A child’s education and schooling influence many important decisions and brings about critical changes in parents’ life-some shift locations within the city to enroll their child in the best school, some moms quit their job to focus on children while rarely, some parents even change cities to offer the best education to their child. Parents are constantly worried over their children’s performance in school but what they lack is the knowledge that their kids were already blessed with talent and skill to shine and succeed before they were delivered out of the womb! By no means does this promote the fact that what one does to sharpen skillset is a waste of time. There are plenty of environmental factors too that determine academic achievement along with what the gene has bestowed upon your child.
Every kid is a talented individual who is blessed with different abilities. It is in our hands to nurture these abilities and help our kids shine through. Instead, what we do is force them to do what every other child does-read math, science, history and geography. Beyond this, we harass our children to score well and vent out anger when these kids don’t excel well. Instead of grooming a kid to become well-versed in his/her talented field, all that we do is impose something onto our little ones.
It is a well-established fact that different children perform differently at school. Recent studies and research reveal the fact that almost two-thirds differences in school performance can be attributed to differences in a child’s underlying genes. Research shows the impact of genes on a child’s performance at primary school and even on various subjects. There are not many studies relating to how genetic and environmental factors influence a child’s academic performance throughout schooling years. A research group focused on this and analyzed it on more than 6,000 pairs of twins. Twins were chosen for the study to analyze differences arising as a result of genetic factors.
Identical twins share 100% of their genes while non-identical twins share 50% of their genes-just like any other siblings. Researchers found educational performance to be almost standardized through the schooling period-kids who performed well in primary school continued their performance until graduation. Genetic factors played a key role in affecting 70% of this output while another 25% was attributed to environmental factors and the remaining 5% due to differences in friends or teachers.
The study found that changes in performance between primary and secondary school was largely determined by environmental factors that was different in case of each twin. Under controlled environments too, genetics still accounted for 60% of a child’s chance of academic success despite both cognitive and non-cognitive traits such as health, family, encouragement and behavioral problems contributing towards academic excellence. For more information on how environmental factors impact success/failure in an individual’s life, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
‘Top’ Up Genes with Timely Intervention
This result also makes us wonder whether we can use DNA tests at birth to identify kids who suffer from cognitive disabilities such as reading problems. Singling out such kids and coming up with strategic solutions to correct these issues can prevent problems all through schooling. If such intervention is not taken, it is likely that the kid struggles academically in school.
A child might be a genius at birth or have a below-average IQ level comparatively. One thing people must understand is that despite genes determining intelligence and inheritance dominating success, environmental factors too can influence an individual largely. These factors can at least help struggling children attain close-to-normal IQ levels. Making up for a genetic disadvantage is never easy but with the right training tools, mindset, reading practices and a motivating environment, we can surely witness progress and success.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.