In this topic, you learn 10 things that will help you raise extremely intelligent and successful children in life if you can take the steps now. Exercise that brain
10 things that will help you raise extremely intelligent and successful children
Every parent takes pride in raising children with brains that are flexible, resilient, and intelligent. Children who fall short of such expectations are usually a source of concern for their parents.However, according to Lisa Barrett, a neuroscientist-cum-psychologist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States, a child’s intelligence is primarily determined by his or her parents and not by the child himself or herself.
“The brain of a child is not a miniature adult brain.” It is a developing brain that wires itself to the outside world. And it is up to parents to create a world that is rich in wiring instructions – both physical and social.”
What parent doesn’t want their child to succeed in school, stay out of trouble, and become a successful adult? But, as I’ve discovered while raising my daughter, that’s much easier said than done.
The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all path to guaranteed parenting success (believe me, I tried). What I did find, however, were several important studies that provide some guidelines that can significantly improve your chances.
Here are 10 things that will help you raise extremely intelligent children.
Be a gardener rather than a carpenter.
When it comes to raising children, Barrett suggests taking the “gardener approach” rather than the “carpenter approach.”
“Carpenters carve wood into whatever shape they want,” she explains. Gardeners encourage natural growth by cultivating a fertile landscape. Similarly, parents can mold their child into something specific, such as a concert violinist. Alternatively, they can provide an environment that promotes healthy growth in whatever direction the child chooses. You may want your child to play the violin in Symphony Hall someday, but forcing them to take lessons (the carpenter approach) may result in a virtuoso or a child who regards music as a chore. The gardener method would be to scatter a variety of musical opportunities throughout the home and see which ones pique your child’s interest. Do they enjoy banging on pots and pans? Perhaps your child is a burgeoning heavy metal drummer.”
Barrett goes on to say that “once you know what kind of ‘plant’ you’re growing, you can ‘adjust the soil’ for it to take root and flourish.”
Talk and read to your child frequently.
According to Barrett, research shows that even when children are only a few months old and do not understand the meanings of words, their brains use them.
According to the psychologist, this lays a neural foundation for later learning, and the more words they hear, the greater the effect. She goes on to say that they will have a better vocabulary and reading comprehension as well.
“Teaching them ’emotion words’ (i.e., sad, happy, frustrated) is especially beneficial,” she says. The more they learn, the more adaptable they become.
“Put this advice into practice by elaborating on other people’s feelings.” Discuss what causes emotions and how they may affect someone: ‘Did you see that crying boy? He is in pain as a result of falling and scraping his knee. He’s sad and probably wants to be hugged by his parents.’
“Imagine yourself as a tour guide for your children through the mysterious world of humans and their movements and sounds.”
Explain everything to them.
Although it can be exhausting to have a child who constantly asks, “Why?” However, when you explain something to them, you have taken something new and novel from the world and turned it into something predictable.
Barrett advises against answering “why” questions with “Because I said so,” noting that children who understand why they behave in a certain way can better regulate their actions.
“If all they know is, ‘I shouldn’t eat all the cookies because an authority figure said so, and I’ll get in trouble,’ that reasoning may not help when parents aren’t present,” she says. It’s better if they understand, ‘I shouldn’t eat all the cookies because I’ll get a stomachache, and my brother and sister will be disappointed because they won’t be able to have dessert.’ This reasoning assists them in comprehending the consequences of their actions and fosters empathy.”
Assist your children in imitating you.
Have you ever noticed how some tasks that appear to work to you (for example, cleaning the house or weeding a garden) can be considered play by a child? Barrett observes that children learn naturally by watching, playing, and, most importantly, imitating adults.
“It’s a quick way for them to learn and gives them a sense of mastery.” So, give them a toy broom, garden spade, or lawnmower and let the imitating begin,” she says.
Similarly, Jenny Marchal, a psychologist, and writer based in the United States observe that when parents do intelligent things, their children will do the same.
“Kids pick up on everything, especially your actions.” One of the primary ways a child picks up habits and makes sense of the world is by observing adult behavior. “If your child sees you reading, writing, or doing anything creative, they will imitate you and become smarter as a result,” Marchal writes on lifehack.org.
