I don't know about anyone else but I found this thread entertaining! As for being a prodigy I think that an interested mind can read a programming book and then say that he/she can program. As many have stated here, programming to people's requirements when requirements change every second hour is what makes a true programmer.
As for massaging a kids ego, I'm not about that at all. In my opinion, accollades need only be acknowledged after they are earned. This thread, in its broadest form, reminds me of watching the tryouts for American idol and the 18 / 19 year is there to sing because their parents lover their voice. When they get up to actually sing, they are horrible. When they are told they are horrible they are devastated because they've been made to feel like they were something they were not by parents that feel bad about telling their kids the truth.