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‘Child Genius’ Recap: Stress Takes A Toll On The Kids

The premiere episode of Child Genius, titled “I’m the Fun Parent,” introduced several of the 12 competitors and their parents to viewers. Although most of the children featured during this episode of Child Genius initially exuded a lot of confidence, they were already feeling the pressure to succeed.

Lifetime posted to their Facebook page, “The pressure is on, but these kids can take it!”

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case at all, and most of them performed poorly during the first round, where they were required to answer 10 math questions. A few only got two out of 10 questions correct, and many of the parents were shocked by how their children performed.

When preparing for the next round where they had to memorize a deck of cards, a few of them began to panic. The children who had worked out a system for memorization did much better during this round. The round is over as soon as an incorrect answer is given, and after answering 17 correctly, Vivek ran wailing and sobbing from the room after his turn. In the Child Genius study room, Sam is certain he only has 51 cards in his deck and says he’s panicking and doesn’t know what to do. Jenna completely falls apart, and even though her parents are brought to the study room to encourage her to continue, she refuses to compete in the memory round or to even return at the end to receive her Child Genius medal. Needless to say, she was the first child eliminated from the Child Genius competition. Chancellor was the only child to memorize all 52 cards in the correct order.

If the children are already feeling this stressed and anxious in the early days of the Child Genius competition, the question of how many of these children will actually be able to stay the course arises. Last season’s Child Genius participants seemed to handle the stress of each round a lot better. Although they definitely felt the stress, there were no major meltdowns. So what’s going on with this new batch of Child Genius kids? Lisa Van Gemert, who returns for this season of Child Genius in the role of Gifted Youth Ambassador, stated that the math round wasn’t so much about their computational math skills as it was about their ability to manage nerves, to manage time, and to thwart what she calls their own “perfectionist tendencies.”

The parents definitely seem to take the Child Genius competition a lot more seriously than their children. A lot of the kids are no stranger to competing and performing in front of an audience, but this challenge seemed to give a lot of them a wake-up call and definitely affected them all. There were a lot of tears after the first round. Several parents have put a lot of pressure on their children to do well, including studying with tutors for several hours a day.

The top three Child Genius contestants were the most composed during both rounds, and it’s obvious that like last season, being able to handle the stress is going to be a major factor in making it through each round. Chancellor came in first during this phase of the Child Genius competition. Claire and Arnav tied with the second highest combined scores.

TV Series Finale shared that with a $100,000 college fund and the title of Child Genius 2016 at stake, the kids and their families will let nothing stop them. That remains to be seen because as the pressure and the grueling preparations continue for the next nine weeks, tempers will definitely flare and some of the parents will push even harder. Perhaps the winner of Child Genius will be the child who doesn’t necessarily perform well in every round, but who has the proper parental support without too much pressure and stress put on them to win.

Are you a fan of Child Genius? What do you think about this new group of competitors and their families so far? Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions below. If you missed the first airing, the Lifetime website already has the episode available online. Child Genius: Battle for the Brightest airs on Thursday’s at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

[Image via Starcasm/Twitter, cropped and resized]