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Mensa lists 17 early signs you may have a gifted child – including talking a lot


Mensa has a list of characteristics that could indicate your child is much brighter than average – including liking music, talking a lot and having an unusual memory

Does your child have an unusual hobby or a passion for the news? They could be a genius
Does your child have an unusual hobby or a passion for the news? They could be a genius

At some point every parent has probably wondered if their child is especially gifted, but did you know there are signs to look out for that might help you to tell for sure?

Mensa, the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world, is open to those who score in the 98th percentile on supervised IQ tests – so it’s full of very brainy people – and this group says it may be able to see whether your child could be similarly gifted.

Mensa claims that the following characteristics could indicate your child is brighter than the rest of their class – and that might mean they are suitable for the supervised IQ test to determine whether they can be admitted to the society.

The organisation says its own supervised IQ tests are suitable for children aged over 10-and-a-half, but with British Mensa’s youngest current member only three (the oldest member is 102!), there’s no age limit to see if you’re brainier than the average person.

Does your child tick these boxes?

1. An unusual memory

Being able to memorise times tables, addresses, or country names at a young age could be an indicator of intelligence – if your child is able to remember small details or a wide range of information that you yourself might forget, they may be able to learn maths or foreign languages well in class.

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2. Passing intellectual milestones early

Learning to read, talk, or play board games faster than their peers could mean that your child has an intelligent brain and may need more stimulation to be happier and more challenged.

3. Reading early

A vested interest in The Very Hungry Caterpillar may not seem like a genius undertaking, but if your child is reading earlier than their peers, they could be on the way to a brainy future.




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4. Unusual hobbies or interests or an in-depth knowledge of certain subjects

An interest in trains or films is very common in children, but if your child can really tell their sci-fi from their comedy at a young age, they may be showing signs of being gifted. Pursuing hobbies to an in-depth degree could be a sign that they are looking for a mental challenge to satisfy.

5. Intolerance of other children

Highly intelligent children may find it frustrating to socialise with peers their own age, as they may not be able to understand why others can’t keep up with them. It has also been proved that gifted children may be more sensitive than others, so could be upset if they are left out or teased by peers.

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6. An awareness of world events

An awareness of the news and world around them at a young age – for example engaging in newspapers or asking questions about politics – could indicate a quest for knowledge.

7. Set themselves impossibly high standards

Gifted children can be sensitive to failure as they tend to be perfectionists, and proud of the skills and knowledge they can attain; as a result, they may set very high standards for themselves and be upset when they get something wrong.

8. May be a high achiever

It may seem obvious, but if your child is performing above-average in school, they may not just be enjoying their subjects, but could have a higher IQ than most.

9. Prefers to spend time with adults or in solitary pursuits

Spending time with adults could mean that your child is eager to learn from those more developed than themselves, while solitary pursuits like reading and crafting could indicate that they are hard-working and need academic stimulation to feel challenged.

10. Loves to talk

If your tot loves to talk all day, it could be an indication that their brain is whirring away and trying to engage with new and challenging conversations.

11. Asks questions all the time

A lot of questions – whether it’s ‘why is the sky blue?’ or ‘how does a phone work?’ – could mean that your child is trying to understand the world around them on a higher level than most.

12. Learns easily

Does your child rush through their homework and seem to grasp their class materials quickly and easy? It may be an indication that they are mastering the knowledge of their age range and could use more of a challenge.

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13. Developed sense of humour

If your young child is able to come up with funny jokes by themselves, or laughs at humour you thought you might have to explain to them, they may have a high understanding of language and the world around them.

14. Musical

If your child picks up music easily, or even plays a musical instrument well for their age, they may be able to pick up other intellectual pursuits, such as learning a new language, just as easily as playing an instrument is proven to strengthen the brain and memory.

15. Likes to be in control

Intelligent children may like to prove how well they can do something, meaning they like to stay in control of whatever activity they are completing; they may also be perfectionists, who want everything done a certain way.

16. Makes up additional rules for games

Gifted children may find it fun to be creative and come up with additional rules for games if the original game doesn’t stretch their imagination enough; if your child insists on elaborate games, they may be very brainy.

17. Extrovert/introvert

Children who are very extroverted and outgoing – or quiet and introverted – may be gifted, as they may enjoy learning with others and have high social intelligence, or may enjoy reading on their own or pursuing academics.

For more information about gifted children and supervised IQ tests, visit the Mensa website.





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