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7 year old genius

  1. Feb 9, 2014 #1
    Hi everyone. I am not a genius. But I am told I have a 7 year old genius. I am pretty dumb and was wondering if anyone out there could just please tell me what I could do to inspire him? He is VERY AWARE that he is brilliant, but I am discovering he is whats known as a "lazy genius". When i try to get him to do homework, he is extremely bored and says i know all this and just shouts out the math answers or whatever we are working on. I am unsure how to proceed with a child who is smarter than me. If no one knows I thank you for your time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2014 #2


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    Sounds like he is in need of discipline. Perhaps contact the school to put you in touch with a professional that gives parenting classes? You need to remember that you are the parent, he is just a child.
  4. Feb 9, 2014 #3
    O gee thanks - parenting classes? No no monfriar, I know how to RAISE a child, just unsure how to proceed with a brilliant child. I detect the subtle hint of sarcasm in your reply but thank you for trying. I am a single parent and he is not a behavioral issue. Doesn't get mad. I also have an older son who is extremely bright but did not test in the genius range like the little one. I suppose I was just looking for anyone who has a gifted child and may have some ideas on how to encourage them, because I do not think like he does. But thanks again for your reply.

    ***I am also beginning to think maybe I chose the wrong forum to ask for any help - brilliant people have a reputation for being pretty snarky and indignant to those of us who aren't gifted.***
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2014
  5. Feb 9, 2014 #4


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    Just being honest, if you don't wish to accept my advice, that's up to you.
  6. Feb 9, 2014 #5
    Thank you - but really you shouldn't just ASSUME it's PARENTING CLASSES that his mother needs. Lol. That in honesty sounded like an insult incognito. I need strategies on how to inspire him to his potential. Why, please humor me and explain what "parenting classes" are? I'm not attempting to be disrespectful, just intrigued why parenting classes?
  7. Feb 9, 2014 #6
    Forgive me - accept my apologies. You are just attempting to help, and perhaps parenting classes would be in order. Thank you for your replies. Please pardon my offensive reply, I am a debater at heart.
  8. Feb 9, 2014 #7


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    Parenting classes would help build your confidence in dealing with your son, and set proper expectations for you both. It sounded to me that maybe you feel at a disadvantage, and you're not, and a few classes might help boost your confidence. No apologies needed, I tend to jump right to the heart of what I'm thinking and leave out explanations, so I do come across overly harsh. I'm in need of "being a tactful human" classes.

    As for your son, what is the school offering? What is he excelling in?
  9. Feb 9, 2014 #8
    He has no interest in what is so damn obvious to him. Who would? He needs a challenge, introduce him to chess, maybe that is what he likes.
  10. Feb 9, 2014 #9
    Is he in some kind of school program that provides him the appropriate stimulation? If he is yelling out the answers to questions off the top of his head, the material is too simple or progressing too slowly. Regardless of how much of a genius one might be, we are not born with the all of the knowledge of the world. Maybe he is simply absorbing all that knowledge quickly and he needs a custom tailored education to keep up with his abilities.
  11. Feb 9, 2014 #10
    I agree with evo on all points.
  12. Feb 9, 2014 #11


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    Don't worry about it. History shows that most child geniuses grow out of it, sooner or later (and usually sooner).
  13. Feb 9, 2014 #12


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    +1 on both these points.

    -> icrissy: In primary and high school I was intellectually quicker than most of the other kids, and tended to behave a bit like you describe your child. (I was never a genius, though.) University was therefore a dreadful shock, when there were suddenly many people who were far smarter than me. :blushing:

    Being introduced to chess helped a lot, since it quickly became clear there were other people in the world who could beat me easily. So maybe consider a chess club, and junior tournaments? And for practice, even basic computer chess programs can thrash the average human these days. I enjoyed my first exposure to chess books which described standard tactical combinations and strategies applicable to various stages in a game.

    Other possibilities are more advanced books on various subjects. My mother would buy me various volumes of "The How-&-Why Wonder Book of ...<insert subject here>...", and observe which ones I was more interested in reading. I gravitated towards science of course: chemistry, physics & dinosaurs. :biggrin: (That particular example of a book series may or may not be the right level, or even still published, -- you've gotta sense the response and maybe adjust to a more difficult level if appropriate.)

    I loved my first chemistry set, although my mother hated it when I became old enough in early teens to buy chemicals for myself and did experiments that stunk out the entire house. [There's a particular photographic chemical -- sodium thiosulphate, iirc -- that does truly wonderful things -- from a young boy's perspective -- when mixed with nitric acid. :yuck: ] Eventually she got the shed down the backyard partially fitted out enough to serve as a "lab". (No, I never "cooked" anything illegal.)

    About doing homework for regular school... dunno. I used to get in trouble (even caned) for not doing homework -- and then make top of the class in actual closed-book exams, surprising the teachers who didn't previously know me.
  14. Feb 9, 2014 #13


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    First off don't buy it when someone tells you that your child is a "genius." Rarely will anything good come of buying into this, even if it does turn out to be true.

