How To Raise A Smart Child

One thing everyone parent discusses at one time or another is how to raise a smart child. Everyone wants their child to have all the opportunities in the world open to them. In this increasingly digital and information-based age, that means one thing and one thing alone- raising the smartest child possible. While there are some people who argue that intelligence is largely hereditary, more and more evidence is being produced every day that any child can be raised brainy.

Here are the top 3 activities you need to engage in with your child to enhance and accelerate their intellectual development.

1.    Play with them

Not only is playing with your kids fun, but it’s also one of the top ways to keep them intellectually curious and to teach them about interacting with their environment. While most people think about intelligence in terms of I.Q. points, most of the lessons a baby will learn early on is how to engage physically with their world. Playing with blocks and other simple toys is a great way to get your child learning how to use their hands and manipulate objects. Remember that spatial reasoning is as much an intellectual skill as mathematics.

When you play with your child you will also help to develop their social intelligence. Your child is never too young to start learning the basics of what it means to share and the importance of working with others to reach a larger goal- even if that goal is nothing more than having a fun time.

2.    Talk to them and incorporate music into their lives

Babies are able to start recognizing and picking up different tones, rhythms and sounds from a very early age. It’s a bit of a stretch to say that babies are able to truly understand different words and phrases when they are infants, but it is obvious to most parents that their little ones begin to associate audible cues to different environments, actions and experiences within their first few weeks.

While they might not originally know what you’re saying, regularly speaking to your child will accelerate their own language learning. There are two main reasons for this.

First, babies and young children live to emulate and reflect what they are presented with. The more you speak with your child, the more they will vocalize back to you and attempt to form the words you are speaking.

Second, babies and young children absorb more than we often give them credit for. The more words you speak to them from a young age, the faster they will develop a large and varied vocabulary to express themselves with. Some experts even go as far as recommending that you expose your child to as many different languages as possible as early as possible.

There are some people who argue that playing a child certain types of music aid their intellectual development. This is purely anecdotal, though the theory has merit. After all, if listening to Mozart and other classical forms of music provides positive mental stimulation among adults it stands to reason that babies would respond in a similar manner.

3.    Read to them!

There is no other action you can do for your child that’s more important for their intellectual development than reading to them.

Reading to your child will provide many of the same accelerated-language-learning benefits as speaking to your child regularly, but adds one more crucial element to the equation: reading to your baby will help develop their imagination and their abstract reasoning abilities. Reading to your baby shouldn’t simply be thought of as a supplement activity when you have nothing left to say. It should be considered the cornerstone to raising an intelligent child.

Overall, studies seem to show that earlier you start reading to your child the better. It doesn’t matter that it will take years for your child to start speaking clearly, and even more years until they will be able to read on their own. At a bare minimum you should begin reading daily to your child by the time they are 6 months old.

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