Monday, December 06, 2004

Does Your Child Have The Edison Trait?

by Lucy Jo Palladino

He was a boy who learned only by doing. At age six, he had to see how fire worked and accidentally burned his father's barn to the ground. The next fall he began school, where he alternated between letting his mind travel to distant places and keeping his body in perpetual motion in his seat. Because he was distractible and restless, he did not last long in a formal classroom. His teacher called him "addled." Eventually, his mother had to home-school him. As an adult he would recall: "My father thought I was stupid and I almost decided I must be a dunce."

The core of his learning was his passion for experiments. As his new teacher, his mother gave his talent free rein. At the same time she infused him with the disciplines of study. With time and determination, he mastered his runaway mind. He grew up to become a prolific inventor, bringing the magic of electricity and sound recording into the world. He either invented or improved hundreds of practical conveniences. It is said that Thomas Alva Edison succeeded where others failed or never tried, because it was his nature to dare.

There was once a man who drove a truck on a road through a town and got stuck under a bridge that had a low clearance. The men of the town gathered around the wedged truck to think of ways to dismantle the truck or the bridge. Finally, a young boy came up and asked, “Why don't you let some air out of the tires?" That is what they did, and the truck went on its way.

This was a child who had the Edison trait. He saw an element of the scene that no one else saw, because they were busily and systematically focused on what to them was relevant to the solution.

Today, a growing number of children have that nature to dare. Like young Edison, they are easily distracted and disorganized, but also wildly imaginative and inventive.

They have minds that are at home with meanderings and leaps of vast proportions. They make unexpected, sometimes startling, connections.

All children are imaginative and enjoy make-believe, but children who have the Edison trait live even closer to their imaginations. It is their lifeblood.

Children manifest the Edison trait in various ways. Some are quiet and reserved and live in their own worlds. Others are loud, interruptive, and bold.

Your child may be a Dreamer, a Discoverer, or a Dynamo. Or he may combine features of any or all of these patterns.

  • Dreamers drift from place to place, on a schedule of eternal time.

  • Discoverers have to find things out for themselves and do things their own way.

  • Dynamos are always in motion, with a flair forsurprises, power, and speed.


Source: The Elijah Company
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