The keys to maximum success - What we've learned from decades of early childhood development:
Bottom Line: It's natural to think that our kids are the cutest, smartest and generally the best. This story isn't designed to make anyone or their children feel inept but to be as instructive as possible with regard to what drives maximum success later in life. The answer is that it starts early. The longest run study ever conducted on early childhood development and long-term outcomes is the one started in 1971 at John Hopkins that's now co-directed by Vanderbilt. The most recent findings were just published in the science journal Nature. The key finding. Kids who test in the top 1% early are the most likely to be the most successful. Kids who test in the top 1% are the ones most likely to become:
- Fortune 500 CEOs
- Federal Judges
Clearly, not everyone who tests as exceptional early on goes on to success. The greatest challenges posed are keeping these kids engaged rather than becoming bored and keeping them grounded rather than allowing them to become overly precocious. One of the top recommendations is to allow them to freely move through school skipping grades as able. Those who do are 60% more likely to achieve higher levels of successful as compared to those who stick to age-based criteria. Btw, there are a couple of household names who've been part of this study over the years. Mark Zuckerburg and Lady Gaga along with Google's co-founder Segey Brin.
What's the moral of this story if your child isn't necessarily part of the top 1% early on? The earlier you foster a culture of thinking, learning and development that focuses on consistent engagement the better.