Do you wonder if you can make your children smarter?
It’s not just about good genes. You can, as a parent, provide learning tools and opportunities that boost critical thinking and make your child a smart learner. Learning is most successful when applied to practical life and that’s where you come in. You can support children for smarter thinking. Here’s how:
Start early with blocks
No matter how badly it hurts to step on a Lego brick in the dark, blocks are good for your child in so many ways. Playing and building with blocks improves motor skills, spatial skills, creativity, language and social skills. However, don't just buy the best set of blocks there is and leave it with your child. Support your child for smarter thinking!
- Build with them to show them how it’s done.
- Provide character accessories to enhance pretend play.
- Offer pictures to copy and build to motivate more creativity.
Create sleep routines
If sleep is so important for babies then why should it be sidelined for growing children? Two similar studies showed a correlation between sleep and grades. The sleep pattern of over 3000 students was observed, and the results showed that even 15 minutes of sleep made a big difference between an A or a B grade. Creating a sound sleep routine is the best way to support your child for smarter thinking. Dr. Laura, founder of Aha! Parenting.com, explains here sleep routines for children of different ages.
Offer junk food
Everybody knows how eating healthy food is good for you, smart foods boost learning too. Yet, children seem to always have sugary drinks and salty snacks within an arm’s reach at most times. It’s understandable you can’t exorcise junk food from your child’s diet. While your child relaxes in free play or free time, offer healthy snacks. Offer the sugary treat while studying! Research says the sugar spikes and boosts memory. Now you don’t have to feel guilty to use treats as rewards for finishing tasks or homework.
Encourage special interests
Is your child interested in learning the piano, space, dinosaurs or baking? You can support your child for smarter thinking by encouraging these special interests. In fact, music lessons improves brain function more than any other creative lesson. The key here is to know what your child is interested in. There is no point forcing your child to learn the trumpet if they like to play the drums. Besides, if your child gets to choose their special interests, they are more likely to stay motivated and do better.
Make room for exercise, every day
If you talk to grade school teachers, they will tell you how excited the children are in class after they’ve been to gym class or had physical activity. Exercise is a great way for your child to blow off steam and de-stress, and this is because the physical activity increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain. You can enroll them for after school sports activity, swimming lessons or communicate this need with their teachers. Although there is no evidence of how much physical activity in a day is needed for smarter thinking, having any is better than not having any at all.
As long as we are talking about how parents can support children for smarter thinking, being there with them and engaging makes sense. If it's Lego blocks for preschool children, then be there with them and build blocks yourself to help them understand and learn how to do it. If learning about science, then let the little ones play with ice, see how it melts in the sun etc. Engaging with your child also creates more learning opportunities since they can ask questions and get explanations that make more sense too.
Board games ritual
Doing the same thing every week creates a ritual. A family ritual is that much better! It improves and strengthens bonds between family members. By playing board games, your child can improve skills such as problem-solving (on the fly), math skills, reasoning, empathy, social skills, you name it. For younger kids, it may seem like a chore at first but your support and encouragement in the learning phase will be needed to reap a host of benefits later on.
Video games of the “good” kind
We are not talking about the bone-chilling, heart-ripping violent video games here. To support your child for smarter thinking, educational video games do more good than you can imagine. If teenagers can learn how to drive by playing racing games, imagine how a video game about physics or other visual-spatial subjects will be for the younger children. Other games that improve social skills, helping children to be more helpful and friendly too.
Be a happy parent
This is very important because children of all ages look up to their parents. Your child is likely to mimic actions and react the way you would to key situations of life. Do you have a temper, if so, how do you handle it? Do you show empathy to those in need? A happy parent makes healthy choices overall, no? Be a good role model for your children and support them be better people on the whole. Children are watching and a happy parent is a great gift to support children for smarter thinking.