How to Make Your Child Smarter: Tips and Tricks
Can You Really Make a Child Smarter?
Virtually all parents think their kids are the greatest thing since sliced bread. They're beautiful, a delight to be around, and highly entertaining. And don't forget smart. Yes, just about every parent thinks they have a little Einstein on their hands.
In truth, a few of them probably do have child prodigies. But even if you're not one of those parents, there are still things you can do to help make your child smarter or more gifted than he or she would be otherwise.
Read to Your Child Early and Often
One of the best ways to ensure that your child has a few more active brain cells is also one of the easiest: read to them. Studies have shown that kids who were read to did better in school and on standardized tests.
Part of the reason seems to be that reading inherently encourages a lifelong love of learning. Kids who read don't view books as objects of fear or torment, as some classmates might. Moreover, children who were read to have been found to be up to a year more advanced when starting school than their peers who did not receive similar treatment. In short, reading to your children early and often can pay big dividends later on.
The jury is still out on whether simply listening to music - in particular, classical music - has an effect on a child's IQ. However, what has defintiely been shown is that children who take music lessons (such as piano, some stringed instrument, etc.) tend to do better on standardized tests - Like SATs - than those who didn't take such lessons.
Music lessons appear to boost brain power by, among other things, increasing memorization skills, as well as concentration, listening abilities, and focus. The end result is a child who will have a leg up on his classmates in school.
(And if you choose to follow up on this suggestion, please visit my hub on Where to Find Cheap Pianos. There's no need to pay a fortune, as there are some very good deals out there just waiting for someone to take advantage of them.)
Mind Games That Teach Critical and Strategic Thinking
As you might guess, there are a lot of games out there that can also help your kids get smarter: chess, checkers, scrabble, etc. These are games that help foster critical thought processes and strategic decision-making.
In short, these are games that can get your child thinking in terms of problem-solving, which is a skill that will be needed down the road. Of course, no one is saying you have to raise the next Bobby Fisher, but this is another way in which they can be more advanced than their peers who don't have these challenges.
(For some great ideas on teaching toys and educational gifts, please visit Cool Toys and Gifts. You can also find stimulating, hands-on activities for kids in this hub on Teaching Your Kids About Renewable Resources and Alternative Energy.)
Sports and Exercise
Studies have shown that there exists a strong, positive correlation between regular exercise and improved academic performance. Basically, regular exercise has been proven to increase activity in certain areas of the brain, including those associated with the so-called "executive functions" (e.g., planning and reasoning).
Moreover, regular exercise and participation in sports helps kids develop other useful traits and characteristics, like leadership and teamwork. It can also give them the confidence needed to start trusting their own judgment.
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Other Stimulating Activities
Needless to say, this is not a comprehensive list of all things you can do to make your child smarter. Breastfeeding, for instance, has been shown to result in children who are significantly smarter than those who were not breastfed. Likewise, proper diet and eating habits are a must - e.g., eating a good breakfast - and result in better academic performance. Also, learning a foreign language also appears to increase intelligence.
In short, there are a number of activites that can serve to stimulate your child's cognitive abilities and make him or her a smarter, more gifted child.
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