Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

For those of you with 'bright' children, do you take the credit for it ....

(315 Posts)
sandyballs Tue 28-Jan-14 12:37:24

..... or believe it's pot luck. I'm sick of hearing about a friend's 'genius' child and how it is all down to her parenting.

I know we can help by encouraging reading, blah blah, not constant screens etc, but it is pot luck isn't it really. If it's not how do you explain very different siblings, some who struggle, some who thrive academically yet have been brought up in the same way. This kid is an only btw.

I know it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things but she winds me up and I'm curious as to what MN think.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 28-Jan-14 12:38:37

It was born into them. I can't really take credit for that.

antimatter Tue 28-Jan-14 12:40:19

I think it is mostly luck of genes.
Home environment would make some difference too.
How old is that child?

jacks365 Tue 28-Jan-14 12:41:37

My daughter's intelligence is her own all I can do is encourage and support her to make the most of it in a way that suits her.

tulippa Tue 28-Jan-14 12:43:22

I like to think that encouraging a love of reading in the DCs is somewhat down to me and this really helps with literacy skills - but the way DD 'gets' maths and actually enjoys doing it is complete pot luck.

MissBattleaxe Tue 28-Jan-14 12:43:33

His vast general knowledge is partly down to me, but his intelligence is the luck of the draw. I'm most proud of him when he is kind rather than effortlessly clever. As long as he does his best, I am happy and would be regardless of ability.

DamnBamboo Tue 28-Jan-14 12:43:46

I do believe to some extent it's both.
Some children are naturally brighter than others and no lack of parental input will change that innate ability to pick things up quickly.

But what you do with them and how you do it does have an impact. Any teacher will tell you that.

NormHonal Tue 28-Jan-14 12:43:53

My DDad maintains to this day that my DSis and I are intelligent because of the good work done by my DMum before we started school.

I can remember doing some flash cards with her, but also watching a lot of TV. grin

I most definitely haven't put in the hours with my DCs and have preferred to let them enjoy being children.

Guess what? Somehow, miraculously, they are doing more-than-ok academically.

Think I read somewhere that intelligence is one of the most commonly inherited traits? Add to that a nurturing environment, sure, you get a bright child. But I really do believe that a bright child can exist through nature alone.

My bright child has been so since the word go and I don't take credit for it because I know I haven't done anything to parent particularly different to anyone else. However I do think genes play a part, but don't think that if you dont have bright parents you can't have a bright child either, yes basically its pot luck, but I wouldn't say lucky is the word either. I'm pregnant again and honestly dont mind whether my next child is considered bright or not!

I think actually all children are bright in their own way and ots only when children happen to shine at certain thinhs (usually academically) yhat adults label them bright. ..I'd rather they didn't tbh....I want my kids to know they are good at things amd that so is everyone around them too

sandyballs Tue 28-Jan-14 12:44:16

He's 13.

Jinty64 Tue 28-Jan-14 12:44:25

I have two that are very bright and one who struggles. They are, of course, all perfect.

Smile and nod. Your time will come wink

Showy Tue 28-Jan-14 12:45:21

I have never met a child who isn't 'bright'.

Define 'bright'.

Do you mean academically able? Able to the point of being gifted?

All dc are a peculiar mix of nature and nurture and you can't separate the one from the other. I am proud of who my children are and I am happy with how I parent. The two things mix together to produce the people they are. Some things I can change, some I can't, most of it is in flux.

If your friend is annoying you then that's simply annoying.

<wishy washy>

EducatingNora Tue 28-Jan-14 12:46:18

I think it's a mixture. Born with something, but given opportunities and support to encourage what she is interested in. Also, we all read a lot at home and I think that helps. I'm also very conscious of not praising her attainment but instead praising effort. So, for example, she finished a particular reading task before anyone else in her class but instead of praising her speed and finishing first, we talked about how it was great she had chosen more challenging books than usual and had tried to stretch herself.

antimatter Tue 28-Jan-14 12:46:33

there are gcse's to come...
so relax smile

BarbarianMum Tue 28-Jan-14 12:46:47

Yes - I take 50% of the credit for it, because I provided 50% of their DNA. IQ if that is what you mean by 'brightness' is largely genetically determined and there is a fairly good correlation b/w the IQ of the parents and that of their children.

Why you would want to define your success as a parent by your child's IQ I have no idea. It has nothing to do with parenting, and isn't a guarentee that they'll either achieve academically or be a good person.

callamia Tue 28-Jan-14 12:47:51

Pure IQ is about 70% due to genetic influences, so she could argue that she chose a good partner too.

The real influence is the interaction between genes and environment (parenting etc). A 'bright' and interested child might seek out interactions that make them 'brighter'. This is true for everything - sporty kids, musical kids, kids with poor attention...

So, your friend can feel proud of herself all she likes, but her children weren't exactly blank slates to start with.

3bunnies Tue 28-Jan-14 12:48:39

All the good traits are due to my wonderful parenting, the duff ones are just genetic grin

following Tue 28-Jan-14 12:48:54

brightness is not down to the parents , i think the child has either got it or it hasnt , ive got one of each , but i do think they are both beautiful and i do take credit for that smile

BagOfBags Tue 28-Jan-14 12:49:13

I think it depends on whether you're talking about a child being very intelegent or being a high achever. I think parenting really does play a big part in the latter.

hootloop Tue 28-Jan-14 12:49:33

One of my children is very able and ahead in every subject. The other finds things much more of a struggle.

I believe it is very much pot luck, They have both been parented exactly the same so if I take the credit for one being bright I have to take the blame for the other struggling.

pointythings Tue 28-Jan-14 12:51:28

I think IQ is largely genetic, and what happens once they're born is significantly affected by what parents do. It's the old nature vs nurture debate, isn't it? Wake me when MN has the answer. grin

pointythings Tue 28-Jan-14 12:52:55

BTW both of mine are very academic but in very different ways, so it's a complex picture.

wordfactory Tue 28-Jan-14 12:53:39

I think there is probably some level of innate intelligence/ability/potential.

And as parents we have little credit to take, other than who we chose to have children with.

However, achievement is something else entirely. And here a parent can take some credit, by provided the best environment and the right opportunities for the ability to flourish. That said, of course a lot of parents are not in a position to do that.

yomellamoHelly Tue 28-Jan-14 12:53:51

Our eldest is "bright". Just way he was born. Not sure it means much though.

Dh was the not-bright one in his family. His brother was fantastic academically. Bright future predicted ..... Dh always under the radar.

Then as an adult he's the one who's been successful. His brother has always struggled to find his niche in the adult world.

DollyParsnip Tue 28-Jan-14 13:02:22

It's tricksy as it is hard to define. DH is astoundingly intelligent when it comes to technology and now works in a very techy field, very senior. His brother struggled more at school but became an apprentice mechanic; he is now very senior in his field and DH is in awe of his DB's ability to fix anything and understand how things work. I guess on paper DH would be seen as "more intelligent" as he has a degree and got better exam.results but he considers his DB more skilled as he genuinely can't fathom out anything mechanical.

Sometimes different things just click with people, and an interest sparks the desire to learn as much as an innate intelligence does.

That said, I have a very, very clever friend who is really.nasty to his DS for not being as academic as he was. Very unpleasant.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now