Parents love to brag about how smart their little kids are, whether they can sing the alphabet, recite a poem, or solve a math problem. And while any number of things can make a parent proud, it isn’t often that a young child will outsmart an expert. Charlie, from Essex, England, outsmarted a whole museum of them.
The Kid Dinosaur Expert
While visiting The Natural History Museum with his family, 10-year-old Charlie noticed that one of the signs was incorrect. The sign was labeled as an Oviraptor, but the illustration showed a Protoceratops.
Charlie and his family reported the error and later received a letter from the museum thanking them for Charlie’s attentiveness and encouraging him to continue in his interest for Paleontology.
Dinosaurs On The Brain
Although this particular example is a bit extreme, the obsession with dinosaurs manifests itself in kids all over the world. And it’s not exclusive to ancient reptiles either! Most kids at an early age will develop an intense interest in other subjects too, such as trains, tea parties, or horses.
So what do these obsessions have to do with a kid’s intelligence? Actually, quite a lot.
When a child develops an interest in a certain subject, as parents know all too well, they will do anything to learn more about it. Read library books, draw pictures, watch informational shows, you name it. This type of spirited dedication not only broadens their knowledge about the subject in particular but also teaches them to think complexly, improves their attention span, and encourages a passion for learning new things. (1)
Research has also shown that these obsessions can help a child to develop strategies with problem-solving to use throughout their lives. In their search for information, kids will learn to ask questions and look for help from outside sources such as teachers, parents, and friends. (1)
Nurturing The Passion
Psychologists found that as little as 20% of children were able to maintain their passion as they grew older. Unfortunately, many kids lost interest in their favorite subjects once they were enrolled in school. (1)
So what can you do as a parent to help keep this passion alive in your kids? Here are a few ideas.
1. Time Management
If your child doesn’t have time in their day to feed their passion, it will die out quick. Helping your kid manage their time in a way that balances chores, homework, and free time will help ensure that their personal interests aren’t simply pushed to the sidelines.
2. Don’t Force It
Oftentimes, too much encouragement will cause children to feel uncomfortable and extinguish their passion altogether. Research showed that a kid’s interest was usually developed without parental mediation. So sometimes it’s best to just back off and let them discover their love for the subject on their own. (1, 2)
3. Make Connections
The best way to encourage your child’s interests is to find relationships between what they love and the world around them. For example, help them connect their interests to what they are learning in school. This way they can both broaden their passion and learn to apply it.
Obsessed With Intelligence
Who would have thought that your child’s obsession with dinosaurs could have such a big impact on intelligence, the brain, and life? Encourage your kid to follow their passion by using some of the tips above, and who knows? Maybe he’ll be correcting a museum of experts one day.