Raising Smarter Kids
Intelligence may be determined by the genetic material one inherits, but many studies show that it can be enhanced by the environment and by certain health habits. This is why many parents and educators use brain games like riddles, crosswords, and chess to train children to perform mental exercises. These activities can promote skills in problem-solving, strategic thinking, and decision-making. Researchers at the University of Toronto also found that children who take music lessons have better academic performance and higher IQs.
Aside from mental exercises, research shows that promoting healthy habits like eating breakfast every morning improves children’s memory, learning, and concentration. It has been found that children who skip breakfast tend to get tired easily, become more irritable, and react less quickly than kids who start the day with a good meal.
Parents who want to invest in their child’s physical and mental health can start early by breastfeeding their babies. Research has consistently shown that breast milk can provide adequate nourishment, protect babies from infection, and enhance their intelligence. From then on, parents must provide their children nutritious foods and avoid giving them junk food that are rich in trans fat, sugar and salt.
University of Illinois researchers have found a strong link between physical fitness scores and academic achievement among primary school children. Research by the Oppenheimer Funds shows that participation in organized sports promotes confidence, leadership and teamwork. The study found that 81% of female business executives played team sports in school.
Although video games are considered bad by many parents, some of these games can actually develop children’s planning and strategic skills, teamwork and creativity. Educational toy companies such as Leapfrog have created games that enhance motor-skill and memory for small children, including toddlers. A recent study by University of Rochester researchers found that kids who played video games recognized and learned visual stimuli much faster than kids who do not use video games.
Capozza, K. 10 Ways to Make Your Kid Smarter. MSN.