13. There Are Ways to Help Nurture Your Children’s Intellects
Your kids may not be showing many of these signs of high intelligence, but you still want to do whatever you can to help them excel in school and launch them into a promising and fulfilling career. There are things that you can do to help enhance their intelligence, even if they may not graduate as valedictorians or go on to found a Fortune 500 company. But make sure you do not lose focus and, in your efforts to raise a smart kid, you forget about even more important qualities, such as kindness, respect, and concern for the less fortunate.
12. But Should You Try to Turn Your Kid Into a Genius?
Experts who have been studying highly gifted children for decades agree that no, you should not try to turn your child into a kid genius. They also agree that some children are born with innate giftedness that needs to be nurtured and developed. Prevailing wisdom may suggest that genius kids take care of themselves, but they need guidance as they explore their powerful intellects and also learn to function in a world in which they will never be equals. Parents who want to turn their kids into geniuses run the risk of turning their kids into anxious basket cases who are so driven to perform and try to please people that they are unable to thrive.
Open-ended questions require more than a one-word response, so they are more likely to elicit a meaningful conversation. Instead of asking your son if he liked school today, ask him to tell you something that he learned and something fun that he did with a friend at school. Also, make sure that you never use baby talk with your kids; instead of helping them open up to you, using baby talk will cause them to shut down. Engaging your kids in conversation helps them develop their vocabulary and social skills, and they will become more comfortable talking with other people. Keep reading for more parenting tips for raising smart kids.
Kids can tell the difference between a compliment and laying it on thick. And experts warn that giving kids too many compliments can turn them into people-pleasers who are always trying to do the next thing that will earn them praise. Instead of complimenting everything that they do well, give meaningful feedback that shows that you saw their effort, even if they did not succeed. Maybe your daughter made a C when you know she could have made an A. Instead of falsely praising the C, talk to her about what she can do to improve her grades and encourage her to do those things without stressing her out.
As parents, we want to make life easier for our kids. We want them to struggle less than we had to so that they can realize more of their potential than we could. However, when we do not allow them to think through challenges and learn to solve them, we rob them of the ability to face the world with courage and confidence. When your child runs into a problem that he or she does not immediately know the answer to, don’t solve it with the misguided notion that you are making your child’s life easier. Let him or her think and come to the answer. Keep reading for more parenting tips for raising smart kids
Early childhood education begins in infancy, as even newborns are able to recognize people and phrases. Your child is never too young to begin learning! Even if you have an infant, talk with him or her constantly. Call out numbers are you are using them, such as if you are cooking, say how many cups of flour or sugar you are pouring. Read books to your kids. Enroll them in a quality preschool that will give them a head start on the skills that will help them succeed in school. Furthermore, remember that education is more than learning information; it is learning the social skills that will set them up for life.
Your child probably comes to you with lots of questions, and you may be eager to answer them. After all, shouldn’t you be a fountain of wisdom that your child can drink from? Nevertheless, you are doing a disservice if you are not teaching your son or daughter to look things up online or in books. Being able to find the answer on their own will help them be able to navigate the world when you are not always right there to tell them how they should do something. Spend an afternoon teaching your kids how to look up answers (and, importantly, how to spot a bad source).
Experts agree that reading is the foundation of knowledge, and when you share your love of reading with them, you set them up for success. Kids whose parents read to them are more likely to learn things quickly and retain knowledge better than their counterparts whose parents do not read to them. Reading to your kids also helps their brains form connections so that they are better able to interact with the world around them. Even if your kids are old enough to read books on their own, read to them and read with them. You can even let them read to you. Keep reading for more parenting tips for raising smart kids
In the effort to raise well-rounded children who will become successful and happy adults, many well-meaning parents schedule their kids for activities every single day of the week. The kids never get the chance to relax at home because they are constantly going from one thing to the next. One long-term problem that emerges is that kids who are overscheduled do not develop executive functioning as well as kids who have time to relax and figure out the things that they are interested in. Letting your kids decide how they want to spend their time is vital in the development of their executive function.
You may get irritated when your kids constantly come to you with seemingly inane questions that you have answered a hundred times over. However, if they really are curious about the world, that trait is something that can be nurtured because it can increase their intelligence. Take your kids places that will nurture their curiosity, like museums, libraries, and art galleries. Children’s museums are great places to get kids excited about exploring and learning more about the world. The curiosity that you nurture today could turn into the scientific inquiry that sets them apart years from now.
As parents, we want to protect our kids from having to experience the disappointment, discouragement, and setback caused by failing. But failing is an integral part of success, and robbing our kids of the chance to fail ultimately robs them of the ability to learn, grow, and find what they are really good at. Don’t always try to rescue your child. Instead, teach him or her problem-solving skills, which are hallmarks of geniuses who are functioning well in the world. Especially if your child truly is a genius, you want to make sure that he or she learns how to fail early on so that when the stakes are high, he or she is ready and able to face the situation ahead.
What you feed your kids really does matter. Moreover, while there is nothing wrong with chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese occasionally, kids need lots of nutritious food. They need to be eating fruits and vegetables that are high in nutrients and low in sugar. They also need healthy fats that will help their brains develop and grow so that their intellects can reach their full potential. What kids don’t need, no matter how much they ask, is sugar. Sweets are fine in moderation (and not giving them sweets at all will cause them to binge). But remember that if you want to raise a genius, you have to feed a genius. Keep reading for more parenting tips for raising smart kids
Kids need rest, even if some seem like they are wound up 24/7. More than they need to be scheduled with lots of activities to feed their growing minds and bodies, they need 10-12 hours of sleep every night, depending on their age. Sometimes they need more, so letting them sleep in is not spoiling them. If your kids are not getting enough rest, then their brains are not getting what they need in order to grow and thrive. If you are concerned that your child might not be sleeping enough or that he or she might be sleeping too much, talk to the pediatrician about how much sleep is necessary.