Turn on the television these days,and you are likely to catch at least one commercial within the first 5 minutesthat tugs at every parent’s heart strings, by vouching that their energy drinkor food can make their child more intelligent. But the reality is, if it werethat simple we would have more than one Einstein to refer to, wouldn’t we? Now,don’t go about fussing over the advertisers being manipulative. They simplyrecognize the secret dream that every parent nurtures and use it to theiradvantage.
In theory, these advertisements mayjust be right. Scientific research indicates that every child is born with 12billion brain cells called neurons. However, these neurons are on an averagereduced by half by the time a child is twelve years old and cannot be replaced.So what really happens on the way to raising a potential Einstein or a genius?
Before we go any further though, itmay be important to take stock of what we mean when we talk about intelligence. Simply put, it is the ability to learn about, learn from and interactwith one’s environment/surroundings. This intelligence begins to develop early,in infancy in fact and depends largely on the quality of a child’s earlyemotional experiences and relationships, especially with parents. This is a keyelement in making a child intuitive, curious and turning them into keenobservers.
There are certain activities andexperiences that can help you raise an intelligent child, one who is able toreach his/her potential. Here are some handy tips.
- Shower affection and attention: Scientists have observed that babies who were not cuddled, played with and loved have stunted brain growth. Loving, hugging, interacting and playing with your child can have a strong effect on developing his intelligence. The connection strikeed between you and your child through one-on-one interaction can provide the foundation for higher thinking skills.
- Talk to your child: This develops your child’s strong language skills. Also, listen to your child when he’s talking. This reinforces his / her effort to communicate and will help to develop the language skills. In fact research indicates a strong connection between talkative parents having intelligent children.
- Encourage your child to be active: Studies show a strong relationship between fitness scores and academic achievement among school children. Steer kids away from televisions and video games after school, urging them to get outside and play. Suggest they get involved in sports or another physical activity through school.
- Read books to your child: Start reading to him/her even if he/she does not understand the words. This can give your child a head start in developing language skills. Children who are read to when young are more likely to develop a lifelong interest in reading, do well in school, and succeed in adult life.
- Let your child play: When your child plays, he is automatically creating the foundation for his intellectual, social, physical and emotional skills. When he / she plays with other children, they learn to combine ideas, impressions and feelings with other children’s experiences and opinions.
Most important, have fun doing allthese things! These memories would be as precious as seeing your child grow upinto an intelligent adult, living and experiencing life to his/her fullpotential.
As a parent what are the experiences that you would like to share with us? Doyou engage in such activities with your child?