Simple Ways & Tips to Raise a Smart Kid Every Parent Must KnowWed, 24 Mar by Kunal
Every parent wishes that their child grows up well, does well in school and develops to become a highly successful adult. Isn't that what you wish for your child? Don't you envision the best for them where nothing can stop them from success?
When a child is born and comes into this world, they are like a blank canvas, in all-purpose and intent. Their upbringing and the way they express themselves depends on how parents teach them to.
For a child's brain to grow and develop, it is necessary to stimulate their little brains the right way and to provide them with a wide range of experiences – as early on in life as possible. As a parent, there are various things you can do to raise a smart kid.
Let's start with the five main core areas of early child development that parents should focus on:
Personal and social development is essential as children learn to take care of themselves and maintain a routine or practice basic hygiene. They also learn how to interact with others, share things, make friends, etc. To develop this in children, pretend play is an excellent way as it enables children to express their thoughts, emotions, fears and anxieties.
As children grow, their body changes; they develop fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Gross motor skills enable the ability to coordinate large muscle groups like legs and arms. Fine motor skills will allow the ability to coordinate small muscles like fingers and arms. Fine motor skills are divergent and different from gross motor skills, requiring less precision and accuracy to perform.
Kids develop emotional coping and emotional intelligence skills, including self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, and empathy for others. They learn skills in understanding, decoding, and discerning emotions, based on expressive and situational cues that have a level of consensus as to their emotional meaning.
Small children must develop the ability to perceive and use their first language to primarily communicate with others. They should develop essential language skills like speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Literacy and language are the fundamentals of early childhood development.
Cognitive development is related to problem-solving, abstract thinking, learning, and exploration. These areas are motor (physical), language and communication, cognitive, and social/emotional. Cognitive development means how children think, explore and figure things out. It also encompasses the acquisition of knowledge and the cultivation of skills for understanding the world.
During the initial years, it is super important that children get constant attention, support, and mentorship from parents, as parents are the first teachers for all kids. As parents, it's imperative that you understand what your child needs to be able to grow into a smart kid.
We have hand-picked activities which you as parents can use to help your children to be smarter right from the start:
1. Start early: Talking to your children even when they are small babies is a great way to start early and cultivate a love for learning. Use real talk more than baby talk, from the very beginning, and encourage children to gesture during word learning, pointing to objects you're naming.
2. Read stories to them: Books are wonderful to stimulate a child's thinking capability and imagination. You must read to your child every day. Use bright and colored books with a lot of images to hold their interest. The more you acquaint your baby with letters and pictures, the more inclined they will be to read when they are older.
3. Play with them: Parents are the first to introduce sports and games to their kids. Basic activities like throwing a ball, riding a bike, or simple board games create bonding and also stimulates interest in skill games and physical activities
4. Develop reading habits: Reading books is one of the essential activities that make kids smart. Reading to kids or reading with them is a good head start in developing language skills. It is proven that kids who are read to as infants develop a lifelong interest in reading and do well academically.
5. Encourage physical activities: It is a myth that physical exercise only makes a child healthy. The truth is that it makes them equally smart and helps with alertness and mental sharpness and focus. Exercise increases blood flow and builds new brain cells, as well.
6. Choose toys that exercise your child's imagination: Always choose toys that can be multi-purposed and played in various ways. This accelerates imagination and enables children to learn a variety of skills.
7. Make music fundamental in your child's life: It is scientifically proven that listening to music can boost attention, memory, learning, and motivation. It also helps to lower the stress level in children.
8. Foster, your child's creativity: Creativity is a unique mental characteristic in all endeavors that include problem-solving. Kids are naturally creative, some may be more genetically talented, but creativity is a learned behavior that can be nurtured.
9. Limit screen timing: Although smartphones and other screen gadgets help a child learn, socialize and communicate, it also leads to health and emotional issues if children overuse them. Screen time should ideally be an interactive experience between the parent and the child, stimulating brain development and language development.
10. Make time for educational games: If you allow screen time to kids, the best way to use smartphones and tablets is to play educational games and interact with your child. This develops hand-eye coordination along with boosting cognitive emotional and physical skills.
