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Smarty-Parents: What You Can Do To Give Your Child An Intellectual Edge

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

We all want healthy children who are “perfect little angels”, precious and perfectly pretty or extremely handsome. On the other hand, we all know that knowledge is power. So, in this fast-paced, competitive world, many of us also want a child who is successful and smart.

But, we also have less time today to spend with our kids fostering and nurturing these traits. And, while much of our intelligence IS hereditary, it is also, according to experts enhanced by our environment. In fact, new studies suggest that certain approaches bolster learning and mental development is young and developing minds. And they attest that a lot parents can do make their kids “mmm, smarter”.

1. Keeping Kids Abreast Of Things: According to experts breast milk is essential brain food and recent research reveals that breast-feeding offers an array of elemental benefits for your baby. Besides offering babies essential nutrients, it also protects against dangerous infections. And some researches suggest that breast feeding can even make babies smarter. Their research reveals that infants who were breast-fed for nine months grew up to be significantly more intelligent that those who breast-fed for a shorter time frame, if at all.

2. Tune In To His Or Her Development: While it may be anything but music to YOUR ears to listen to your child bang on the drums, piano or guitar, experts suggest that music lessons are a fun, easy way to engage your child in “thought’ and spur right-brain activity and learning. In fact, studies show that organized music lessons seem to enhance children’s Iqs and academic performance, and the more years a child takes lessons, the more impactful the effect…and was even a clear predictor of better grades in later learning and a higher IQ in adulthood.

3. Help Shape Your Child’s Future: Not only is exercise good for your child’s body, but also apparently for your child’s mind. In fact, research has show a strong connection between fitness scores and academic achievement among primary school children. They therefore stress the importance of involvement and participation in structured and organized activities and sports, noting it helps to foster confidence, teamwork, and leadership. And, the research also revealed that successful career women, mostly business executives were those who were part of a (sports) team as youngsters.

4. Get Your Game On: While certain studies suggest that watching too much television can even have serious heath repercussions on your child, other studies show that allowing your child to enjoy “gaming” and indulge in his or her fascination with video games may to the brain some good. While you’ll want to avoid those that are violent, solitary and mindless, you should strongly consider those that help promote strategic thinking and planning as well as teamwork and creativity. As far as the experts are concerned, children who were exposed to educational video games recognized and learned visual cues much quicker than their non-video-game-playing counterparts. And, in some countries (such as England) teachers have even begun using video games in the classroom.

5. Give Them Food For Thought: According to experts, not all “sweets” are off limits. In fact you may want to nourish your child’s intellectual development by letting them snack on some natural sweets such as fruits. In fact, eliminating all or most forms of sugar, trans fats and other (comfort) foods from your child’s diet is essential especially in the early stages of childhood mental and motor development, primarily during the first two years of life. Keep in mind that children need iron for healthy brain tissue development, since nerve impulses move more slowly when children are iron-deficient. In fact, studies suggest that iron deficient children have greater difficulty fighting infections, miss school more often, and frequently fall behind their peers.

6. Open The Door Of Opportunity: According to experts parents who exhibit a “curious” side tend to encourage their children to also explore new avenues and ideas and teach them a valuable lesson; the seeking knowledge and information is essential and important. Experts also suggest showing and taking an avid interest in your child’s hobbies and interestes. Ask them question, teach them new skills and take them on educational excursions to help them develop and foster their inquisitive side and intellectual curiosity.

7. Read Between The Lines: Besides taking up reading for yourself to boost your brain power and having something to discuss with your kids, you should also invite them to join you in opening a book. From reading stories to them or with them to encouraging them to read on their own, this low-tech way of boosting cognitive development is still one of the best. And, don’t forget to make the bookstore a frequent stop during your outings, keep the house stocked with books and magazines, and to sign them up for a library card once they are old enough.

8. Get Them Off To A Delicious Start: Yes, grandma was right. Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day, helping to improve memory, concentration and learning. In fact, youngsters who typically skip breakfast tend to tire more easily, be more irritable and react more slowly than those who kick start their day with a good breakfast.

9. Engage Them In Mind Games: Chess, riddles, crosswords, cryptograms, anything that challenges the mind, and calls for strategic thinking, problem-solving and complex decision making is highly recommended and advised. You may even want to encourage your child to help you solve some of YOUR trickier puzzles…just to get or keep their mind moving.

By the way challenging your child’s mind can also mean asking him or her to take on responsibility. Putting your child in charge of certain demands around the yard or house, encouraging him/her to baby sit younger siblings, etc. will also encourage him or her to think, reason, and react on their own when you can’t give all the answers.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Smarty-Parents: What You Can Do To Give Your Child An Intellectual Edge

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