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Just as there is no clear dichotomy between good or bad, so also is there no straight line between a dull child and a brilliant one. It is clear that no one is born a simpleton. However, it is very important to describe a high flyer. According to Cambridge Dictionary, a High Flyer is someone who has a lot of ability and a strong wish to be successful and is therefore expected to achieve a lot. Most children who grew up being very successful without little or no trace of failure would find it difficult to balance out life experiences. Not encouraging anyone to fail, but it is imperative to find out the thoughts going through the high flyer’s mind. It is easy to identify them, these children that adults make out as an exemplary character. They’re the “Most Voted to Be Very Successful”, and they build their world around academic success. A little child who gets the class prize for the first position in his/her class would necessarily develop a resentment towards any classmate they tutor but becomes more successful than them. So their group of friends may consist of those who would considerably make him look better. The superiority complex they feel develop as a result of the high praise, price that comes with the position. Parents how do you talk to your children. Do you indirectly/directly train them to treat those who are academically ‘lesser’ than them differently? Do you give a high praise to your child who does extremely well in school? Teachers do you unknowingly favour a child due to his brilliancy, making him feel excluded from his peers, as he is now marked as a Teachers’ Pet?  All of these play heavily on the child who can no longer act innocently as a child; the spirit of unhealthy competition takes its toll. They begin to feel the need to protect their territory. It’s no longer news that a young boy in Nigeria, recently was alleged to have put ethanol and sulphuric acid in the water bottle of his classmate for her to drink and die. Going through the details would be to rehash an old story line, yet, it would be nice to emphasize that entitlement mentality that comes with being considered the best would carry on even after childhood. This set of children develop envy that powers through to adulthood, making them unbearable, a danger to society. In all, understand the dynamics of each of God’s Special Gift in your arms. Never compare them with others because each person is created specially with specific genetic materials. Encourage them with words, your actions and even your prayers. Love and Respect their decisions while correcting their wrongs.

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This article was first published on 10th July 2017


Adepeju Adenuga is a writer (considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense). She holds a Masters Degree in Literature in English from the University of Lagos.

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