We as humans always want to raise our children in a way that they can do great things one day. For them to be able to do that, we believe that they have to be smart, along with many other great qualities.
Let’s admit it though, we also want them to be smart because of the fact that we don’t want our own kid who is carrying our and our partner’s genes to have a standard IQ. Even the idea of your kid being smart is in a way, flattering.
No matter what the reason is, we want them to be smart but there is no easy way to do it and you can’t force a kid to be a genius. However, there are some things that we can help them with which will make them reach their potential and therefore make them smarter.
In fact, studies show that between 40-50 % of a child’s intelligence is transferred from the parents. It means that approximately 50-60 % of your child’s intelligence depends on the environmental factors including what kind of a life you, as a caregiver, provide for them.
However, your kid’s intelligence does not only depends on your intelligence or the environment. Throughout his/her mental development processes, your kid will be influenced by so many factors which imply that there are definitely some things you can do to make them reach their full potential.
To help you achieve your goal of making your kid reach his/her potential, we made a list that shows the things you can help him/her with through his/her development. Here are the 8 things you can do to raise a smart kid:
1) Sign your kids up for music lessons
Studies suggest that kids who take music lessons perform better at IQ tests compared to the kids who don’t take. This implies that children who learn how to play musical instruments tend to go through a more efficient mental development process.
Therefore you should sign your kid up for guitar or piano classes which will also help them with their eye-hand coordination. Even if you cannot afford the music lessons, getting him/her an instrument can help.
What you have to remember here is not to force your kid to do something she/he hates. If she/he hates the guitar lessons you signed him/her up for, don’t force him/her to go to the lessons. We definitely do not want the bond between you and him/her to be damaged through the process.
In that case, try another instrument or choose and try something else from the list that might help him/her reach his/her potential. Forcing a kid to do something never ends up well and it obviously will not help with making him/her ability to learn increase.
2) Go to concerts, museums, and a zoo with your child
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Take your kids to environments in which she/he can learn things.Whether it is a song or an artwork, this will help her/him improve her/his intellectual development. As a result, her/his intelligence.
As your kid starts learning about art, culture and other things alongside, she/he will want to learn more so give her/him a chance to get in an environment where she/he can satisfy her/his curiosities. Also, she/he can find her/his interests through this process.
To offer them this opportunity, all you have to do is to take them to places such as a museum, a zoo or a concert etc.
It’s not hard to guess that a child would have so much fun by going to a zoo. Also, it is a great chance for your kid and nature to connect. Therefore, no matter what, at least make sure to take your kid to a place in which she/he can both have fun and learn.
3) Be supportive and encourage exploration
If you believe in your kid and show him/her your support, he/she will work harder to achieve his/her goals. Motivating someone is one of the hardest tasks but it becomes easier with kids since they are more naive compared to adults.
Working for what he/she wants will help your kid to learn about the process needed to achieve it. Even if he/she cannot achieve it, he/she will learn how to handle the situation which is another plus he/she benefit from your belief in him/her.
It’s also important to give your kid a chance to figure out what he/she wants. You should create the right environment for him/her to be able to find his/her interests. Let him/her try things and explore stuff. If you encourage your kid to learn stuff and make the learning activities more active and fun for him/her the chances of him/her finding what he/she loves and wants do in life will increase
When and if he/she finds something that he/she loves, support his/her interests. Don’t just freak out and become overly protective and forbid him/her from working on his/her interests.
It will give you the opportunity to support him/her for his/her interests and you will be encouraging exploration while doing this.
Do not forget that you can also encourage exploration by purchasing your kid toys that will necessitate some basic cognitive skills.
In addition, never call them stupid or even if you don’t call them that but think so, never make them sense your thoughts about it. Getting such an impression will be extremely discouraging for a child. Be supportive.
4) Don’t expect too much
Do not make the mistake of putting an unbearable amount of pressure on your kid and expect her/him to be the best at everything. If you do that she/he might start completely hating the thing she/he used to love the first time she/he fails at it.
Expecting too much from your kid will result in her/him being afraid of trying new things and trying harder. So, if you expect too much she/he might avoid trying anything which definitely will help her/his mental development.
Studies suggest that happy kids become more successful in life. Expecting too much from any person, especially a kid will never help that person become happy. Therefore, make sure to comfort and support her/him even when she/he fails. Don’t let her/him give up.
5) Read With Your Kids
Everyone knows that reading books to your kid is healthy in many aspects. However, recent studies concluded that reading with your kids is more effective than just reading to them.
Don’t just let them listen to you reading the book. Don’t just let them stand there and take a look at the pictures, make them join into the reading part as well. It would still improve the bond between you and your kid but if you make them actively participate, they might also learn some things through the process which will help speed up her/his mental development.
6) Limit Your Kid’s TV Time
Television is not completely bad, it might actually help your kid broaden his/her imagination. However, when you let your kid watch TV for hours, that might just brainwash him/her. Not brainwashed as in the conspiracy theories, but more like he/she will stop thinking about real life, lose connection and get too much into the programs.
Don’t completely forbid your kid from watching TV or take all of his/her TV hours but do limit the time he/she is spending in front of the TV. Especially if he/she is spending so many hours in front of the TV, he/she needs more time without TV for a healthy growth.
7) Try to keep your kids healthy
Parents try to keep their kids healthy because they want them to live forever. Thus, they try to feed them with healthy food and sign them up for sports classes at an early stage. But another advantage of keeping your kid healthy is that it is a trigger that helps your kid reach his maximum level of intelligence.
Keeping them in a good shape will not only make them healthy, but it will also make them smarter. Studies state that our ability to learn increases when we are in a good shape. This applies to kids even more since they are mentally more open to learning than adults.
If you sign your kids up for sports courses or exercise with them, you can see the difference in their learning ability before and after the exercises. It is proven that 3 months of exercise increases the blood flow going to the part of the brain that affects memory and learning up to %30.
Therefore, sign your kid up for a basketball lesson or something else. If she/he is not into that, exercise with her/him. Play soccer with her/him. Or if that doesn’t work too, you can just even try to take a 30-minute walk with her/him.
Another way to keep your child healthy is to take proper care of her/his nutrition. If you make them eat well and don’t neglect the fact that they need to eat healthy food, they would feel better mentally.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that they will never eat fries or any other type of junk food. There will be times whe they are going to eat those, but you should only let them eat those rarely. Because unhealthy eating habits cause exhaustion and weakness in the long run and this is not a way to keep them in good shape.
8) Regulate your kid’s sleeping schedule
Sleep deprivation never helps with anything. The effects it has on an adult is even too much and negative. So, it definitely decreases the ability to learn for a kid who is at the earliest stages of mental development.
Studies demonstrated that there is a negative correlation between a child’s grades and the average time of sleep he/she is getting every day. Thus, if you want her/him to get better grades at school and reach her/his maximum potential, you have to make sure that she/he is getting enough sleep and
To sum up, sign your kids up for some music lessons, participate in cultural activities with them, be supportive in a way that will motivate them to explore, buy them toys that will improve their cognitive skills,don’t expect too much, read with them instead of reading to them, let them watch TV for a limited time, make sure that they exercise enough, feed them with healthier food and last but not least
Keep in mind that applying these steps will not turn your child into a genius. But they will definitely make your kid smarter as they are proven strategies backed by science that help children reach their highest potentials.