I thought how can this child learn another language? Seven years of Spanish - just get fluent. But no - my incredibly smart child wants Arabic - and he's doing really well in it.
So it's not just a parent bragging story. Today NPR featured a study from the Hewitt Institute for Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado, which looked at genetics versus the environment in teens' ability to learn new things. The conclusion was Learning New Things Gets Harder as Teens Transition from Childhood.
Except in really smart kids - And you know how smart your kid is but the takeaway I got from this article is don't underestimate his or her ability to learn something brand new.
So the next time your not so directed high school or college student decides to master a new instrument, take a new language, figure out how to build a rocket ship - just encourage them. They say that kids are sponges. Teens are too.