5 Signs Your Child May Be Smarter Than Average, According to Science


Every parent dreams of walking up that stage and placing not just one—but several—medals around their child's neck. We all want to raise a smart cookie! But what does science have to say about it? Here are a few published studies that could give you a clue about your child's intelligence.

1| Your child learned to read early. 

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Would you say your little one has an interest in books and reading? Children with strong reading skills at an early age are more likely to have above-average intelligence in areas including vocabulary, verbal, and reasoning by age 7. This was according to a 2014 study by researchers from the  University of Edinburgh and King’s College London. It involved analyzing data from nearly 2,000 pairs of identical twins.

“Children who don't receive enough assistance in learning to read may also be missing out on the important, intelligence-boosting properties of literacy,” lead author Stuart J. Ritchie told Science Daily.  The takeaway? Expose the kids to more books.


2| Mom is smart.

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A 2016 research from the University of Ulm in Germany found that genes related to cognitive abilities were located on the X chromosome—which is twice as likely to have come from mom rather than dad.

In another study conducted by the Medical Research Council in 1994, in which 12,000 children participated, researchers found that the best predictor of a child’s intelligence was his mother’s IQ. Results showed that there was only an average of a 15-point difference between the kids’ IQ and their mothers. So, if mom is intelligent, chances are, so are her children.

3| Your child’s play area is always a mess.

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Alright, so maybe almost all kids leave ruin and destruction in their wake. But if you think your child is able to focus on his playing even in a severely untidy area, he just might be a cut above the rest. People who work in a messy environment are more likely to be creative and come up with innovative ideas, according to research from the University of Minnesota in 2013.

To quote arguably the greatest mind in recent history, Albert Einstein. “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

4|  Your child has a big head.

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Get the tape measure: There may be some truth to our lolas’ haka-haka that a big forehead is a sign of a smart child. Babies born with heads that are larger than average—the typical is between 13 to 14 inches—are more likely to graduate with a degree and score higher on verbal-numerical reasoning tests later in life, according to a study published  in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. Researchers used data from 100,000 British citizens from UK Biobank, a health resource that stores a population of people's data.


5| Your child spends a lot of time with dad.

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Here's some science that should convince Dad to turn off the TV and spend more quality time with the kids. A long-term study from the University of Newcastle found dads who spent more time with their children during their formative years were more likely to raise smarter kids than dads who don’t. And, it should be quality bonding time too.

The more effort a father invests in his children, the higher their IQ turns out as kids, and the more successful as adults, the study said. “What was surprising about this research was the real sizeable difference in the progress of children who benefited from paternal interest,” said lead author and psychologist Dr. Daniel Nettle. Involving 11,000 British boys and girls, the study was published in the British journal Evolution and Human Behaviour.

Now, parents, don't feel bad if your child doesn't exhibit any of these signs. As we've written previously, a high IQ score will not really predict what a person can accomplish in the real world. Some say to compete in the future, what our kids really today need are social skills. Read more about it here.


This story originally appeared on Smart Parenting. Minor edits have been made by the Esquire Philippines editors. 

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Jillianne E. Castillo
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