    At seven years old, your child's brain is still developing. And while he may fall in the upper quadrant by some measures of intelligence, these are likely to change with time.

    Also, telling your child he is smart doesn't really give the child any option for continuing to perform well in school. The pitfall comes when the child believes "I'm smart, therefore I shouldn't have to work hard."

    I don't mean tell your child anything negative. Rather I think the trick is to reinforce the activities and positive habits that will help him through school. Examples include:
    "I'm proud of you for studying so hard for that test."
    "You worked really hard on that project, you certainly earned that A."
    "I'm glad that you thought to question your teacher on that."
    "I like it when you ask questions. Let's look that up together."

    Some specific things you can do to engage your child:
    - Limit exposure to passive activities like watching television, or playing video games.
    - Have home projects to work on. You can look up how to do all sorts of cool things these days. You could try to aim for projects that follow your child's curriculum, but you don't have to.
    - Let him follow his own (productive) interests.
    - As your child grows up, reinforce that homework is not optional. It should be a priority when he first comes home from school and not left to the last minute.
    - Keep track of the homework assigned to your child and don't be afraid to question "busy work" - or homework that doesn't seem to have a purpose. I personally won't believe that a seven year old should really be getting any "homework" assigned, unless someone can present me with data that suggests it's a good idea.
  15. Feb 9, 2014 #14
    I agree with this. Whether your child is gifted or not, any kid that young would be bored with having to do homework every night, especially if he is more intelligent than others in his grade.
  16. Feb 9, 2014 #15


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    Very good post, very good advice. I especially agree with monitoring the homework load kids are often given.

    OP: Your response to Evo makes me think you have issues with asking for advice from professionals. Please, don't be embarrassed about this - the pros know their stuff! In my experience, not all kids follow the same developmental path. Having someone look at the situation and give advice to you, the parent, can be *incredibly* helpful and insightful.

    And by the way, I know this from experience. My daughter is a thriving adult despite being singled out as "gifted" as a young child.
  17. Feb 10, 2014 #16


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    I think this is the most important thing to do. I would take him to all kinds of different places where people do creative stuff, let him get in touch with them and develop interests from that. I don't think it matters much what sparks an interest -music, juggling, science, computers, advanced games, etc.- as long as these people themself judge their skills. Of course, these skills should require some effort but this is common to most creative activities.

    I am sceptical with regard to discipline. My experience is that most "lazy geniuses" suffer when they are forced to do stuff and in their early adult years, quite a few of them feel like they have lost part of their creativity due to this. I think that the transition from the interested to the lazy child is a sign of an emotional problem which needs talking with the child and not about it. One problem could be arguments like "we know what's good for you but you won't understand until you are grown up." Or there could be unsolved social problems with other children.

    Also you should take the term "genius" with a big grain of salt. A standardized test may tell you that your child can solve certain abstract tasks better then others but a genius is a person who is capable of doing outstandingly creative things. For this, I think it is much more important to develop the creativity than to achieve goals which are set by other people. Also, being creative makes people happy even if they don't turn out a genius. ;-)
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  18. Feb 10, 2014 #17


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    The reason I suggested seeing a professional is because that is what I did with Evo Child when she was in High School, she hated school, didn't want to go , wouldn't do her homework. The counselor decided that the school was wrong for her, it was just the regular public school. She got accepted at an experimental school the public school had recently opened for super smart kids that didn't like the structure of regular school. This allowed the kids to have input into how they were taught, it was more of a relaxing "club" type atmosphere, with game rooms, private chefs in the kitchen, no homework. The kids had to excel to remain there. They were expected to tutor others. She had all AP and honors classes, she won national honors in chemistry, graduated with a 4.0. In college, she has kept up the same high level of achievement. Although she has tons of homework, she's driven to excel. So, be open to getting help, you just might find it.
  19. Feb 10, 2014 #18
    ^^ lol, so in other words, she didn't have any disipline problem and you didn't need any parenting classes. I know it's all cleared up now, but your first post could have been a little clearer.
  20. Feb 10, 2014 #19


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    She wasn't acting up, she just hated school, which turned out to be justified, she was bored to tears, so my situation was not like the OP's, where the mother stated she feels inadequate and the son is acting unruly. Counselors handle many different issues, they may be of no help but you won't know if you don't try.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  21. Feb 13, 2014 #20
    Wow thank you everyone for your suggestions and comments! I was astounded when I logged on today and saw them all. I appreciate all the comments and will attempt to employ some of these tactics to help me understand him better. **Alot of you mentioned getting him interested in chess. Funny you mentioned that, because the child had found my brothers' chess set in the closet and was IMMEDIATELY drawn to it - I showed him how to set it up and played a few games with him.** Evo - thank you for your suggestions, and just like your daughter my son dislikes school and begs to stay home. He does not get along with the other children, not because he is mean or bad tempered, but I believe he just does not play on thier level. He doesn't think like they do. He prefers to live in "medievel times" and children today don't understand that. He has long hair and is teased for this. He doesn't care. Perhaps a charter school or home schooling would suit him. Thanks again everyone, and remember please I'm an average person trying to raise an above average child. Truly humbled.
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