We’ve all heard the recommendations on how to raise a smarter kid. They usually include taking music lessons, reading to your child, exposing your children to new experiences, and so on. Some of these suggestions are excellent, and some, sorry to say, are simply old wives’ tales. Let’s see what the experts have discovered about efforts to increase your children’s IQs.
Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshmen at Stanford, explained in a TED Talk the findings of a years-long Harvard study which found that doing chores leads to professional success. When a child does work that needs doing, he or she is apt to evolve into a person who sees the action that needs accomplishing and takes the initiative to do it.
Lythcott-Haims adds that children who know their parents love them unconditionally are happier and can show love to others. That means loving them for what they are instead of loving them because they are what you imagined they would become. Naturally, this kind of acceptance goes a long way in allowing them to remain open to ideas and opinions.
Prior to the debunked study by Samuel Mehr and published in 2013, many parents believed that music improves intelligence. There is no proven evidence that this is true, but, of course, there are many other benefits involved in learning music, such as intrinsic joy and appreciation.
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A Harvard University study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (Pediatrics) in 2013 showed that children whose mothers breastfed them had higher scores on intelligence tests than children who were fed formulas. Exclusively breastfed babies who nursed for six months or longer received the highest scores.
An article by Carol S. Dweck, professor of psychology, focuses on the idea that overemphasizing a child’s intellect or talent can leave children “vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges, and unmotivated to learn.” Dweck suggests that it is better for parents and teachers to encourage a “growth mindset” that allows young ones to center on “process,” not intelligence or giftedness. Praising children for persisting or strategizing is what will help kids work hard and master the “love of learning” process.
According to Ronald Ferguson, director of the Gap Initiative at Harvard University, talking, singing, gesturing, sharing rhythmic songs, nursery rhymes, games, and counting are all paramount. Engaging a child as soon as they are born (many say even in the womb) paves the way for language development. Scientific studies show that children do not learn to talk by watching television or being exposed to media-based instructional programs. Reading and talking occur when a young one is listening and interacting with real humans.
Reading and discussing books, such as Richard Scarry’s Best First Book Ever, will introduce kids to colors, shapes, fruit, animals, and seasons, all of which kindergartens expect of children who are entering their schools, according to Karen Quinn, writing for Simon & Schuster. Spatial skills improve by playing with building blocks, Legos, puzzles, and other objects that require building, fitting together, and balancing.
Quinn continues by explaining that children must solve problems on their own. Giving young people choices, helps them think for themselves and develop cognitive skills. Furthermore, crafting and art supplies should alway be available to children. It is Play-Doh, crayons, scissors, and paper that increase kids’ creativity and build their fine motor skills.
And pure play experiences are possibly the greatest gift a child can have. All of the abilities a child needs to increase his or her IQ originate in role-playing, climbing, collecting, and having a great time. Furthermore, some of the things your mother told you about doing well in school are true.
- Too much praise can backfire.
- Kids have to get enough sleep.
- Positive correction works; negative correction does not.
- Unconditional love and acceptance are imperative.
Parents of young children need to use the early years of their children’s lives to expose them to activities, games, travel, and people to establish the base they require for ongoing learning.
While it’s a case of ‘the younger, the better’, it’s definitely not too late to increase the IQ’s of older children. Already in 1987 Dr. Wynand de Wet did his practical research for a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology at a school for the deaf. The subject of his research project concerned the optimization of intelligence. The group who did Edublox were tutored simultaneously for 27.5 hours between April and August of that year, and showed an increase of 11.625 in non-verbal IQ scores, from an average of 101.125 to an average of 112.75. The group who did not receive cognitive training showed an increase of 4.625, from an average of 104.25 to an average of 108.875.