11. Ask them practical problems to solve: It is not recommended always to provide a solution to children while problem-solving. Instead, guide and hint them to solve the problem on their own. Ask them questions to stimulate thinking, make problem-solving fun, and teach them to have a positive attitude while solving problems.
12. Help them develop a growth mindset: Kids should never have a fixed notion about their intelligence. They should see learning as a process of becoming better and growing. When a kid fails to do something, they should treat it as an opportunity to learn instead of being disappointed.
13. Make them do household chores: Always give children age-appropriate household chores. Small kids of around two years can be given simple tasks like putting toys back in the box or setting a table. Older kids may do activities like vacuum cleaning, taking out the trash, or do laundry. These activities make children responsible, self-sufficient, and a good team player.
14. Teach them social and emotional skills: When children are helpful to others, understand feelings, cooperate with their peers, they are more likely to be successful as adults. Parents need to talk to kids about their feelings regularly and motivate them to control their negative thoughts and emotions.
15. Try teaching them more than one language: Raising a child to be bilingual helps them be more flexible and focussed. It also enhances cognitive capabilities. They also understand the process much faster as compared to other kids.
16. Always be there to listen to their perspective: Accept all feelings but not all behavior. Don't interrogate, validate. If children are upset about something, they always listen to what they have to say and their emotions. Sometimes all they want is to be felt safe.
17. Teach them self-discipline: Self-discipline helps kids delay gratification, resist unhealthy temptations, and tolerate the discomfort needed to reach their long-term goals.
18. Let your child see you do creative things they can imitate: Kids ape what adults do and learn the most by seeing adult's behavior. If as parents, you are engaged in reading, writing, listening to music, working hard, or doing creative things, kids will imitate you, and the process will make them smarter.
19. Give your kid smart computer games: The most recommended kid-friendly computer games usually teach children about stimulation, responsiveness, communication, music, maths, and letters. It also teaches them hand-eye coordination. The best part is that all this while they are playing, having fun but also learning.
20. Allow kids to take risks and fail: Parents should always allow their children to take mediocre risks. If children do not take the risk, experience failing or losing once in a while; they may develop phobias and lose self-confidence. Avoid rescuing or solving problems for them quickly.
21. Encourage kids to have a "can-do" attitude: Encouraging your child to work hard is a great way to keep them motivated. It is okay to reward and praise them once in a while for the efforts they take to achieve something
22. Do not say negative things about yourself in front of kids: A little self-deprecation is normal but is very careful of children as they are highly impressionable. The items you hate about yourself may become the things they hate about themselves.
23. Make sure your child sleeps enough: A strict sleeping routine is essential for the kids, not only it makes them self-disciplined and helps them be less cranky and do better in school. A good 8-10 hours of sleep is vital for young kids.
24. Help your kid develop grit: Grit is more of temperament to achieving long-term goals with stamina, hard work, and perseverance. Having a grid is the real deal-breaker between being a high achiever and an unsuccessful person. A simple way to teach children about grit is to share the frustrations and disappointments you may have experienced with him.
25. Praise your child for hard work rather than for being smart: Kids who are praised for hard work often challenge themselves to achieve higher goals. Kids who are praised only for being smartwatches do easy activities and avoid challenges with fear of failure. tend to challenge themselves
26. Believe in your kid: Believing your kid is smarter than average makes a difference. Parents indeed have a considerable influence and impacts on kids believing how smart or intelligent they are
27. Use bribery as one of the parental toolkits: It is entirely to bribe your child once in a while for doing chores and getting good grades. You may ask your child their preference for incentives. Bribery, however, should not be used to control the child or stop unacceptable behavior.
28. Don't micromanage your child: Avoid micromanaging or always correct your kid. Give them the opportunity and time to discover things for themselves. This will nurture creativity and innovative thinking.
29. Don't stress out your child or yell at them always: A study revealed that kids exposed to stress in the first three years are usually more prone to stress in their growing years. These kids are generally hyperactive, stubborn, anxious and impulsive. Stress hormones can scar the brain and be a barrier to emotional development and memory.
