Nurture your little genius
It’s a given that every parent wants their child to do their very best and fulfil their potential. But, according to clinical psychologist Andrew Fuller, the way to let their natural talents flourish is not to be a tiger mother. Fuller’s book Unlocking Your Child’s Genius ‘is not,’ he emphasises, ‘about rushing them, fast-tracking, hot housing or having them leapyears ahead at school. It’s all about play, fun and exploration.’
Because ‘genius is not always neat’, he suggests giving children their own creative corner where they can work on projects without being told to pack them up each night, so inspiration can bubble away uninterrupted.
Genius, he says, is not about ‘raising a child to be part of an elite group who possess skills at a lofty level, while non-geniuses sit around waiting for them to come up with the answers’. It should be seen as an innate spark of inquisitiveness, creativity and skill that exists in everyone. Fuller’s fascinating book aims to help parents, grandparents and everyone interacting with children to encourage those natural talents.
I found it so inspiring that I want to give it to every parent I know. It is aimed at ages two to 18, but many of the topics, tips and exercises, such as finding out your intelligence type (see below), could benefit adults, too.
Please read the book, but to start you off, Fuller has compiled these tips especially for YOU readers’ children and teenagers to focus on this school year.
● Make friends with everyone. One way of reducing stress levels is to have as many positive friendships as possible.
● Remember that you are smarter than you realise. Look for what you do well and develop it. Avoid predicting that things won’t go well for you.
● Practise doing your best and you will succeed.
● Don’t be scared to make mistakes. Learning often involves figuring out what went wrong.
● Learn to concentrate. When you are studying, switch off all distractions. Break up study periods by exercising to get your blood flowing, which sharpens concentration and recall.
● Decide to be happy. Appreciate the people who love you and the good things in your life. Be a good friend. Laugh and have fun.
• Unlocking Your Child’s Genius by Andrew Fuller is published by Vermilion/£12.99.
The risks of a sedentary lifestyle are emphasised by Public Health England, which recommends we sit less and stand more. This can be tricky for office workers, but standing desks can solve the dilemma. A colleague with a laptop swears by the foldaway Varidesk Soho/£150, which she works on in her kitchen. I trialled the Varidesk Pro Plus 36/£335 (at uk.varidesk.com, and am devoted to it. It has two generous-sized tiers – one for your monitor and the other for a keyboard and mouse. At first, I did an hour or two of standing each day, but found it was so much easier not to have to raise and lower it via the lift mechanism, that I now always stand. The improvement in my dodgy back, sore neck and shoulders is significant according to my chiropractor, because I don’t sit scrunched up for hours at my screen.