How to Raise Smart Children
We all want our children to be smart. Most of us hope our children end up smarter than us. How do we ensure this happens, though? Do we just wait for them to go to school and hope for the best? The answer is no- we take matters into our own hands!
Here are several ways to challenge the young minds of our children and increase their intelligence.
1. Talk to them! - This is simple, but so important. This should begin when our children are babies. Talk to them about their surroundings. Tell them what you are doing as you do it. Discuss with them what you are getting at the grocery store. This will build their vocabulary.
2. Incude them in what you are doing. -Talking to them is great, but take it a step further and let them help you with your activities, whether it be folding laundry, baking cookies, or shopping for groceries.
This is a hard one for some parents, because some things take a lot longer when a child is helping you. However, if you are patient, eventually, each time your child helps, they will get better and faster. And this will help them get smarter and smarter!
3. Play with them. - This is one of my favorites! Yes, playing with your children makes them smarter. For instance, if you and your daughter are playing with princess figures together, you are most likely modeling more advanced conversations and vocabulary. So, your daughter processes this information and will probably try to repeat it the next time she plays by herself.
4. Explain things that are "over their heads". - Although they may not understand it at first, and it may take several tries, explaining advanced concepts to children is a great way to challenge and stretch their minds. Even if they don't exactly get it, this is still beneficial to making them smarter.
For example, our 5-year-old son was learning about the planets and found out that the earth spins very, very fast. He asked why we didn't get dizzy. So, my husband explained about the gravitational pull and tried to get him to understand just how big the earth is. These concepts might be considered too advanced for a 5-year-old, but, it stretched his understanding, as well as his imagination!
5. Model a love of learning! - If your children see you learning new things and trying new things, they will be more open to doing so themselves. Enthusiasm can be contagious and your children will follow suit when they see that it is exciting and fun to learn new things!
6. Read, read, read! - Read to your children and encourage them to read. This boosts their language skills and vocabulary. There are numerous studies that show the important role that reading plays in developing language skills in children.
7. Help your child find and develop their interests. - In doing so, learning will be fun and your child will be passionate about it. Let your child take the lead in what he wants to learn about. Find books from the library about the subject, or do some research together.
There are many more ways to raise smart children, but these are some strategies that have worked in our family. Please add your ideas and what has worked for you in the comments below!