Dr. Frank Lawlis, supervisory psychologist for American Mensa, the oldest and largest IQ society in the world, will tell us the signs of a gifted child and give us practical techniques to maximize your child’s full potential.
Full Interview Transcript
Kelly: Joining us today is Dr. Frank Lawlis, Supervising Testing Director for American Mensa, he will tell us the signs your child could be gifted and give us tips to help cultivate genius in your own child.
Dr. Lawlis thank you so much for being here.
Dr. Lawlis: Thank you for asking me this is one of my favorite subjects.
Kelly: What percentage is IQ? How much is stimulation and how much is genetic?
Dr Lawlis: In the field we usually say it’s 50/50. If you don’t have the capacity to run a 100-yard dash in ten seconds, regardless of how often you are motivated and how much are trained, you probably will never ever reach that point, although there’s obviously exceptions.
For example, I’m kind of edging myself out on a limb here, as I recall, Mozart was one of those kids that came out with a very low IQ functioning family but he rose through that issue and became what I call a genius. I think you could say the same thing for almost any of the geniuses that we know about is that they didn’t come necessarily from parents that were High IQ.
Kelly: It’s all about their environment and stimulation.
Dr Lawlis: Yes, exactly.
Kelly: Can anyone raise their IQ to a genius level or a Mensa level? Is anyone capable of doing that?
Dr Lawlis: Absolutely. If I can show you a book that I wrote, which had to do with the IQ Answer, in these particular exercises, I demonstrate that you can raise your IQ significantly by 10 or 20 or 30 points by using some of these exercises.
For example, if you don’t breathe correctly, in other words, most people who take tests tend to hold their breath when they get anxious. When that happens, you cut off oxygen in your brain. I teach people to breathe and increase the oxygen levels in their brain and consequently make them smarter or make them perform higher on their IQ tests.
Another way of dealing of upping their IQ is teaching them what to eat. For example, eating boiled eggs will increase a person’s IQ by 10 to 20 points. Also, because boiled eggs have high level of choline. In fact, it will help the brain.
There’s another trick is have your children chew gum. Chewing gum actually creates an increase flow of blood into your blood, which then makes it more capable dealing with high electro capacity. All these have been researched to enhance IQ significantly.
Kelly: I want to hear about the breathing exercise. Tell us how you need to breathe. Is there a tip or a specific something that you can do, show us?
Dr. Lawlis: Well actually, I’ve done a lot of studying with regards to breathing pattern. I’ll show you a couple that really make a big difference in terms of IQ and then electro functioning.
One is basically to breathe regularly. Not hyperventilate but to basically increase the breathing air all the way down into the lower lung or both of your lungs and generate a higher flow of air through your body. That will increase the oxygen level in your brain.
Another form of breathing and this may turn people off but it is a fact that you can increase your creativity on what’s called alternate nostril breathing and that is you breathe one nostril and then the other nostril and then the other nostril. You alternate the nostril one full cycle of exhalation and inhalation and that will actually create more activity on both sides of your brain so it helps to integrate the thought patterns and make people more create.
Kelly: Then going to the food, you mentioned that the boiled egg, do you mean having them soft boiled? Because I read that you want them to be soft because the yolk when it’s runny, it is more healthy.
Dr Lawlis: You want to create the least amount of heat if you can in order to cook of egg in order to cook the eggs. If you just give them to a person raw, there’s a lot of health issues that has to do with parasites and other bacteria so you would kill all that. The easiest way to do that is boil them.
On the other hand, don’t create higher temperature because that will change the molecular structure of the egg so you’re no longer eating eggs, you’re eating something else and that’s not really helpful in terms of the brain function.
Kelly: in your book you mentioned music. What about music how does that impact intellectual development?
Dr Lawlis: There’s that certain frequencies of your brain. We call them beta, high beta, beta, alpha, theta and delta. Basically, those are the ranges of how your brain works at their frequencies.
What you want to do is that you want to listen to music that stimulates the beta, the high level of functioning. You don’t want to go too high in making you too anxious. We go again into issues of anxiety.
