When is a person brilliant? When does a person show his genius? When he goes beyond the usual, beyond the obvious. When he goes one step farther in his thinking, understanding and creativity. For example, when you play chess, you plan ahead. You study the moves that are optional to you, and then the moves your opponent can make. You go a few steps deep. My son's chess teacher once said: “Usual players plan 2 to 3 moves ahead. A grandmaster can plan 6 to 7 moves deep, and that makes grandmasters - grandmasters". The teacher suggested to my son to look at the chess board, analyze the moves ahead, and then - put a conscious effort into analyzing one more move. Put conscious effort into going one step farther.
When applied to all areas of life - this habit alone can differentiate between the everyday smart person, and an unusually creative, brilliant genius.
How can we teach our children this exceptional practice - as early as possible? This truly takes only a few minutes at a time! Whenever you do an activity with your child, whenever you have a conversation with your child, whatever your child's age is, encourage him to go one step farther in his thinking and in his playing or working.
For example, a toddler comes to you and tells you about an experience that he had, or an observation. Ask questions that lead him to thinking and analyzing beyond the obvious. When your child builds with blocks, encourage him to go one step farther by asking questions. What is this? What can you use it for? What else? How can you improve it? Can you make it bigger? Can you make it smaller? Is it heavy? Is it light? Is it strong? How can you make it stronger?
When you play a board game with your child, you can ask questions like: Why did you decide on this move? What would happen if you would make a different move instead? What would happen if I would make a different move? What was your strategy?
When you have a conversation with your child, always encourage him to think one step farther by asking questions. Try to widen his horizons. Try to get him to think creatively. Ask about possible solutions - and keep asking.
A very known game that encourages creativity, is taking a very usual, mundane household object (the classical example is a paper clip, but you can do it with any object you choose) and try to come up with all the things you can use it for. Everybody first comes up with the obvious: clip papers together, hold papers in place. . . but after a while the creativity starts to flow, and people come up with amazing and fantastic uses for a paper clip. This is a great game to play with your child, to encourage creativity.
I recommend using this approach to everything that you do with your child: ask open questions that encourage thinking and problem solving, and then keep asking. When your child is done with the obvious, keep asking, so that your child will go one step farther, and start thinking creatively beyond the obvious.
You can do it with a very young child, during any activity. You can do it with a school aged child too. Do you help your child with homework? Encourage him to go one step farther. Ask your child about the topic he is studying, and get beyond the obvious. When your child writes a book report, or a research report of any kind. When your child is done with his work, encourage him to go one step farther, by finding some additional information about the topic, that provides a different point of view, or provides some additional information.
One technique that I used when my son was in elementary school, was asking “why" questions. For example, when he had to write a report, and he read to me what he had written, I asked “why", and used this to stimulate his thinking deeper into the subject. When he was done with the report, I always said - lets go one step farther and see if we can come up with additional information, explain one more fact, get to one more conclusion. What would make this paper brilliant, instead of just good?
When writing assays, after reading the assay, I always encouraged him to go one step farther, and analyze, compare or ask a question that he did not ask himself yet.
By doing this, we are achieving more than one goal. The first goal is to increase our child's learning, to deepen his understanding. By doing this, we encourage our child to grow. But we also get them into the habit of going one step farther constantly, with every project that they take on. This will prove to be more and more valuable as they go through life. It will teach them to be more thoughtful towards other people, as they deepen their understanding of their fellow man. It will teach them to go one step farther and discover the solution that was not yet discovered. It will teach them to go one step farther and think about a topic in a completely fresh approach nobody has ever thought about in this way before. It will make it possible for them to be a true genius, one who comes up with ideas that may change the face of our world.
For the last 26 years, Esther Andrews has studied, researched and practiced the ways to develop a child's intelligence. She also served as the principal of the School for Gifted Education. As a result of this experience, she developed her own method and philosophy, that proved to be extremely successful with her own 2 highly gifted children. In her web site, http://www.all-gifted-children.com , she helps parents develop their child's genius, and provide for their kids the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential.