The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Baby Tiarnan crawls downstairs.

Today Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley crawled downstairs, on his own, though watched carefully by his mother. He is eight months old, today, exactly. This follows his first crawling upstairs at five months and two weeks. Crawling downstairs is not easy: you should try it, yourself, adult or not - but be prepared to call an is really not easy at all.

If there is an award for "Bravery while crawling", I think he should get it. For the past three months he has assayed the stairs, mastering climbing it, quickly, after his first attempt...but, although he tried to crawl down it soon after, he would stop at the first step, after having placed his hands on the step below: you see, he had noted the problem - how not to fall down the stairs, head first.

Well, today he solved that one. He turned around and went down backwards. Hurrah!

(For more on Tiarnan and Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, a scientific child prodigy, and Fintan Nadym Cawley, a natural leader, go to: )

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:27 PM 


Blogger Grandma Mary said...

What I love about the story of your son crawling downstairs is that he was "carefully watched by his mother." Note that he was watched, not coached, prodded, or maligned. Mummy did not say, "Be careful; don't hurt yourself," or "No, you can't do that, you're too young," or "Look out, you'll break your neck!" Rather, I suspect she stood there silently, probably placed her hands and her body to be ready to assist and to save, but probably said very little except a few spare words of encouragement or simple scientific observations. I suspect her end of the "exchange" sounded soomething like this. "You want to crawl downstairs?" "Okay, let's see how you manage." "Good." "Whoops!"
"Hmmmm." And I believe that this friendly companionship, this mentoring and comraderie is something that all parents can give their children, whether they are gifted or not. So often I see parents loading up their children's tender psyches with statements of fear, of apprehension, or -- my least favorite -- of imminent failure, and it really irks me. A good parent, a happy parent, understands that children are marvelous, brave, heroic little people who can learn more in one day than many adults learn in ten years. And that is why the best parents are encouragers, not discouragers. I suspect that you and your wife have such unique children not only because of their rare gifting, but also because of your rare parenting. Is there such a thing as a parent prodigy? Hah!

11:03 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you, regarding your kind words on our parenting.

You are right in thinking that we don't coach, prod or malign: we are more gentle than that. As long as they are safe, we don't mind.

It is true that some parents do great harm to their children, while trying to protect them from harm. A child filled with fear is not a child who is going to grow very much, I feel.

I bet you are a fine grandma, yourself. You seem to have an innate understanding of good parenting.

Best wishes.

5:22 PM  
Blogger xiaohei said...

My mum once told me that it's because we tell the kids "don't do that, you'll fall" that they really do fall.

I'm a Singaporean, and I'm glad I've landed on your blog after I googled "IQ test singapore".
(It's a little stressful leaving a comment here by the way, because it seems like I'm writing for an English teacher. :P)

4:11 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

What an interesting view your mum has: that the child does what we say will happen. It may be so.

As for leaving a comment being stressful: please feel free to express yourself. There is no need to worry about your English. In this case, it is the content that counts!

I am glad you are enjoying my blog.

Happy reading.

8:51 AM  

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