We live in a highly competitive age where it’s absolutely essential that we keep ourselves updated with what’s happening in the world. In these times, raising a child is a matter of great concern to parents, particularly if they want their kids to be smart.
Often, parents worry if their child is intelligent enough and if not, what they can do to help develop their intelligence. Raising a child to be smart isn’t an impossible feat, but parents need to know what exactly they should do for this to happen.
So what does it take to raise smart kids? Given below are some suggestions on helping your kids grow intellectually.
Start right from the infant stage. The “gap years” i.e. the age between infancy and when a child starts school is critical for the early development of a child. It is said that infants start learning soon after they are born and are able to process the world surrounding them. As they grow up, they learn via exploring, repetition, talking, crawling and many such experiences. Therefore introduce nursery rhymes, numbers, colours and other concepts early on.
Join your child in their baby talk.
What better way could there be to enhance your child’s intelligence except by communicating with them? Even if it is baby babble, this helps the infant bond better with you and develop their confidence and self-esteem.
You can stimulate your child’s communication skills and make them participate in word activities. Talk to your child about your day or anything else. If you include descriptive words, they will pick them up and use it in his/her speech as they grow up.
Demonstrate your affection for your infant
To instil confidence in your child, you need to show your child how much you love him or her. By feeling secure, your child will also be more accepting of life challenges. Build a safe, happy and secure environment for your child.
Develop reading habits.
One of the best ways for a kid to learn is through reading. Start this habit right from the infant stage. You can read from colourful picture books to them to stimulate your child’s imagination and ability to think. As they grow older, set aside some time for reading each day and select brightly-coloured books with large-sized text and easy-to-identify images that will remain in your child’s mind for long.
Initially, your child will want you to read from just one particular book, but as she or he grows older, they will want to read a variety. And a little older child will want to read alone and widely too. So make sure to inculcate reading habits in your child early on.
Gift toys to your child.
You don’t have to buy expensive toys for your kids to play with. Keep it simple. In fact, some toys can be overwhelming for kids, what with their gizmo-like appeal. Children should play with toys that are mentally stimulating, will intrigue them and help them develop their creativity and resourcefulness.
Let your child learn to play a musical instrument.
According to research, children who learn to play a musical instrument or learn to sing are closer to full-scale IQ than those who don’t. This skill always translates into academic achievement and makes kids more confident and sure of themselves.
Play with your child and get them to exercise.
Your child learns to explore the world and understand it better once you guide them to play. Keep aside some time every day to play with your child. Take part in activities that your child likes and indulge in these. Playing a good form of exercise and it helps keep your child fit. Not only does exercise build physical strength but it also increases the blood flow to the brain, thereby aiding in building your child’s mental capabilities.
In fact, it has been found that after a bout of exercise, individuals can pick up new words 20% faster than what they would before exercise.
Open up a world of numbers and letters early in your child’s life
Introduce your child to numbers and letters much before they start going to school. You can make this fun for them as you begin counting while you play with them, and point to letters on boards or cardboard pictures.
The more your child is exposed to the world of numbers and letters, the easier it will be for your child to understand when s/he starts going to school. Sign language comprising physical and verbal hints will help them understand better and relate a word to the topic at hand. This will increase their power of associating words and objects and the way they see things as they grow. Your child’s power of association with the things they see will increase and they will be able to think for themselves as they grow older.
Let your child explore, arouse their curiosity
Set your child down in the middle of unfamiliar surroundings and let them explore and understand the setting better. Describe what you see and show enthusiasm in your voice and eyes about anything new you see or hear. Take your child to locations that are visual stimulants, such as a zoo or a supermarket. The more wide-ranging experiences your child has, the more they learn and the more intelligent they will be.
And, when your child does something beyond his or her routine behaviour, give them a round of applause so that they feel motivated to do more of the same. Give them play materials that are safe from toxins and let them use them as their imagination guides them.
These are just a few efficient ways of stimulating a child’s mind to grow into a smart kid. There may be others, backed by research too, but by using these methods regularly, your child can have a head start over his or her peers right through school.