Raising a Smart Child
Nothing pleases a parent more than being told that their child is intelligent and smart. Are there any secrets in raising a clever kid? Indeed there are. In fact, here are some secrets shared on stimulating a child’s intellectual growth.
Give your child an early start
Give your child a head start beginning from infancy. Ronald Ferguson, director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University, recommends a number of activities to support early childhood development:
- Maximize loving responsiveness. When your little one tries to get your attention, respond to him or her with love.
- Talk to your child whenever you can. Singing and gesturing also supports early development.
- Enable and encourage basic competencies in your child beginning from as young as possible.
Start reading to your child regardless of the fact that he or she might not even understand the words. This gives your child a head start in developing language skills. Kids who are read to when young are more likely to develop a lifelong interest in reading, do well in school, and succeed in adult life. Reading books is one of the most important activity that make kids smart.
Talk is cheap, but not in child development!
Having conversations with your child helps to develop strong language skills. Also, listen to your child when he or she has something to say. This reinforces the effort to communicate and develops a knack for a language.
Playing with children makes them feel loved – Scientists observed that babies who were not cuddled, played with and loved have stunted brain growth. They also observed that babies who were not held and did not receive attention failed to grow and some even became depressed. On the other hand, many studies have shown that loving, hugging, interacting and playing with a child has a strong effect on developing his or her intelligence. The loving connection formed between you and your offspring, including one-on-one interactions, provide the foundation for higher thinking skills.
Let your kid play
During playtime, a child is creating the foundation for intellectual, social, physical and emotional skills. When a child plays with other kids, ideas, impressions and feelings are combined with other kids’ experiences and opinions.
Make music a part of life
Studies have shown that listening to music can boost memory, attention, motivation and learning. It can also lower stress that is destructive to your kid’s brain. Learning to play a musical instrument has an effect on the brain’s proportional thinking and spatial temporal reasoning that lay the foundation for abstract math.
Raise a reader
Nothing, and we mean nothing, will benefit a child more than possessing the love for reading! It is one of the most important quality you can develop in your child, to set up an appetite for knowledge. The more your child learns from reading, the more he or she will want to know. By being a reader early in life, your child is well-prepared to grasp the complexities of mathematics, science, history, engineering, mechanics, political science and other knowledge necessary for a productive life.
Encourage physical exercise
Physical exercise does not only make a kid strong, but it also does its part to promote intelligence! Exercise increases the flow of blood to the brain and builds new brain cells. Exercise is good for adults’ mental sharpness, but it has a more long-lasting effect on your kid’s still developing brain.
Boredom is not always a bad thing!
It’s alright for a child to get bored. Coping with boredom, in fact, helps to build the virtue of patience and is part of preparing for adulthood. Your child should learn to enjoy “quiet reflection” instead of expecting every waking moment of his or her life to be filled with activities or entertainment.