The Edison Trait: Saving The Spirit Of Your Free-Thinking Child In A Conforming World

The Edison Trait: Saving The Spirit Of Your Free-Thinking Child In A Conforming World

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Brand: Times Books
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My daughter lives in her own world, sitting in the back of the classroom, doodling unicorns. She's a bright kid who's getting lost. How do we reach her?

My son can program my laptop, but I have to hound him constantly to do the simplest things. How can I motivate him?

My kid has to get his own way. And he's always racing around, always on the go. How can such a smart kid be so hard to live with?

Millions of children--one in five--have what psychologist Lucy Jo Palladino, Ph.D., calls the Edison trait: dazzling intelligence, an active imagination, a free-spirited approach to life, and the ability to drive everyone around them crazy. They have the raw talent to succeed in our fast-paced, information-rich, techno-magic world. But, unbridled, their talent also brings conflict into their lives. Edison-trait kids excel at thinking divergently, brimming over with one idea after the other. However, schools, organized activities, and routines of daily living reward convergent thinking, which seeks to focus on one idea at a time. Parents and teachers get frustrated by the Edison-trait child's apparent intractability and lack of focus. A mismatch between school and child can mask the child's considerable gifts for creativity and independent thinking.

Drawing on examples from over two decades of private practice, Dr. Palladino helps parents, teachers and others appreciate this challenging aspect of their child's intellect and personality. She distinguishes and describes the three main styles of the Edison trait. Dreamers live in their own world, following no one's schedule but their own. Discoverers insist on learning about and experiencing the world firsthand. Dynamos are full of energy, with a flair for surprises, power, and speed.

A small percentage of Edison-trait kids also have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), which puts them at even greater risk for problems in school. To address parents' concerns, The Edison Trait includes chapters on defining, diagnosing, and treating ADD.

Thomas Edison, who flunked out of school was able to harness his talents to give the world some of its finest inventions. Today this same ability to brainstorm thrives in creative geniuses such as Maya Angelou, Bill Gates, and Ted Turner.

Dr. Palladino offers eight guidelines for parents to understand and help Edison-trait kids:

1 Believe in your child.

2 Watch what you say.

3 Build a parent-and-child team.

4 Encourage your child's interests.

5 Teach your child self-control.

6 Coach your child to learn how to achieve.

7 Take care of yourself.

8 Take care of your family.


The Edison trait is on the rise in our younger generation, who are growing up in a world of accelerated change. Dr. Palladino reveals the link between Edisonian thinking and Information Age success. She explains how Edison-trait children are born leaders of the twenty-first century. Her inspiring and reassuring book will light the way.

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