Avoid overprotecting them.
In today’s fast-paced parenting world, Eric Dodge, a child development expert based in the United States, laments the fact that many parents have difficulty allowing their children to solve problems and instead rush to solve them for them.
In addition, citing a Harvard University study, child expert and author Julie Lythcott-Haims contends that allowing children to make mistakes and develop resilience and resourcefulness is critical in preparing them for success.
“It’s not easy. “We must all tread a fine line between protecting our children and allowing them to face problems to learn from them,” she writes on time.com.
Similarly, Marchal believes that allowing one’s child to take risks and fail teaches them fundamental life skills from a young age.
“If a child does not experience failure early on, he or she may develop low self-esteem and become discouraged from creating and learning for themselves,” she says. Fear is most likely the most powerful emotion in our lives, preventing us from taking bold steps. If we allow our children to fail when they are young, the amount of fear they develop will be reduced.
“Teaching a child that failure isn’t always a bad thing is a valuable life skill that will enable them to make wise decisions and learn from life’s ups and downs.” At the end of the day, children need to experience emotions to understand them, and shielding them from them will only hinder their ability to adapt and make sense of the world.”
Limit their screen time.
According to Lythcott-Haims, excessive screen time in childhood has been linked to obesity, irregular sleep patterns, and behavioral issues.
Furthermore, a 2017 study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal in Canada discovered that playing “shooter” games can harm the brain by causing it to lose cells.
So, what can we do about the ever-present digital babysitter on which so many of us rely?
According to the American Academy of Paediatrics, “screen time” for entertainment should be limited to two hours per day.
“Another useful suggestion is to encourage your children to become content creators rather than passive consumers.” Encourage them to learn computer programming, 3D modeling, or digital music production to make screen time productive,” says Lythcott-Haims.
Dodge also recommends teaching children social skills rather than screen time.
He cites a 20-year study conducted by researchers at Penn State and Duke University that found a link between children’s social skills in kindergarten and their success in early adulthood.
“Teach your children how to resolve conflicts with their peers and share their feelings.”
Spend less time praising their looks
Experts advise against extolling children’s innate qualities such as intelligence or beauty. ‘Wow, you got an A without even studying?’ is one of those unappreciative remarks. ‘You are extremely intelligent!’
According to a Stanford University study, praising children with statements like the one above, which focus on their intelligence, can lead to underperformance.
As an alternative parenting strategy, parents are encouraged to offer praise that focuses on the effort children make to overcome problems and challenges by displaying grit, persistence, and determination.
Make an effort to create a peaceful, loving environment in your home.
Several studies have found that children from high-conflict families fare worse than children from happy parents. As a result, creating a loving, supportive environment is essential for raising healthy and productive children.
Don’t be too harsh or too gentle.
Diana Baumrind distinguished between authoritarian (very strict), permissive (very lenient), and authoritative (equally disciplined and loving) parents in her seminal 1966 study.
In a nutshell, authoritarian parents are too strict, permissive parents are too permissive, and authoritative parents are just right.
“When a child models their authoritative parents, they learn emotion regulation skills and social understanding that are critical for success,” writes Dodge on Inc.com.
Allow children to be exposed to a large number of people (in a safe manner).
Along with people your children are likely to encounter – grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, and other children – try to expose them to as much variety as possible, especially when they are infants.
According to studies, babies who interact with speakers of different languages regularly may retain critical brain wiring that will help them learn other languages in the future.
“Similarly, babies who see a wide range of faces may wire themselves to better distinguish and remember a wider range of faces later in life.” “This may be the most basic anti-racism action you can take as a parent,” Barrett writes.
Meanwhile, Dodge recommends assigning chores to children, claiming that it will help them be smart.
“There is a substantial body of evidence that shows that chores are beneficial for childhood development,” he says. However, according to a Braun Research poll, only 28% of parents regularly assign chores to their children. A data analysis conducted by the University of Minnesota discovered that whether children as young as three or four had performed chores was the best predictor of success in young adulthood.”