Childhood is one of, if not, the most critical aspect of an individual's life. It is the starting point that determines a lot of what the future becomes.
All parents want the best for their children, to grow up healthy, happy and successful. When it comes to intellectual development, some say that intelligence is a product of both nature and nurture. Child development is perhaps more straightforward than we think.
Below are 7 parenting tips for raising a smarter child.
1. Engage them in conversation
Nothing beats talking when it comes to making a child think. The process of talking will help stimulate your child’s brain, and enhance their speech and vocabulary. If you want to teach new words, use repetition as a learning tool, and visual aids to help them remember.
2. Surround them with learning materials
Childhood should be all about innocence and being carefree, but there is no harm in subtly integrating in learning opportunities.
Coding is the great equalizer. It doesn't matter where your child came from, or what schools she attended. If she can learn to code well, she will have a sustainable, six figure career path with potential to work in some of the most exciting, fastest growing companies on the planet.
David Dodge, CEO of Codakid
Equip playgrounds with printed materials for coloring, reading and other learning activities. There is no need to push or force a child to engage, kids will naturally be interested, especially if the materials are new to them.
3. Give them the opportunity to think critically
The human brain is a mass of unlimited possibilities, particularly for developing brains. Avoid the common tendency for parents to hand everything out on a silver platter for their little ones. Challenge them, they will thank you later!
Ideally, kids should be given the chance to process situations and problems by themselves. Awarding them this level of independence will help develop their critical thinking skills.
4. Support their curiosity
Humans are born naturally curious, a common trait that spans across cultures. Parents should encourage inquisitiveness!
Over time, curiousity is often lost because adults unknowingly place boundaries on their children's wandering minds. The intention might be positive in nature, but the impact is not, unfortunately. Children's lives can be enriched if they are encouraged to go out and satisfy their thirst for knowledge.
5. Provide them a constant chance to be smarter
Kids are primarily dependent on their parents and guardians. This means that adults are responsible for creating arenas for learning and self-development.
Whether it is in the field of music, dance, mathematics or science, make learning opportunities available for children. Expand their cultural diversity, take them to museums and to the theatre. Encourage mindfulness.
6. Balance their exposure to all stimuli
Despite negative opinions about the use of computers, TV and the internet, it cannot be denied that they can be a medium for learning.
The key is variety rather than overusing any one method. Read this post to find out recommended limits to children spending time in front of a TV, computer and other electronics.
7. Praise their results and highlight their efforts
In the same way that adults receive salaries in exchange for the work that they do, a child’s behaviour can be affected by the rewards they receive. Positive reinforcement can also help build confidence.
Giving treats is not a bad thing, but it should not happen all the time (see this post about rewarding good behavoir with food). Verbal praises for the work they do and highlighting positive results is important. Make sure to applaud their successes.
Raising a smart kid is possible and within the grasp of all parents. But don’t forget that children need to have fun! After all, it is not just about raising a smart kid, but bringing up a healthy and happy individual.
About the author
Holly Clark is an Outreach Executive at CodaKid, which provides online courses and resources to help kids learn how to code. Featured press includes CBS News, Tech.Co., Inc., Parents and FOX News Channel. Check out their site here.
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