Why is my child so bright when I'm so stupid?

grahamg

Senior Member
We all think our own children are a cut above the rest, but in my case, (and considering just how foolish or thick I've been all my life), how is it possible my own child is just so smart?
She's been pretty much ahead of the game from the start, arriving a couple of weeks early, passing almost every milestone without a hitch, and even speaking sense when just a toddler waking up in the night crying, and her foolish dad said, "You're alright", only to be told by the little girl in his arms: "there must be something the matter"! You cant argue with that can you! :) .

Anyway, she was pretty much top in her school year, did a bit of "wheeler dealing" or showing business acumen by charging her friends a premium on items she'd bought in the shops, achieved great things at college, has toured different parts of the globe and was quite ready to join the rat race when the need arose, seemingly without difficulty.

Besides all the boasting I'm obviously doing, there is a rub, as there always is, though I wont bore you with anything negative here, just question how on earth does a stupid person become blessed with a smart kid like this? What is going on, how can it happen? :unsure: .
BTW lets rule out "something" less charitable members might wish to suggest, because she is definitely mine, (and we'll all keep everything above board now please!).
 

Pepper

Senior Member
Location
NYC
The luck of the draw.

My grandson looks like my dad, blond & blue-eyed. His mother's family are all Southern Italian. My son took after his dad, a Native American. All dark, brown-eyed people. Her parents can't stand our grandson an almost exact throw-back to my dad! Ha Ha. :D I never thought I'd see those Blue Eyes again but they're Back!

People just are. They may inherit stuff, but they have their own unique stuff going on too. I'm happy for you graham.
 

Sassycakes

Well-known Member
Location
Pennsylvania
I can't answer that because my oldest grandson tells everyone he got his brains from me. He graduated college a year ago. When he started college he as studying Bio Medical Engineering . I said "Oh my God I am happy I don't need to do homework with you anymore." He said "Gram I got my best marks when you helped me with homework." I did do homework with him and his younger brother everyday after school when they were young. They both got full 4 yr scholarships to college. I still can't imagine he got his grades because of my help. Heck I don't even have a brain !
 

asp3

Member
I read something not too long ago that seemed to suggest that intelligence is passed on more from the mother's side than the father's side. So that might be one of the factors in your daughter's perceived intelligence.

Also there are certain factors in nutrition, environment and family dynamics that can affect a child's intelligence so your daughter might have the right circumstances in her life that maximized her reaching her potential intelligence whereas you may have had factors that reduced the level of intelligence you could achieve even though you were genetically favored to have a higher level of intelligence.

Another thing to consider is you might be attributing intelligence to things which are more related to drive, dedication, persistence and passion. There are many people who are not well above the norm in intelligence who are able to achieve great things through the way they approach life and it's challenges.

Have you and she taken online intelligence tests or do you have the results of intelligence tests yourself from earlier periods you can compare with her results?

I think the bottom line is that as a parent you can be proud that you raised a child into an adult who is so impressive. She appears to be very accomplished and you seem to appreciate the person she's become. There's a lot to say for that and I think you're both fortunate to have each other.
 

asp3

Member
I just had another thought. Even though we as parents have a great deal to do with our children's eventual success as adults sometimes it's their teachers who have a lot of influence on them. Sometimes a teacher is able to recognize things we as parents don't see or don't understand about our children and are able to help them realize a greater potential than we would have been able to do on our own. Most teachers take a fair number of child development classes so that they have the latest information on how to best work with all types of children.
 

grahamg

Senior Member
Original Poster
I read something not too long ago that seemed to suggest that intelligence is passed on more from the mother's side than the father's side. So that might be one of the factors in your daughter's perceived intelligence. Also there are certain factors in nutrition, environment and family dynamics that can affect a child's intelligence so your daughter might have the right circumstances in her life that maximized her reaching her potential intelligence whereas you may have had factors that reduced the level of intelligence you could achieve even though you were genetically favored to have a higher level of intelligence. Another thing to consider is you might be attributing intelligence to things which are more related to drive, dedication, persistence and passion. There are many people who are not well above the norm in intelligence who are able to achieve great things through the way they approach life and it's challenges. Have you and she taken online intelligence tests or do you have the results of intelligence tests yourself from earlier periods you can compare with her results?

