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Sometimes child prodigies don't sit right with me.

I've watched a lot of TV and YouTube and, especially when I visit and revisit some interests I've often ran into child prodigies. I get it, they work hard, they deserve any and all positive vibes they get. But, I can't help but feel a little bit...concerned for them if that makes sense.

No, this isn't me being bitter towards them because I wasn't a child star or anything like that. This is me feeling genuinely concerned about them. Don't get me wrong, there are children who got there how they did because they genuinely love what they do and literally can't see themselves doing anything else, but I'm a bit bothered by some of them because some may not have had a choice in the matter. That girl I once saw on YouTube who couldn't have been more than 3-5 years old playing what I heard are extremely difficult songs on the violin, how much do you wanna bet she was forced into sleepless nights doing that and wasn't allowed to get herself dirty playing outside with friends? 

I know I could be wrong, I know I'm most likely overreacting, but sometimes it just doesn't sit right. Getting that good with ANYTHING takes massive amounts of time and sacrifice. I'll be pretty sad if kids are being forced to give up what could've been a happy childhood due to their guardians' attempt to gain some sort of rich and/or celebrity lifestyle. 

Apologies if I sound ignorant. 

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I understand your concerns about the quality of life for these children as children. It takes 10 000 hours of practice to learn a skill, so doing so when your a child with little to no concerns about life is the ideal time for you to do this. Once you leave school you're already prepared that much more to begin a career. Its not what comes easy that makes the best classical musicians, its the ones who spend the most time practicing that which is very difficult.

David Beckham, the worlds best soccer player, spent hours perfecting the 'Bend it like Beckham' free kick into the net for hours and hours. I'm sure he would agree with his success, anything he missed out on as a child has more than made up for it.

I imagine that this was no different for our ancestor. As children they would have practiced to throw a Spear or shoot with a bow and arrow, and to learn to hunt from being very young. It would be the difference of survival for the whole community, and the very best would become their great leaders.

Don't let it bother you.


They're only prodigies while they're children.  Once they grow up, they're just like everyone else.

Yep.  Assholes are not limited to the population who were NOT child prodigies.

If I may raise another issue... for a child, being a "prodigy" in any sense can be a great burden if you're in the wrong environment, meaning the wrong family.

I'm not claiming to be a boy genius, but I was very intelligent and musically adept at a young age. I was paraded before guests to play Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue", while the adults gushed. I liked it. I have no stage fright, I'm in the spectrum of "autistic savant", knew I was very talented in some ways, knew my mind worked differently, and I was happy to use it to my advantage.

The problem is that all of this also entailed a mind which was not normal, was non-conformist, was discovering with no outside help paganism at an early age, who was hallucinating multi-colored images of myself in the mirror, who was going to sleep listening to the pulses of universal time fragments. And in my family, Christian uptight Republicans, I was severely persecuted for much of this.

For being different I ended up locked up and tortured, as did my soulmate. And as an adult I found that nobody cared if I'd been a cute kid who could play Gershwin... they just wanted me out of their face because my mind confused and threatened them.

So I confirm that concern for the child prodigy is justified. It may not be an effort to play the music, but for all the other things about the prodigy which are "different", it is easy to be made to suffer.

Your responses are appreciated guys thank you :) 

Children will surprise you. Back when I use to teach people how to play musical instruments, there were children that would dedicate themselves to doing nothing but that and they would surpass many of my adult students. I didn't run into the problem you're seeing, but, I have seen it in sports, where parents put tremendous pressure on their kids.

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