All parents want is a healthy and happy child. Rest everything falls in place. But secretly every parent dreams to have a smart kid who is sharp, intelligent, and social; in short - a genius! Isn’t it? But most of them succumb to preconceived notions like, “Ah, my child is not so intelligent, he is an average student. I just want him to pass his exam.” If we categorise them and convince them that they can do only as much then we are definitely not helping their brains to be smarter? Parenting Expert, Nora Bali spoke to us and shared how parents can raise a smart kid.
Most people believe that intelligence comes with genes; either you're smart or you're not. But let me bust the age-old myth for you. Intelligence is like a muscle; it can be sharpened with use. In simple terms, your brains will get smarter if you use them more often. And you can do this for your children. Yes, it is true. Let us tell you how. No, we are not going to give you short cuts or hacks here, these are everyday ways to make your babies learn new things and help them get smarter. Let us invest some time in them doing the following:
Talk To Them
Increase your “talk time” with your children. Talking about things that are basic and mundane could be a very basic thing for adults but when it comes to children, it may be a new observation like – “You know son, today there were so many clothes in our laundry bag that I had to run the washing machine twice. Will you help me out next time, because Mumma really gets tired?” So this makes the child aware about basic things happening around him. He will understand that things just don’t happen magically, people around him work hard.
Talking about new books you have read or news and current affairs also could be a great way to exercise their brain muscle. The more they hear you talk and interact with open ended questions, the better and wider their opinions will be.
Play With Them
One of the best ways children could learn to have a better mindset is through play. Albert Einstein rightly said, "Play is the highest form of research." Go foa r structured play where you give your child tools, toys, puzzles and they figure out the ways to solve them or play with them with an objective to learn something new or a skill. Once they have cracked this, tell them that they have done a great job and encourage them to go a level higher. Challenge them in every step to do better or else, they will easily loose interest or stop playing. Unstructured play or free play also is essential to find themselves. Apart from all the indoor play, you plan for your child, going outdoors will also do wonders for them. Getting their hands dirty in the soil, playing a sport or just simply running and catching helps your child stay active and happy. A good mix of structured, unstructured and outdoor play for a child will really help them in growing years.
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Make Them Read
You all know the drill; regularly reading to our children especially from a very young age will help develop many skills like enhancing emotional vocabulary and building empathy. But when they start reading, encourage them to read rather than you doing all the reading for them. Engage them in the process by constantly asking them questions about the previous page or asking them to name the characters or what do they like about the story. This will help them reflect about the story that they read and help develop the stress-regulatory pathways in the brain. Reading together is a great way to bond with your child, reducing aggression and anxiety.
Try Something Creative
Children are naturally creative. Parents should give them some space and nurture their creativity from childhood by exposing them to art and craft, music, making things from scratch, gardening and literature. Apart from doing the regular stuff, these activities will help them think out of the box.
Music is like a therapy. Listening to music can help the child calm down, do new things, learn, get motivated, increase attention span and above all boost their memory. Music can do great things to your child’s brain as studies say that music training can help brains develop faster. Music must be an integral part of a child’s life.