How do you know if your kid is smart? I always told my kids that as long as I could spell "psychology" I would be smarter than them, and I very much regret using that as a barometer. By that reasoning, they were all as smart as me by the time they were in grade two. There must be a better gauge, a better way to measure your baby's "smarts" so you can get a sense of what you might be in for down the line. Well, the good news is that studies have pointed to simple curiosity as a major sign that your kid might end up smart. Which could mean a mixed bag of tricks down the road for mom and dad: they might get a full scholarship to an Ivy League school but they could be smarter than their parents by, like, 10 years old.
Take a look at Heidi Hankins of Winchester, Great Britain. In 2012, Heidi was accepted into the Mensa Program at just 4 years old. She had an IQ of 159, just one point below Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. And how did her parents notice she was an exceptionally smart baby? Well, for one thing, she was curious, according to the BBC.
In 2012, Heidi's father Matthew Hankins told the BBC that she was bright from a very young age:
We put her on the laptop to watch CBeebies because we didn't have TV at the time. When we came back to her we found she was navigating around the website. First of all she was just clicking on the pictures that she liked but very quickly we realised she had taught herself to read the text and follow instructions. By the time she was two she could read primary school books.
If you're wondering whether your baby is Mensa-smart or just average baby smart, the British High IQ Society has a handy-dandy checklist for parents to go over with their kids (and I don't think they let you in if you use phrases like "handy dandy"):
- An unusual memory
- Passing intellectual milestones early
- Reading early
- Unusual hobbies or interests or an in-depth knowledge of certain subjects
- Intolerance of other children
- An awareness of world events
- Set themselves impossibly high standards
- May be a high achiever
- Prefers to spend time with adults or in solitary pursuits
- Loves to talk
- Asks questions all the time
- Learns easily
- Developed sense of humour
- Likes to be in control
- Makes up additional rules for games
So if you have noticed your baby is above-average curious, or wake up to find your 2-year-old composing heartrending sonatas before breakfast, you might have a smarty-pants for a kid. So depending on how that goes for you... congratulations/sorry about your luck!