We all think our child is the cleverest, but when it comes to raising a clever child, is it about the tools that we have as parents? Well, it’s not necessarily about surrounding them with Dostoevsky and quadratic equations as soon as they make their appearance into the world, but it’s about a few simple things that are backed by child experts…
Start Right Away
While babies in the crib may not appear to do much, it’s important for us, as parents, to get into the habit of developing their abilities to learn. All we need to do with this early stage is talk to them, make sure that we minimise stress, but also sing to them and use rhythms as well as numbers. It’s all about the most diverse amount of things we can present to them. If we do as much as we can to increase the bond between us and them by minimising their stress and being loving, this gives them the perfect head start.
Read To Them
Never feel that it’s a pointless exercise when they are really young. Even if they don’t understand the words, you are helping them develop language skills. Not only this, but children that are read to at a young age develop an interest in reading, but it also gives them a head start in school (as well as in adult life).
Give Them Brain Food
You may very well be careful in terms of what they eat and don’t eat. And when it gets to the point that they are fighting you over every fruit and vegetable you want them to eat, you may very well think about giving up. What’s important is you give them the right foods that are good for their brain. Good fats, small berries like blueberries, and even nuts in the form of peanut butter are all things that you can sneak into their diets that will benefit their brain.
Encourage Their Creativity
It’s not just about giving them the facts and getting them to learn these which will make them clever, it’s about developing an ability to question things, and to think about solving problems beyond the usual methods. Creativity isn’t just associated with the arts; it’s about something that they can use in every aspect of their life. Encouraging their creativity is about exposing them to as many different creative outlets as possible. You could take them to museums and expose them to different colours, and you could buy photography wall art prints to display at home to stimulate thought and discussion. But you could also have music playing in the background, as well as having paints and paper on hand so they can get to work whenever they feel like it. A creative child is someone who won’t just learn effectively, but they will learn how to learn things effectively!
Lead By Example
Our children learn from us, and it’s us that sets the blueprint, whether consciously or subconsciously, how our children will be. It can be difficult for us to develop our own intelligence, but if they see us expanding our horizons, trying different things, and having creative outlets, they will perceive this as the norm. Of course, if we don’t do these things, but we want our children to have the benefits that we didn’t have, by forcing these things upon them, they will naturally rebel.
There’s not an opportunity to get bored these days. Due to the amount of stimulus out there, from tablets to smartphones, and television to the internet, there’s no opportunity to get bored. But it’s a sensation that is greatly underestimated. By letting our children get bored, they can start to find their own ways to keep themselves entertained. They could also take the opportunity to enjoy quiet time, or even reflect on things. In this world of information overload, it’s a very Zen-like practice that we could all benefit from.
Let Them Solve Their Own Problems
As parents, we can feel tempted to solve everything for them, which can result in us being an overprotective parent. But if we allow our intelligent child to go through problems and solve them, even if we provide a gentle nudge in the right direction, this gives them the feeling of accomplishment, and the sooner they do this, the more they will be able to tackle problems in numerous ways, minimising their stress response.
Letting Them Fail
Risk is a part of life, and we can subconsciously discourage children to take numerous risks, but if they don’t, this may very well cause low self-esteem later on in life, but also discourage self-learning or creativity. It’s a very delicate balance; you need to gauge the situation. And if they are in an environment where it’s okay to fail or to take risks, let them do so.
Focus On Their Happiness
When we have stress and anxiety, what is the common denominator? Ourselves. We can stand in the way of our own abilities, which can manifest itself in stress, or even self-sabotage. If we focus on keeping our children happy, not by giving them everything they want, but providing a nurturing environment that makes them feel fulfilled, but also gives them the tools to improve their happiness themselves, they won’t ever feel that desire to people please, or that what they are doing isn’t enough. Goals and expectations are a part of life, but if we continue to set the bar higher and higher, this may very well have an adverse effect. It’s about giving them tasks that are just out of their reach, and rewarding them when they have completed it. But if they’re unhappy, this will cloud the entire process.
To raise an intelligent child, it’s not about force feeding them high-quality reading materials. It’s about encouraging them to use their brain in his many different ways as possible. Let’s not forget, neuroplasticity is something that we can all develop, it’s not just something that stops after a certain age. But as the cliché goes, our children are like sponges. So if you want an intelligent child, it’s never too late. But also, it’s never too late for us to learn from them…
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you found these tips interesting on how to raise an intelligent child.
*This is a collaborative post