30. Make maths fun and teach it as early as possible: Maths is essential to learn as a child. The earlier kids start learning, the better. As parents, you can involve maths in almost all the activities you do and make it fun and interactive.
31. Enroll your child in the right preschool: Preschool will help your child develop emotionally and socially. Preschool teaches children how to be respectful towards others, problem-solving, and also how to compromise. A child will explore, play, build confidence and gain a sense of self-discipline.
32. Read together: We cannot emphasize enough reading books. As mentioned earlier, reading stimulates thinking capabilities and imagination. Reading along with young children is an excellent way to improve cognitive skills and help with cognitive development.
33. Create opportunities to interact with other children: When children interact socially, it provides stimulating experiences and prepares them to face challenges. Plat dates with other children is a great way to start and help them make friends.
34. Avoid praising innate qualities like looks and intelligence: Praising children in abundance for their intelligence or looks can be complicated than it appears. Intelligence is not everything as so is not looks. From instigating an internal sense of control to enabling a life-altering growth mindset, the words parents choose can have a lasting effect on whether kids thrive
35. Do not demotivate, appreciate the dedication: When a child is praised for his commitment and efforts, it motivates them to work harder for what they want to achieve. This also makes them more confident and well-rounded as they always make an effort to try different activities.
36. Let them help when you're preparing food: Helping in the kitchen and cooking can help kids learn basic maths and strengthen language skills. The whole experience of making meals can boost self-confidence and also lay the foundation for healthy cooking habits.
37. Encourage learning music: A recent study conducted by the University of Toronto revealed that children who studied and learned music typically have higher IQs as adults. Learning music boosts imagination, patience and is a beautiful vehicle to open up the child's mind.
38. Help them choose the right TV shows: It is always recommended to let children watch age-appropriate TV shows, not have violence, and are interactive. TV viewing should be an active learning experience, and parents should encourage children to sing, dance, and talk about what they see and hear while watching the shows.
39: Get them involved in art and painting: Painting helps children develop both mentally and physically. They produce hand muscles, mobility skills and also make children focus on trivial details.
40. Motivate your child- father time: Involving dad with children right from the start is the greatest and often an untapped resource for improving the child's life. Children who spend time with their fathers do better academically, cope up with life better, and are more prone to problem-solving
41. Set goals: Articulating goals, large and small, and achieving them makes kids feel strong. Help your child turn desires and dreams into actionable plans by encouraging her to make a list of things she'd like to accomplish. Then, practice breaking down longer-term goals into realistic benchmarks.
42. Let your child make his own Identity: When you start early by offering your child to explore various options and interests of their own which are age-appropriate and safe, a child tends to experiment and be more creative in cultivating those interests. As a parent, you should validate their claims and help develop their identity
43. Allow expression: Accepting your child's expression, and allowing them to express themselves makes them more confident and peaceful. Show your child how you're feeling about different situations and how you deal with those feelings. When feelings are minimized or dismissed, they will often be expressed in unhealthy ways.
44. Allow your kid to get bored: Boredom is not always negative, but it helps children think and become creative. Boredom is also fundamental in preparing the child for adulthood. Make your child learn to enjoy quiet time and reflect and create activities on their own.
45. Encourage and teach self-encouragement: It is no secret that all humans need encouragement. Encouraging your child regularly will only make them feel more motivated and positive. When children goof up, teach them mantras like "I think I can, I think I can!" to keep them motivated and try again till they succeed.
With a bit of planning and strategy, you can introduce activities that stimulate social skills, and hard work without replacing precious free time with flashcards and regimented learning.
It is also recommended that parents make learning a journey by using apps and technology to sharpen skills. Recognize your child's strengths and weaknesses and help them master a skill or learn a skill.
Encourage your kids to develop 21st-century skills. Enroll your kids in the best classes like the ones offered by Planet Spark's platform that has online lessons to help your child master the art of Public Speaking, Communication, Grammar, Vlogging, and other 'new age' skills.