My friend's daughter is 2.5 years old. From the time she was one, my friend has been actively helping the kid learn new stuff. He is an overenthusiastic person, besides Covid lockdown has helped him spend a lot of time with the kid at home.

Using the lockdown period, my friend has trained the kid in memorising names of many esoteric dinosaurs by looking at their pictures. Also the kid has memorised all elements of the periodic table along with the symbols and the atomic numbers.

The reason given for the training by my friend is that the brain development is maximum before 5 years, so making the kid much ahead of the pack before that age is crucial. However I am sceptical of his enthusiasm, and I am afraid there could be counter-effects. Maybe this could stunt the kid's natural curiosity, or the kid could equate learning to rote memorization.

So my question is: can over-enthusiasm adversely affect a kid's learning process? Where do we draw the line, and are there studies on working too much on a kid?

  • 2
    What? Two and and half years old and still does not know the periodic table? Feb 8, 2021 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


can over-enthusiasm adversely affect a kid's learning process?

As long as the kid has fun with it, it's totally fine and a VERY good thing to do. Kids that age WANT to stretch their brains, are capable of learning much more complex things than most people assume and under-challenging is probably a more frequent problem. Example: around that age it's easier to learn a second or third language than at any point later in life.

Over-challenging is only a problem if it's forced and turns into a power struggle which will build resentment and negative associations.


I can say yes and no. If it too cognitive, I think it can cause drawbacks on other side of the development. "movement" is an important element at development of the children are at the early stages. Does the child move, try new things, experience the world, making sensory connections? How about resilience and emotional side? Sometimes people can focus on the mental part a lot and can overlook other aspect of the development. So, if it is balanced, it gives benefits but probably not as much as your friend thinks it is. Because like beard growing in adolescent times , some things required a shifting in the brain. Idea of gender, time, backward thinking... all required some of kind of stage and mostly comes with an age. I think language is a good one to learn when you were a child especially under 5, so you can become bilingual.

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