I think the bottom line is that as a parent you can be proud that you raised a child into an adult who is so impressive. She appears to be very accomplished and you seem to appreciate the person she's become. There's a lot to say for that and I think you're both fortunate to have each other.
Thanks for your very nice and quite funny comments about the ex. she'd love that info. maybe I've aped up the dumb thing a tad, cos I'm quite hot on intelligence tests, if they mean all that much, but I agree with the things you've said about what makes some folks reach their potential too. :) .
 

grahamg

Senior Member
Original Poster
Education and teaching methods have changed since we were in school. I think that gives each new generation an advantage over the previous generation.
You'd hope that was the case of course, but I felt so very lucky in my school days because of many things. The quality of all the teachers I encountered, almost all of whom experienced the war, and I'd guess this only made them more dedicated and responsible, as I guess too, wartime makes people grow up quickly, and understand social issues well, (we all needed one another then didn't we).

Can I just add the words putting me straight coming from the mouth of my very young child were not, "There must be something the matter", but " There must be something", (in response to me telling her she was alright when she woke up crying, and I said, "There's nothing the matter!"- just wanted to be precise, as my recollection wasn't perfect thirty five years on). :) .
 

grahamg

Senior Member
Original Poster
It's all random luck in the universe when it comes to brains.

Geniuses like Einstein are born bright. History is full of them.
I'm sure luck plays a very big part in things, but there remains a slight possibility some kind of insight, or intuition plays a part in whoever you might choose to create a child with, especially where you're married, (though not exclusively so I accept, because "cupids arrow" should it exist, and to use an odd phrase, can hit you whenever it chooses perhaps!). :unsure:.
 

Camper6

Well-known Member
Pick whoever you want. There's no guarantee. Your brother might be smart but not you. You can check Gregor Mendele's experiment with peas for tall and short peas and dominant and recessive genes. It's the same for sports figures.

Mendel chose to use peas for his experiments due to their many distinct varieties, and because offspring could be quickly and easily produced. He cross-fertilized pea plants that had clearly opposite characteristics—tall with short, smooth with wrinkled, those containing green seeds with those containing yellow seeds, etc.—and, after analyzing his results, reached two of his most important conclusions: the Law of Segregation, which established that there are dominant and recessive traits passed on randomly from parents to offspring (and provided an alternative to blending inheritance, the dominant theory of the time), and the Law of Independent Assortment, which established that traits were passed on independently of other traits from parent to offspring. He also proposed that this heredity followed basic statistical laws. Though Mendel’s experiments had been conducted with pea plants, he put forth the theory that all living things had such traits.
 
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grahamg

Senior Member
Original Poster
Pick whoever you want. There's no guarantee. Your brother might be smart but not you. You can check Gregor Mendele's experiment with peas for tall and short peas and dominant and recessive genes. It's the same for sports figures.

Mendel chose to use peas for his experiments due to their many distinct varieties, and because offspring could be quickly and easily produced. He cross-fertilized pea plants that had clearly opposite characteristics—tall with short, smooth with wrinkled, those containing green seeds with those containing yellow seeds, etc.—and, after analyzing his results, reached two of his most important conclusions: the Law of Segregation, which established that there are dominant and recessive traits passed on randomly from parents to offspring (and provided an alternative to blending inheritance, the dominant theory of the time), and the Law of Independent Assortment, which established that traits were passed on independently of other traits from parent to offspring. He also proposed that this heredity followed basic statistical laws. Though Mendel’s experiments had been conducted with pea plants, he put forth the theory that all living things had such traits.
Ahead of his time by a good deal, and a funny thing discovered long afterwards, many centuries perhaps, was that Mendel allowed himself to introduce some bias into his scientific recordings, making the ratios fit his theory slightly better than they would have done had he recorded everything 100% accurately, (statistically I think they proved this, that there was bound to be more variability than he recorded because of the influence of chance factors). I'm a fan of evolutionary theory in all its aspects.

