A genius is someone who sees things that aren't there or don't exist yet and finds a way to get there. And the path that he or she takes is through creativity. Creativity is simply the combining of two or more previously unconnected thoughts. THAT'S ALL GENIUS IS.
Is it heredity or environment? YES - both – but it’s there!!! And it’s in every one of us!
Can it be built? I believe YES.
How? By regularly and frequently asking WHY [or WHY NOT?
President John Kennedy said. "Some men see things that are there and ask why? I see things that aren't there and ask, why not".
Gently, tactfully question [or “challenge”] your teen to constantly question their own beliefs and assumptions. Some will be right and solid, some will be urban myths we’ve been led to believe – which might/ could/ should be challenged, stretched, even discarded.
We are FILLED with examples of wrong assumptions - which, when seriously challenged, were quickly denied, rejected, tossed aside.
Examples: no human could run a mile in under four minutes [Roger Bannister]; catching a football with one hand [Odell Beckham, Jr.]; a woman as a jet fighter pilot - all were negated, ultimately rejected. What’s also interesting is that soon after, MANY people duplicated their feat.
Of course, a ‘real genius’ has qualitatively more capacity to take in, process, challenge and re-combine previously uncombined facts and ideas – but it’s more a question of QUANTITY, NOT QUALITY!! Like the Prego tomato sauce commercial used to say – “it’s in there!” You just have to dig it out, nurture it out!
BTW – done gently, tactfully and persistently, this will also be effective if your teen is a ‘problem’ – unpleasant, unmotivated, unengaged, etc.