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9-year-old high school graduate's parents share top parenting rule: 'Don't try to fix your child'

David Balogun is one of the youngest people in the country to receive a high school diploma, and graduated high school in 3 years.

9-year-old high school graduate's parents share top parenting rule: 'Don't try to fix your child'
Cover Image Source: Twitter/Ronya Balogun

David Balogun is a child genius who's already off to college. He's one of the youngest people in the country to receive a high school diploma and graduated high school in 3 years. The 9-year-old received a diploma from Reach Cyber Charter School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, according to NBC affiliate WGAL.

“They didn’t bog me down. They also advocated for me, saying, ‘He can do this. He can do that,’” the 9-year-old said of the high school. “I want to be an astrophysicist, and I want to study black holes and supernovas,” he added.


His parents are Ronya and Henry Balogun, who also have a younger daughter, Eliana. While they are incredibly proud of their son's achievements, they are honest that it can be challenging to raise a son who is so gifted intellectually. "I had to get outside of the box. Playing pillow fights when you're not supposed to, throwing the balls in the house. He's a 9-year-old with a brain that has the capacity to understand and comprehend a lot of concepts beyond his years and sometimes beyond my understanding," Ronya said.


While there's no book on parenting when it comes to raising such gifted children, what works for the Baloguns is that they don't push for conformity. They shared their top parenting rule with CNBC: When a system isn’t built for your child, don’t try to fix your child. Try to fix the system. “You’ve got to develop a different mindset as a parent,” Henry shared. “It’s not always easy when your son is asking you questions constantly. You have to keep answering the questions, because you don’t want to say, ‘Just leave me alone.’”


While David loves learning he also spends time playing sports, getting his black belt in martial arts and playing the piano. The boy struggled to "really have friends" in public school, his mom told Insider. "Kids tend to go to him for direction or to ask for information or to ask for an explanation, so the social aspect had to be given from outside the school. The social aspect, for his abilities, is that you have to meet like-minded people, and most of the time, that's adults."


"I think the biggest social and emotional problem [for gifted children] is that they can’t find other people like themselves," Dr. Ellen Winner, a psychologist who specializes in gifted children, told ParentEdge magazine in 2012. "The more extreme the gift, the more difficult it is."


At the end of the day, the young genius still loves being a kid. "He's playing with his Legos. He's just a normal 9-year-old," Ronya said. "He's a kid, you know what I'm saying? So just because his mind can comprehend and understand and fathom and have a really big discussion with you about big ideas or theories, does not mean he's not going to act like a 9-year-old."  As parents to a bright mind, Ronya and Henry say they’re learning as they go.


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