The science of genetics has moved on a great deal since then obviously, and one striking discovery is that some traits can be passed between generations regardless of their genes, in very limited circumstances though. Two identical individuals having 100% the same DNA can display differences caused by trauma in the womb, lets say, and as a result exhibit different susceptibilities to diseases generally liked to genetics, (one showing the disease and the other not showing symptoms of the disease!). :unsure:.
 

Warrigal

SF VIP
We all think our own children are a cut above the rest, but in my case, (and considering just how foolish or thick I've been all my life), how is it possible my own child is just so smart?
She's been pretty much ahead of the game from the start, arriving a couple of weeks early, passing almost every milestone without a hitch, and even speaking sense when just a toddler waking up in the night crying, and her foolish dad said, "You're alright", only to be told by the little girl in his arms: "there must be something the matter"! You cant argue with that can you! :) .

Anyway, she was pretty much top in her school year, did a bit of "wheeler dealing" or showing business acumen by charging her friends a premium on items she'd bought in the shops, achieved great things at college, has toured different parts of the globe and was quite ready to join the rat race when the need arose, seemingly without difficulty.

Besides all the boasting I'm obviously doing, there is a rub, as there always is, though I wont bore you with anything negative here, just question how on earth does a stupid person become blessed with a smart kid like this? What is going on, how can it happen? :unsure: .
BTW lets rule out "something" less charitable members might wish to suggest, because she is definitely mine, (and we'll all keep everything above board now please!).
It is said that high intelligence is mostly likely to be passed down via the female line. Can't quote the source of this information but I will try to find a reference.

Found this - not the most definitive source but it might help answer your question

If you are breeding for a high IQ is it more important that the male or female have a high IQ?

Kris Munro
, Grad Dip Education & Psychology, Edith Cowan University (2007)
https://www.quora.com/If-you-are-breeding-for-a-high-IQ-is-it-more-important-that-the-male-or-female-have-a-high-IQ

It used to thought that the mother was primarily responsible for a child’s intelligence. However, more recent (and more compelling) studies suggest that both parents play a part in passing on the genes related to intelligence. The second link has sub-links with the actual studies that support this claim.

While there’s still some conflicting research, it’s understood that (in terms of population averages) roughly 50% of a person’s intelligence is accountable by the genes that are passed on by the parents.

The remaining 50% is mediated by the environment, which includes the habits of the mother while she is pregnant.

What this means, if you’re looking to breed for intelligence, you’re looking for an intelligent partner that grew up in a very poor environment… and then you’ll provide a much better environment for the offspring; potentially producing a child whos intelligence exceeds that of the parents.
 
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Camper6

Well-known Member
Ahead of his time by a good deal, and a funny thing discovered long afterwards, many centuries perhaps, was that Mendel allowed himself to introduce some bias into his scientific recordings, making the ratios fit his theory slightly better than they would have done had he recorded everything 100% accurately, (statistically I think they proved this, that there was bound to be more variability than he recorded because of the influence of chance factors). I'm a fan of evolutionary theory in all its aspects.

The science of genetics has moved on a great deal since then obviously, and one striking discovery is that some traits can be passed between generations regardless of their genes, in very limited circumstances though. Two identical individuals having 100% the same DNA can display differences caused by trauma in the womb, lets say, and as a result exhibit different susceptibilities to diseases generally liked to genetics, (one showing the disease and the other not showing symptoms of the disease!). :unsure:.
Nature does not like sameness in individuals. No two humans are completely alike even twins. There's probably a good reason for this. A disease could wipe out everyone.
 

grahamg

Senior Member
Original Poster
It is said that high intelligence is mostly likely to be passed down via the female line. Can't quote the source of this information but I will try to find a reference.
Found this - not the most definitive source but it might help answer your question
Thanks for the link, I'll check it out when I have chance later.

