As we have seen, the complex inner world of the polymath exerts a powerful pull on his or her attention, with school often pushed into second place. This frustrates everyone involved, the student most of all.
How do you cope when the adults in your life expect you to focus on subjects or activities that are not nearly as compelling as what you’re thinking about? In addition, the pressure of all those interesting thoughts and nascent abilities, plus the prospect of rarely getting to pursue them, can be overwhelming and stressful.
This is why it’s so important for parents to try to understand their child’s plight, and above all, to support the very interests that appear to be interfering with school. Encouraging these eclectic interests could help a young polymath just as practice writing helped me, and as I felt it could have helped Writer A.
The principle is the same: When many interests or ideas threaten to swamp someone—with or without the complication of unwanted school subjects—give those interests a safety valve. Don’t allow them to be bottled up, or they’ll cause a lot more trouble than they will if they have even a partial outlet.
Then, with the feeling that their voluminous interests are not all imprisoned inside their heads, grade school-aged polymaths might even gain a bit of attention for school.