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What Is a Whiz Kid?

When a child or teenager demonstrates skills beyond the normal expectations within his or her age group, they are considered a whiz kid. A whiz kid often has extraordinary artistic, intellectual or physical abilities.

Examples of whiz kids include an eight year old girl capable of performing a flawless and complex violin concerto or an eleven year old boy graduating form university. These are very amazing feats for such young children to achieve. However, such success is not without its disadvantages. Most whiz kids find themselves propelled into the adult world without fully enjoying their childhood. They can become so self absorbed in their dedication to their talent that they lack adequate social or physical skills.

The film industry has also drawn attention to the phenomenon of whiz kids through movies and television shows. Malcom In the Middle is a whiz kid, so is Lisa from The Simpsons. Doogie Howser, MD was also a whiz kid who graduated from medical school at 16. They characters often find it hard to socialize with their own peers despite their success in other realms and they sometimes yearn for normalcy.

Stevie Wonder was a whiz kid, able to play the piano at a very young age. Other whiz kids who have now grown up include Jodie Foster, Billy Preston and Steve Winwood. Few whiz kids maintain or continue their talented path, as the pressure and attention can be too. Other whiz kids grow out of their extraordinary ability, a sign that it could have just been part of a hormonal growth spurt.

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