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 +

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Parenting the prodigy, gifted: moderation

In the posts beneath A Confederacy of Dunces at and The Biggest Bully in the School at, I have advised certain courses of action for a reader. Her son is being ill-treated by a teacher at school. The teacher is apparently "in denial" about the existence of gifted children, and is engaging in destructive behaviours towards the child, such as shouting, isolation, rejection of his work etc. I advised a scale of actions from changing class, to changing school, or possibly even considering going to a private school on a scholarship.

Given various ways to react to a bullying situation, like this one, which is the best? She chose to inquire of the headmaster whether her son could change class. I consider this to be the best choice, usually. Why is this so? Because it reduces the disruption to the child. In changing class, but not school, the child would still have access to the friendships built up in the time at the school. The environment is still a familiar one and the transition should, therefore, be easier. So, in circumstances where a change is necessary to protect the child from negativity, a MODERATE change may often prove to be the best one. The minimum change necessary to eliminate the source of the problem is the one to go for. Sometimes the mininum change will, however, be a change of school - or even a change of city, if the schools prove unsuitable. Whatever the situation, take the gentlest course: it gives your child the fewest adjustments to make, and should prove least painful.

(If you would like to read about Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, a scientific child prodigy, go to: )

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:14 AM 


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