It’s not a PC question to raise on the park bench, but every parent wonders: What’s the best way to raise a smart child? For fear of sounding pushy – or simply because most moms and dads assume that if they’re fairly intelligent, their child will be, too,
Many parents are missing out on crucial opportunities to raise a smart child and boost their kid’s school smarts. While prenatal nutrition and heredity play important roles, experts insist that the learning curve is not set in stone, and a child’s IQ can be enhanced (at least a little) with the right guidance.
In an infant, the ability to mimic sounds is a key part of intelligence and expressive language. Studies show that infants who are regularly spoken to perform better on aptitude tests and other intellectual markers than those who aren’t, so make sure your child has this kind of one-on-one talking experience during your interactions throughout the day.
If you want to raise smart kids, make sure you stimulate your baby with age-appropriate activities that will later enhance her ability to recognize shapes and understand how objects can be used. Multicolored stacking blocks or rings will appeal to 4 to 6-month-olds and encourage them to explore how these shapes fit together.
Fire up your older baby’s visual-motor capabilities (important for spatial tasks like geometry or reading maps later on) by having her crawl through mazes of cushions in your living room or through tunnels at the playground.
The best predictor of high performance is how a child approaches a task, whether she seems curious and engaged, vs. a child that doesn’t make eye contact or who seems to be repeating memorized facts from a parent’s coaching.
At age 2, many youngsters begin to have a capacity for symbolic learning, meaning they understand that “orange” is both a fruit and a color, and the “2″ stands for a specific quantity. This kind of knowledge is essential for your child’s later success in written language, math, music, and science.
In order to raise a smart kid, you must foster a climate of curiosity in your home and give a thoughtful answer when your child asks a questions like “Why does it snow?” (“Because it’s winter doesn’t cut it.) If you don’t know, say so, and discover the answer together. If children see their parents using books or the computer to learn new things, they will be more inclined to do the same when they’re older.
Keep in mind that kids have more fun – and stick to a task longer – when they learn by doing. So rather than drill your toddler on counting up to 10, ask her to pick out three socks that are blue.