Not all children are born equal. While some kids are born with natural knack for numbers and problems, others are naturally athletic and outgoing. A lot of it has to do with our genes, however, the brain is a constantly developing organ that can understand new things from a very young age. The good news is, you can always improve upon the intellectual abilities of your young ones. According to a study conducted by the Harvard University Preschool Project, the importance of personal experiences and how do they contribute to the mental development of children aged between ages 1.5 to 8 years is monumental. The good or bad experiences during these initial years were found to shape up their intellect for years to come.
Both parents play a crucial role in a child’s upbringing. Parents decide what kind of exposure their young ones should receive, what kind of experiences they should get and the activities that they should indulge in. These make a world of a difference.
Every child’s cognitive ability is different, but you can always improve upon their mental capabilities in their fundamental years. Executive functions, better known as brain functions, involve the basic capabilities of planning, time management and memory-oriented details. By working to enhance these executive functions, you will be influencing their perceived excellence, not only at this stage, but will be setting the tone for their future successes.
According to science, this is easily doable. Mental training activities will accelerate your child’s learning and intellectual capabilities in a fun-filled way. Here are a few ways to ‘rewire’ and unlock your child’s mental potential.
Memory and concentration level can be improved by indulging in a few simple activities. For little kids, you can use their toys to train them to keep their attention. Have them count queued up toys and then gradually remove some of them. Ask them which ones have been removed one by one. Help them name the objects present in the house and quiz them about these objects to strengthen their retrievable memories.
If you have older children, you can adapt the above activity for their level as well. Keep a bunch of different objects and ask the kids to name them from sheer memory. Having them repeat words or numbers loudly can enhance auditory memory.
Sleep plays a vital role in recharging the brain functions. Some research supports that sleeping in the afternoon for almost an hour can radically boost cognitive learning capabilities. While resting, the brain is not receiving any new information, so it resorts to ‘saving’ the information it was exposed to throughout the day.
Children require 10 to 12 hours sleep whereas as teenagers might need 8 to 10 hours of sleep.
Children should be taught self-discipline as it paves the way for a potentially bright future. Teach them to be mindful of what their priorities are and how they should go about fulfilling them. Time management is an art that should be learned as early as possible.
According to popular belief, self-discipline is far more important than IQ alone. Some research also backs this up; it shows that the most prominent factor in individual students’ success was will power or grit.
Make sure that you don’t only read to your kids, but also read with them. Reading with your child will instill the habit of reading in your child. Reading and discussing bedtime stories will help in awaken your child’s imagination and creativity. Reading will also arouse your child’s curiosity and capability of imagining things according to their perception. This also acts as an effective basic exercise for the brain.
Exercising actually helps increase learning capacity. According to one study, after exercise the brain picks up vocabulary words 20% quicker. Exercising consistently also increases the blood flow up to 30% to the part of the brain that deals with learning and memory.
Taking Music Lessons
Music is said to assist in improving intellect among kids as young as four years. Introducing them to music and providing a creative outlet can easily increase a child’s musical intelligence.
It is never too early to start with meditation techniques to calm and soothe the mind. Teach kids some deep breathing techniques to help improve memory and control emotions. Ask them to imagine that their breathing is like an elevator. By breathing in deeply, the elevator goes up; when breathing out, the elevator goes down.
Have an Open-Door Communication Policy
Parents should have an open-door policy when it comes to communicating with their children. If the children are quite young then encourage them to speak up. Ask questions. Give them your time and attention when they struggle to form sentences to ask you something. This also boosts their self-confidence and their trust when they find it easier to confide in their parents.
Play with Your Children
Play time is the best gift you can give your children. Take out time from your busy schedule to indulge in indoor and outdoor activities with your children. Going for picnics at the beach or at the park will shape your kid’s personal experiences. This way the child will be able to learn about his/her surroundings and gain confidence by interacting with the environment.
Kids should be encouraged to mingle with other children, so that they learn how to befriend, share with, and respect one another.
Rely more on active learning process rather than opting for passive learning activities. Active learning is a method that engages and challenges children’s capacity for thinking and learning using real-life and imaginary situations. It includes spontaneous activities, pre-planned and purposeful activities, investigating and exploring around the house or classroom. Learning is a continuous process. Indulge your child in learning activities which not only engage the mind but the body as well.
If you have a young child, following these 10 tips will powerfully enhance their mental abilities. These will also keep mental ailments, which usually affect people in their older years, at bay.
About Alma Causey
Alma Causey is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs.
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NOTICE: Any opinions posted are those of the blogger, not Mom’s Choice Awards®. Mom’s Choice Awards® is not in the practice of giving medical advice of any kind. As always, you should consult your primary care physician for medical advice.