I have a maybe controversial theory of my own, (if any of our ideas can be truly described as original?). It is this, that if there were "someone up there" deciding where very gifted children might best be born, in order to bring out their abilities perhaps, or allow them the freedom to express them without interference, then maybe finding a father or mother, then those parents might be where the gifted child appears.
Obviously some extremely gifted children are born to parents, where both of them can be seen to have very high IQs, and still retain the ability or tolerance to see their gifted child through all the trauma's and wayward tendencies some children encounter, or get themselves into. However, I can see an issue, where the parents are both maybe very strong characters, or else lack the nurturing skills, should they have a gifted child to raise.

Just my twopennyworth anyway, I do have some cousins who are very strong minded and talented people, who have had visited upon them the trauma of losing both their parents at a young age. Then one of them has had a child (or grandchild?), suffer an appalling injury and will now be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. I very much doubt I could have coped with such a number of very difficult situation to deal with, and yet they continue to be as good and warm, and giving people, as ever they were, inspite of all these troubles.
 

old medic

Member
Location
Western NC
Our Grandson is 8, and we always thought he was smarter than the average kid....
Before he could walk he could pick out certain letters.... Had 1 foot square letters he would hit or sit on,,,
P for Pop N for Nanna, M for Mommy ect.... Had half the alphabet down...
But we also noticed Obsessive behaviors... He would line up his cars... and you could move one, or turn it around
and when he came back, in seconds he would spot it... and some times throw a fit....
When he started school the teachers noticed he was more advanced, and that he would get frustrated easily....
Last year after some behavior issues he got a series of testing done.....
His IQ at 7 was scored at 116.... and they say its most likely higher because he didn't finish the full test...
He is very observant and dont miss much.... quick witted and funny too...
His mom got him some new sandals.... he come out of his room wearing shorts, socks and the sandals...
she says " why are you wearing socks... it makes you look like an old man"....
He yells at her..... " GET OUT OF MY YARD"......
 

Warrigal

SF VIP
I did a post graduate course in gifted and talented education.

Several points of interest - intelligence is more than a score on an IQ test.
There are forms of intelligence that cannot be measured by a pen and paper test, for example emotional intelligence associated with caring professions or creative intelligence, physical prowess or leadership potential.

Highly intelligent girls tend to hide their ability to better fit in with a social group. Very exceptional children find it hard to fit in with their age peers and seek friendship with older children or adults.

It is possible to be intellectually intelligent yet suffer from a learning disability such as dyslexia or a physical disability such as deafness. Such children tend to be labelled more by their disability than their giftedness.

Highly intelligent children can be found in every culture and race. Many are overlooked and are denied opportunity to develop their gifts into talents.

The worst outcome for society is a highly intelligent individual who is stunted in his/her moral development. The stereotype of an evil genius is quite real.
 

Camper6

Well-known Member
There is one factor which I would like to mention. Television.
A great learning experience which is fairly recent.
I remember the first snow in our city. I took my son to the window. He turned to me and said "Dad, it's winter". How did he know that without having gone through a winter before?
 

grahamg

Senior Member
Original Poster
It is said that high intelligence is mostly likely to be passed down via the female line. Can't quote the source of this information but I will try to find a reference.
Found this - not the most definitive source but it might help answer your question
I have really managed to check out only one of your links unfortunately, but it was the one indicated by "both parents" highlighted in blue. Another gave me a brief glimpse of a newspaper report only, and the one I've seen debunks the first asserting it is women who pass on intelligence, "more or less", I think I've got a fair picture now, (thanks again). .
 

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