Gifted kids as prone to failure as to success

London: Kids, who are gifted with one talent or the other, are just as likely to fail in life as succeed, revealed a new study.

As part of one of the most extensive studies carried out, research found that out of 210 gifted children followed into later life, only three per cent were found to fulfil their early promise.

Professor Joan Freeman, said that of 210 children in her study, “maybe only half a dozen might have been what we might consider conventionally successful.”

“At the age of six or seven, the gifted child has potential for amazing things, but many of them are caught in situations where their potentials is handicapped,” the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.

Freeman tracked the development of children who had exceptional ability in fields such as maths, art or music from 1974 to the present day.

Many of those who failed to excel did so because the ``gifted`` children were treated and in some cases robbed of their childhood, found the study.

In some cases pushy parents put the children under too much pressure, or they were separated from their peer group, so they ended up having few friends.

Professor Freeman is keen to emphasise that ``the gifted`` are no more emotionally fragile than anyone else - and may even have ``greater emotional strength.``

But she said that “being gifted means being better able to deal with things intellectually but not always emotionally.”

“I want to stress that the gifted are normal people. But they face special challenges, especially unreal expectations, notably being seen as strange and unhappy.

“Others such as parents and teachers, can feel threatened by them and react with put-downs. What they need is acceptance for who they are, appropriate opportunities to develop their potential and reliable moral support,” she added.

Part of the problem for the gifted, according to Freeman, is that often the gifted excel in many areas - and may have to try out several things before they settle in one discipline.

Ultimately attempts to ``hothouse`` children will fail if they are put under enormous pressure to perform.

“The pleasures and creativity of childhood are the basis of all great work. Take childhood away from children,” she wrote.