Wednesday, September 12, 2007

All the Babies Are Above Average

I often hear people commenting “She’s so smart,” or “Wow, he’s advanced,” about babies they meet at the playground or grocery store. Nobody ever says “Gosh, your kid is slow!” Many parents do worry secretly that their own child is behind in some way because there’s a ten-month-old down the street doing algebra. I try to admire all the types of intelligence I see in other people’s babies because I think it’s great for my daughter to have smart playmates. She has learned such interesting tricks from watching other kids!

The good news for worried parents is that ALL of our babies are getting smarter. Or at least average IQ scores are rising. Nobody is sure why this happens, but it may help that each generation has better nutrition and access to education. James R. Flynn, who discovered the phenomenon, says that “IQ tests do not measure intelligence but rather correlate with a weak causal link to intelligence.” Either way, you can be proud that your baby is “smarter” than babies from a few years ago, at least until they re-standardize the IQ tests again.

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