and was very intelligent in his speciality field (chemistry) so this is a incentive for giovani to succeed in his field. Giovani’s dad does say sometimes forget he is just 12 due to his talents and perhaps this is why he pushes him too hard sometimes as he expects more every time. Again, giovanis father has a special technique to help giovani through (be quick and answer every question) except this starts to unravel under the pressure meaning that giovani does not do as well as his father had hoped – but still manages a respectable 7.
Next up is sasha – sasha is 12 years old who is a feminist and a writer who entered herself. She went to an all girls school so wants to be the representative of all girls against boys to show that girls are just as good if not better. Sashas specialist subject is the Political and social background of Anne frank she has a connection with this as she is Jewish with family who were killed because of their faith at this time. Sasha has been a dark horse in this competition with little mention until now – she has been on par with Thomas many times which is hard to do and few other competitors have manages this. However on this final day it seems that nerves may take over which is something her mother is fearful of. Nevertheless sasha rises to the occasions scoring 15, which also means that giovani is out of the running for the title of child genius and is going home. At this point you see giovanis dad fill with pride at his sons achievements Calling him ‘my genius’, a lovely reminder for giovani that his father is proud of him. Perhaps it was hard for his father to see his son in the limelight with little control over the outcome so all he could do was push him towards success. I am glad though that giovani has the confirmation that his parents are proud of him. All sasha ca do now is wait for the other competitors to perform to see if she shall go through to the next round.
Next up is jasamrit, he is interviewed before going up and asked how much he is responsible for his achievements here – he as wears 40%. He then goes onto say that the specialist subject chosen (Spanish armada) is his dad’s passion and not his own. How can anyone do their best in a difficult task when the passion is not their own – there will be no drive and a huge battle to revise. He is the youngest in the competition so rather than wanting to win in this round he just wants to beat the older competitors (his dream rather than his fathers who are a little higher than this) jasamrit scores 8 which is very good considering it was not his subject choice however it does mean he is out of the competition. His father states he is proud of his son which is a lovely note to end on.
Last up is jack – his specialist subject is the 10 year long Rosetta mission which incorporates maths and physics along with dates and historical facts. Jack is low in confidence at this point due to scrapping through the last rounds to earn his place today. You can tell this is his choice and his subject as he flies through the questions gaining an amazing 11. Unfortunelty thi is not enough to go through but he is proud of his efforts as are his parents. He put himself through to prove his intelligence and he has done just that.
Next the two remaining competitors must face the Head to head, this is an alto under including questions on maths, geography, spelling and animals to name a few. This is a true test of who is an overall genius and in their specific field to truly be worthy of the child genius title. Thomas starts in the lead (which by now is expected) but starts to stumble over a few questions when sasha also loses her rhythm. The first to 10 points wins so they both know the stakes are high with points relying on their correct answers and the other competitors giving wrong answers. As Thomas starts to stumble his mother watches anxiously – she knows how hard he has worked but she a,so knows that nerves can get the better of anyone and with the end this close perhaps the pressure is getting to much. After a few more wrong answers from both sides sasha then begins to get into her stride, as does Thomas and comes back to steal the show and win the title of child genius!!!!!! This comes as no surprise to me and I feel that he is a worthy winner of this title – he is an all round performer and the talent come from him and him alone. Of course he has help revising but the schedule and the drive comes from him! He loves knowledge and has a real talent for knowing his abilities and working them to his advantage. He also has a lovely upbringing shown as he asks is sasha is ok after the result is give and then gives a few words to say thank you to his family for the support. Thomas has changed my view of the title as he really has a talent for knowledge but also has the social skills to make him a rounded person – he is a worthy winner of child genius. I must note that I feel Thomas has won rightly here as there was little tension between his family bonds to succeed in showing his talents but also the drive came from his – I feel that without this you cannot comepete for child genius which is an all rounded intelligence. Perhaps these children are highly intelligent in one subject rather than many.
As Thomas States at the end I believe genius comes from the genes, it can be nurtured into anything with the correct personality and drive but the potential must be established from birth to reach the standard of genius. Now here I use the term genius as a way to explain an all rounded highly intelligent child who has a thirst for knowledge and loves to challenge their mind. But I stand by the notion that regardless of genes any child can set a dream and accomplish it as long as they are determined and don’t give up. A dream doesn’t have to be being a genius it is up to each individual child of what they wish to accomplish in their time. I don’t believe that any child’s dream should be to be a genius – I’m sure it’s not Thomas’, he just wanted to prove to himself he was clever and that like anyone else he can set a dream and reach it. Children should know that no matter what their parents are proud of them and as long as they have a dream (that is uniquely theirs, they can reach it).