With products like Baby Einstein videos, and baby flash cards advertisements, it's no wonder parents are starting the learning early with their kids. Then Oprah has a 4 year-old piano prodigy child playing Canon in C like a master on her show, and you find yourself signing your 3 year-old up for lessons. But how far is too far when pushing your child's education?
Babble.com Co-founder Rufus Griscom chatted with parenting author David Shenk about his new book "The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You Have Been Told About Genetics, Talent and IQ is Wrong," in which Shenk discusses talent, persistence and how to cultivate it in children.
Shenk suggests that slave-driving your kid to be a chess grandmaster at age eleven does not result in a happy or fulfilled child - or even one who is successful in the long term.
"Don't rush it," says Shenk, "don't feel like you've lost out if by age 'x' your child doesn't seem truly superior."
From a musical family, Shenk grew up a precocious violinist.
"I just took it and ran with it," says Shenk who owes his early talent to hard work and dedication.
But, he says, pushing your child does not have an effect on their ultimate talent. He says it comes down to the type of practice and the type of person they are.
"Looking at my kids, I want them to have certain level of intensity in their pursuits, [but] that intensity comes completely from within. How I can I get my 1st-grader or my 7th-grader to get up and really, really want that? The answer is I really can't. I can teach her intellectually that certain kinds of practice and intensity are what you need to get really good at some things, such as piano. But I can't create that intensity," says Shenk.
Find out more from Shenk only at babble.com