We have what we call 60 count, which is basically like a 4/4 time in music. If you listen to that, it not only increase in electro capacity but you will also prevent prevent depressive vibes. We have in my clinic, we have a CD that we use for exactly this reason]. We have the children listen to it while doing their homework and so forth so it helps them concentrate as well as feeling more positive.
Kelly: What kind of music? Is it any music? Can you name some of the examples on the kind of music that you were talking about?
Dr. Lawlis: Classical music tends to have that effect more easily. There’s also, there’s been good effects of spiritual music like Gospel and some rock n’ roll.
What doesn’t seem to work very well because of the extreme impact is, what is it, hard metal?
Dr. Lawlis: I hate to say this because I’m kind of a country and western fan myself but some of the country and western songs are so sad that it slows you down. If you listen to how bad your woman treated you or being on trains or having drugs or something like that, then doesn’t seem to help you very much intellectually.
Dr. Lawlise: Let me also talk about this research that’s called Secret of Champions. What they did was, now these weren’t kids, these were adults. Basically, military people and athletes and they took the top 1% of their abilities to perform and they found that the top 1% basically operated in what we call parasympathetic mode.
In other words, you have a sympathetic system that is arousal, that’s when you get excited and you’re afraid, you have to run away from tigers and so forth. Your body operates in mechanical panic level but that’s a high level.
Then you have parasympathetic, which is when you relax and you restore. What they found with these champions is that they operated 80% in the parasympathetic and 20% in the sympathetic.
What they were doing basically is operating it as high level in a relaxed way. They weren’t anxious. They were comfortable and they were breathing correctly at the same time. There’s a combination that really works very well.
I think that a lot of people learn these things in a variety of ways and that’s what makes them so smart.
Kelly: What would be the most important time to introduce your child to different experiences and things like that?
Dr Lawlis: What we know especially through the development is that your highest level of learning and the ways of learning is actually before the age of six. But at the age of five to seven we get to get a lot of language that’s coming in.
What you see is this is each amount of intellectual capacity growing and growing and growing, growing until they get to adolescence and then when they get that lesson stage then things tend to get very disruptive. In fact, a lot of children that I would consider to be high IQ lose their High IQ benefits when they get into their adolescence because of the hormonal dysfunction and the other social issues that plan of one’s interest.
Kelly: Is there anything, in particular for the younger age that you would recommend to boost their IQ and potential?
Dr. Lawlis: Like I said, stimulation is a big, big part of it. I think reading to children like teaching them how to read from the very beginning as soon as they can. I wouldn’t force them but I would certainly give whatever offering that I could when they’re ready so that they can get excited and interested in performing intellectual ways.
Also, in terms of teaching them the meaning of words, this can be very helpful just in conversation. We know for example that the more you talk to a kid, the smarter he’s going to get.
Kelly: Where can people find more information in their local communities about what Mensa has to offer
Dr. Lawlis: I think Mensa offers a lot of opportunities for somebody that’s smart, especially smarter than the average bear, define relationships and give reinforcement.
You have other opportunities such as getting some foundations the support you—being a member of Mensa it offers you a lot more opportunity for people to getting you scholarships and help you along the way in terms of college and other kinds of learning opportunities.
Kelly: You provided some really brilliant, valuable information today and I really appreciate you coming in the show and giving us your tips and helping people achieve their potential.
Dr. Lawlis: Thank you.
About Dr. Frank Lawlis
Dr. Lawlis is the supervisory psychologist for American Mensa - a national organization whose members have scored in the top two percent on an accepted, standardized intelligence test and and chief content adviser to the Dr. Phil Show. Dr. Lawlis has been a pioneer in clinical and research methods of the mind-body relationship since 1968 when he received his Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis in medical psychology and rehabilitation. He has been awarded the Diplomate (A.B.P.P.) in both Counseling Psychology and Clinical Psychology. He has also received the status of Fellow from the American Psychological Association for his scientific contributions to the field of clinical psychology and behavioral medicine, as well as many other awards for his pioneering research in this field. For more information about American Mensa, visit www.AmericanMensa.org.