How do you know your baby’s gifted?

You’ll spot these tell-tale signs if you’re raising a mini-Albert Einstein. Plus, get expert advice on boosting bubba’s smarts!

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Every parent thinks that their baby is a mini-marvel. But how do you really tell if your child’s talents put them head and shoulders above other kids?

Well, your infant surely can’t take an IQ test. That said, Dr Fang Ning, an educational psychology and gifted education expert, points out that IQ test results aren’t reliable for children below 9 years old.

Assessments aside, physical signs can point to whether your mini-me is a budding genius. points out Dr Jennifer Kiing, National University Hospital’s senior consultant (Child Development Unit), “Exceptionally and profoundly gifted children — with an IQ of over 160 and 180 respectively — may have an unusually early ability to speak, move and read.”

“Exceptionally and profoundly gifted children — with an IQ of over 160 and 180 respectively — may have an unusually early ability to speak, move and read.”

Dr Kiing adds that gifted children speak their first words around 9 months on average. This was found in a 2000 study of 241 profoundly gifted children. However, she cautions that not all “early talkers” are gifted. Other physical cues to look out for include:

* Ability to focus for long periods of time Your bundle doesn’t lose interest when you do an activity with him, such as when you read him a story. He sits still listening attentively until the story is over.

* Looks at you intently when you speak to them As you speak, you’ll also start to notice that they’re trying to mouth the words you are saying.

* They have a memory of an elephant Bubba may be gifted if they seem to have a remarkable memory. For instance, if they can remember where you’ve hidden their toys.

* They are strong-willed Your little one loses it when you remove their pacifier and there’s no other way to stop the wailing unless you return it to them.

* They meet their milestones ahead of time From moving about to speaking, your gifted kewpie will be surpassing all the milestones well before they’re expected to meet it.

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Can you bring up a genius?

You shouldn’t neglect the role the environment plays in helping to bring up a gifted child, either. Dr Kiing says your child’s biological qualities — such as genetics and temperament — must be supported by their early childhood experiences in order to maximise their learning potential.

One important factor is to build a nurturing relationship with your little one by applying responsive or positive parenting techniques.

Excessive screen time is bad for children, from pre-schoolers onwards. It has been associated with delays in social skills and speech development and short attention spans.

Dr Kiing explains that responsive parenting takes place when a parent adequately meets the needs of the child. For instance, feeding a child when they’re hungry or changing them when they’re wet. Positive parenting means being a good role model and using positive language when you talk to your children, you’ll also discipline them in a safe and non-hurtful manner. Dr Kiing shares other useful strategies to boost your kiddo’s brain

* Stimulate their language development Dr Kiing suggests that parents apply Professor Heidi Feldman‘s technique of using a new word 20 times in 20 different ways. Prof Feldman is a renowned paediatrician and language development expert. So, if you want your child to learn the word “milk”, be sure to use the word in different ways like:
* Oh, it’s time for milk.
* Mummy is going to get the milk ready for you.
* I know you like to drink your milk.
* Let’s get the milk in the bottle.

* Reduce your mini-me’s exposure to gadgets Minimise screen time for your kewpie as much as possible. Dr Kiing explains that excessive screen time is bad for children, from pre-schoolers onwards. It has been associated with delays in social skills and speech development and short attention spans.

* Play with your peewee Age-appropriate play — from giving them the right playthings to indulging in pretend play — stimulates your little one’s ability to learn and develop. Outdoor play improves your child’s mood, attention, learning and even their sense of sight.

* Ensure your child gets adequate shuteye Even right up to preschool, your child should be clocking about 12 to 13 hours of sleep a day. A tired brain won’t learn much.

* Eat healthy A balanced diet provides the nutrients your baby needs to grow and develop. Dr Kiing stresses that iron is essential for bubba’s healthy brain development. As breastfed babies will get their iron intake from your milk, you should include foods like dark green leafy vegetables, meat, beans and seafood in your diet.

Photos: iStock

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