mental_floss Blog » Is Your Child a Dandelion or an Orchid?

mental_floss Blog » Is Your Child a Dandelion or an Orchid?: “An article in the December 2009 issue of The Atlantic poses a fascinating scientific question: do some children’s genes give them a greater risk of failure, but also a greater chance for success, if they’re raised under the right circumstances? Such children are dubbed “orchid children” David Dobbs’s piece The Science of Success. The comparison is to a Swedish folk saying about “dandelion children” who will thrive anywhere (although, yes, good parenting helps them too — just not as much). Dobbs details current research into biology and evolution which suggests that a percentage of the population (for humans and other species) are “orchids,” who require careful parental attention during early development — without this attention, they suffer and fail, but with careful nurturing, they succeed spectacularly, like orchids in a greenhouse.”

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