ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Influence a Child's Brain Development

Updated on August 20, 2014


  • Teach children strategies like sorting and naming to improve their ability to recall words or objects. Focus on the important facts – the who, what, when, where, how and why— to teach narrative skills and how to think about events in terms of time and causality.

  • Illustrated storybooks help younger children to understand longer phrases. Dialogue with children about what you have read and encourage their comments. Introduce pictureless books to older preschoolers to teach them that words alone create imagery. Preschoolers love word games, like making up rhymes or alliterations, such as “The big brown buffalo built a brand-new boat in the bayou."
  • Consistently challenge children in a warm and supportive way. Be warm, nurturing, supportive, stimulating, responsive yet demanding. Play the role of facilitator rather than instructor – help each child find interesting and challenging projects, answer questions, suggest new approaches and foster a sense of mastery. Children learn by doing.


What could be more enlightening than knowing how your child’s brain functions? l don’t claim to have an exact roadmap, but you might want to read on to learn about important findings by Lise Eliot, Ph.D., which I have summarized from her book "What’s Going on in There".

Social-Emotional Growth

Your child needs to feel accepted and respected. Talk a lot to your child about his feelings and relationships in order to help him develop the skill of introspection. Gently challenge him by encouraging him to face his fears so that he can learn to cope with minor stresses.

Memory Skills

Memory improves with practice. The early years constitute a critical period for establishing a lifelong arsenal of memory skills. So challenge your child to use her memory. Children love to be told stories since stories help them hone their own narrative skills. Focus on the important facts – the who, what, when, where, how and why — to teach how to think about events in terms of time and causality.


Language opens up a universe of questions, reasoning, social communication and opinions. Language is a critical foundation for what we consider to be intelligent behavior. A child’s brain absorbs language easily and efficiently – particularly rules and grammar – until six or seven years of age. By early adulthood the critical period for acquiring language skills is over. Genes play a major role in determining your child’s ability to acquire and use language, but the quality and quantity of language exposure also shape the structure and function of your child’s linguistic brain. Ideally your child should get a lot of positive feedback, such as repeating your child’s vocalizations or following them with questions, elaborations or affirmations. At every age you should find that happy medium of speaking to your child in a way that is largely within his reach of understanding but also stretches him just a bit beyond his abilities. Illustrated storybooks help younger preschoolers to understand longer phrases. Dialogue with your child about what you have read and encourage your child’s comments. Introduce pictureless books to your older preschooler to teach him that words alone create imagery.

From curiosity over awe and amusement to "whatevs" in 16 seconds.


Intelligence is determined equally by genes and environment which means you can still do a lot to improve your child’s intellectual abilities. Several studies report a significant cognitive and language advantage for children in high-quality child care facilities over those reared at home. Group care enriches a child’s life. Children of parents who are more nurturing, who are very involved and responsive, but also have high expectations tend to be intellectually and academically more successful.. An involved and responsive parent really listens to his child to understand what she is trying to say and engages in a lot of verbal give-and-take. A parent with high expectations insists on mature behavior, independence and obedience to clear rules.

What promotes high-achieving children’s cognitive development in the long run are measures that foster children’s enthusiasm, industry, perseverance and motivation to learn. For shared activities with your child choose something you enjoy, enabling you to teach the pleasure of accomplishment, experimentation and creativity. Your child gets a close-up view of mature thinking and behavior. Consistently challenge your child in a warm and supportive way. Expect hard work but not a particular level of achievement. But relax there is always the other 50% genetically determined intelligence on which you have no influence.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)