Several early intervention techniques can influence the skills, the intelligence of your child positively. Many of these methods give your child only a temporary advantage, however some of them can be critical for the long-time success of your child. I don’t say that the first category is good or bad, you simply have to be conscious about it, so that you can maintain the stimulating environment for your child.
According to László Polgár the early start is crucial. If you aim for bringing up genius, it will require you a sense of purpose, giving up on your own needs for many years. So if you only have a sudden idea, when your child is already bigger and you see the talent in him, it can happen, that you simply react, and there is a chance that you will give up at the first challenges, conflicts, doubts and questioning of your environment.
When Richard Feynman’s mother was pregnant, his father said: “if he’s a boy, I want him to be a scientist”. László Polgár also knew already before the birth of his children that he want to bring up Geniuses. Just to mention a few examples.
If I am looking at intervention techniques from financial, economical point of view, the early start is critical again. James Hackmen, Nobel Memorial Prize winner summarized this in the Heckman Curve. Every piece of money that is spent on your child, will have a bigger return of investment.
Skills developed early help later to create new skills. Early learning leads to a self-reinforcing motivation to learn more and the early mastery of several competencies makes learning at later ages more efficient and therefore easier, and more likely to continue.
Many reaches show, that early intervention is critical to the development of your child. And it is true for everybody, gifted children and children with weaker abilities. It is terrifying that a child’s future can be demolished by parents if they don’t care and can be dramatically developed by applying good positive intervention. That is one of the reasons that not only parents giving birth for children with the best abilities should focus on this topic. Let me tell you some numbers to highlight you the potential increase.
Another research focusing on the intellectual development found that after adopting children the average IQ gain of these children was 13,9 points. In the pre-adopting phase, the children's IQs averaged 77, putting them near retardation.
Several years later after adoption, when they were 14 years old, they retook the IQ tests. Contrary to the conventional belief that IQ. is essentially stable, all of them had better performances. Their improvement was directly related to the adopting family's socioeconomic status. "Children adopted by farmers and laborers had average IQ scores of 85.5; those placed with middle-class families had average scores of 92. The average IQ scores of youngsters placed in well-to-do homes climbed more than 20 points, to 98."
I will not hide, that this research was also criticized by other researchers. I will place links to the download sections if you are interested and make your own conclusions.
And there is also another view that if a such program can increase for example IQ, but this advantage compared with other children can fade out. But for you as a parent, it is important, why it happens?
As John Protzko, from the University of California summarizes: “The interventions show a strong effect on IQ that does not immediately snap back but instead gradually fades over years. This fadeout occurs because those children whose ability was increased lose their abilities once returned to their previous environment.” So children adapt to their environment. If there is an increased demand we can raise IQ. When you remove the more challenging environment, the students adapt.
So the important conclusion for parents, that “it's not enough to introduce an intervention and when it's over, return students to the level of cognitive challenge they had to start with. You have to keep it going."
Ok, now we have one important conclusion, but let’s go a little bit deeper. Let’s see some examples, what kind of methods you should choose to help your children!
And let me quote again James Hackman. If you look at non-cognitive skills, there was no fade-out. These non-cognitive gains not only don’t decrease but often grow and expand over time. What’s a big component of achievement tests? It’s skills like self-control, motivation. Children are actually doing better also on achievement tests because they’re learning more in school and not because they have higher IQ.
But what are the early intervention techniques that delivered a long-term success? Let’s go deep in this topic in the next lesson!
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