We won’t always be able to stay close to our children to guide them and help them reach the right decisions. This is why, we do our best to make them smarter so they can cope better with the academic and personal challenges that await them later on in life as teenagers and adults.
Every child is imbued with a unique set of skills and not everyone has the same abilities. However, there are a few things you can do to help your child maximize her potential. The following 9 tips will enable parents to raise smarter children with higher self-confidence.
1) Sports is not only about getting in shape
Beyond the obvious health benefits that come with sports, many studies have shown that routine physical activity develops a child’s vocabulary. Children who were given the task of learning new words after engaging in physical activity were able to do it 20% faster than children who were idle.
2) Allow your child to take part in your hobbies
Many parents believe that their personal hobbies and field of interest will bore their children. This it is a mistake. Whether it is baking, knitting or playing a musical instrument, any activity is vital to the mental development of children.
Do not wait for the moment your children are away from home to do your favorite activities; take out your knitting tools or your guitar even when they are at home. Let them look at you, ask questions, and experience new things.
They will try to do what you do and that will help them acquire new learning skills and abilities that will, undoubtedly, serve them in the future – for example following instructions, determination, patience and persistence.
3) Let your children take the lead
Does your child show interest in a particular subject? Allow her to follow her passions. Children respond well to words of encouragement, and are likely to stick to a certain activity if they see that you support them.
When you go out together for a walk and your child stops to look at a flower or tries to tie her shoe laces by herself, allow her to do so even if she doesn’t do it well. These simple activities will develop her curiosity and independence and teach her to see the world from different perspectives.
4) Choose appropriate video games for your children
Many children start playing video games at an early age. It is not necessarily a bad thing as long as you make sure they play proper games. Research has shown that in addition to developing fine motor skills, educational computer games can teach children how to solve logic problems, identify patterns, think and react quickly and make decisions based on reasoning
5) Encourage your child to learn from mistakes
The ability to consistently perform a task even if we don’t have all the necessary knowledge to do it is one of the most important skills we can teach our children to help them succeed in life.
Encourage your child to cope with imperfect situations and not to be afraid of failure. Sometimes failure is a precondition for later success. In that way, your child will not be deterred by difficult tasks in the future. The patience, consistency and the ability to embrace failure that she has acquired at an early age will encourage her to view each problem as a challenge rather than as an unresolved situation.
6) The benefit of music classes
Plenty of studies conducted by psychologists and educators have illustrated the benefits of music classes for developing children’s intelligence.
It was found that children who play a musical instrument were often able to perform better in IQ tests. This is because learning music requires concentration, practice, patience and, above all, discipline. So even if you do not want your child to become a famous musician, signing her up for music lessons may be a good idea.
7) Children should be encouraged to ask questions
Young children are known for their curiosity. But, unfortunately, parents’ impatient response to their questions (parents often don’t have the time nor the ability to answer them) make them stop asking.
We have to remember that learning is impossible without being able to ask questions. Curiosity begets discovery and knowledge.
So try to be patient regarding the questions your child raises. If you do not have the time to answer a particular question, set up a day with your child to sit together and talk about it. If you do not know the answer, do some research (Google can help) and come back to your son or daughter with some food for thought.
8) Don’t be afraid to teach your child another language – the sooner the better
In today’s global environment, everyone acknowledges the importance of knowing as many languages as possible, but expert also claim that learning another language at an early age contributes to children’s intelligence. Research from the University of Cambridge found that children who speak more than one language have an advantage over their peers when it comes to reading and writing skills and social interaction.
Parents have no reason to fear that a foreign language will come at the expense of the child’s native language. The opposite is true. Enhanced linguistic ability increases children’s cognitive flexibility making learning easier for them.