The Secret To Raising Genius Kids Is Way More Obvious Than We Think

How parents raise children today will matter in twenty years.

little girl reading book / Shutterstock

There are many ways to parent a child, and many parents raise their children to become the person they hope to be proud of. However, what many parents have to realize also is that every child is different, and one parent's methods may not work for another parent.

People may call a mom a "helicopter parent" when she's simply concerned for her child. Or they call a dad irresponsible when he only wants his child to learn independence. 


But that's the beauty of parenting, isn't it? You get to know your child, you figure out what works and what doesn't, and sometimes, you learn from other parents as well. And nothing feels better than parental pride when your child does something extremely brilliant.

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How do we raise brilliant children? Well, parents have to start early. 

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor at Temple University, and her co-author Roberta Golinkoff from the University of Delaware wrote Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Childrena parenting book designed to help parents cultivate the learning skills of their child using the science of learning and development. 


In an interview with NPR, Hirsh-Pasek said that how parents raise children today will matter in twenty years. 

"If you don't get it right, you will have an unlivable environment. That's the crisis I see," she told NPR. The solution, according to the two authors, lies in the 6 Cs that parents have to work on with their children:

1. Collaboration

"Collaboration is everything from getting along with others to controlling your impulses so you can get along and not kick someone else off the swing," says Hirsch-Pasek.

This means building a diverse and multi-cultural community, and starting this at home will reflect their attitude outside.

2. Communication

Speaking, writing, reading, and listening are all forms of communication that kids need to learn


3. Content

"Content is built on communication," says Hirsh-Pasek. In order to collaborate and communicate, children need to learn basic language skills as well as reading. 

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4. Critical thinking

This one relies on content and requires parents to not simply give children information, but allow them to think about that information themselves

"If you're going to have a kid who engages in critical thinking, you're not going to shut them down when they ask a question," Hirsh-Pasek says. "You're not going to settle for 'because.' You're going to encourage them to ask more. And you want them to understand how other people think.


5. Creative innovation

This requires you to know something in order to make a brand new something. "You can't just be a monkey throwing paint on a canvas," she says.

For example, when making music, it's not enough to simply know how to sing or learn a few notes. You learn how to play an instrument, study different music styles, and how to put together lyrics. The more you learn, the more beautiful the music you create will be.

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6. Confidence

This one is self-explanatory. You need confidence in order to take risks and succeed, and you can give that to your child through encouragement and allowing them to take risks at a young age.


All of these allow the parent to not only teach their child but also stay in the moment with them.

"Not that we're Luddites, but we're talking about how the crucible of social interaction between child and parent really helps set up the child for the development of these skills," Hirsh-Pasek concludes.

Caithlin Pena is an editor with YourTango who writes about lifestyle topics and relationships.