How Parents Can Support Children for Smarter Thinking

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Childhood is a critical stage. This is when the brain develops and habit and discipline develop that help children become well-adjusted adults. Parents are the ultimate role models for children, right? Taking advantage of your position and role, parents can support children for smarter thinking through many subtle and not so subtle activities. Simple routines, descriptions, and demonstrations help children develop reasoning. Here is a quick guide to support your children for smarter thinking through the different ages.

Raising a Smart Baby

Right from the newborn days until your baby grows up, you can do several things to help your baby learn from experience. A study says what babies experience from birth to the age of three, determines the adults they will grow up to be. Here are tips to help your baby be smart.

  • Remember to take your folic acid supplement and eat healthy food during pregnancy to avoid birth defects in the brain and spinal cord.
  • Breastfeed as long as you can to boost cognitive development.
  • Don’t stress your baby by using the “cry it out” method. Stress increases cortisol levels is linked to mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, etc.
  • Playing games such as Peekaboo, talking and reading touch-and-feel books stimulate all the senses and help develop language too.
  • Show love and kindness throughout the first year to increase security, attachment, and confidence to face the world.

Raising a Smart Toddler

You’ll be amazed at the rapid rate at which toddlers grow. Given the right environment and encouragement, toddlers learn concepts, languages, and discipline that lasts a lifetime! Here are tips to support toddlers for smarter thinking:

  • Baby proof your home so your crawler can explore freely, without restraint and is open to new experiences.
  • Provide stimulating games link puzzles, color patterns, stackers, blocks, etc. to stimulate, entertain and educate your toddler. Learning these concepts will help them become more confident as a preschooler.
  • Continue reading and talking to your toddler for a strong base for language.
  • Give your toddler lots of attention and love so they can learn to empathize, be sensitive to others and form secure attachments even in adulthood.
  • Restrict TV and tablet times to improve their sleep and physical activities. A study shows irregular sleep in children under the age of three have difficulty in math, language and other skills.

Raising a Smart Preschooler

Preschool children are smart but there are more things you can do to ensure you raise a smart thinking preschooler.

  • Let your caregiving be the best at this stage to boost brain development. Being nurturing and supportive helps your child cope better with school and life.
  • Spend quality time, don’t just be busy on your smartphone while your child plays in the same room. Do learning activities together.
  • Play games like “Simon Says” to help your child control impulses and learn to obey authority.
  • Be firm with your child at this preschool age. This will help your child feel more secure and happy instead of feeling entitled and unhappy.
  • Ensure your child has lots of free play outside of school. Being able to choose his own toys and engage in free play makes sure your child build confidence and boosts their body and brain development.

Raising a Smart School Kid

Focusing on your child’s intellectual, artistic and physical performance at school is your priority at this stage in life. Here are tips to help you support your grade schooler for smart thinking:

  • Take interest in what they are learning at school. This will make sure your child knows you care.
  • Set a routine for homework time. Giving hints is ok, but be careful not to get too involved in their homework. Doing school work on their own will help your child feel accomplished, be accountable and responsible.
  • Meet with teachers to understand their progress level. Have regular talks with your child about school because this will impact your child more than the combined efforts taken by teachers and your child.
  • Take your child to the library, make educational trips to the museum and send your child to camps. Even though everything they need to know is now easily available online, nothing beats the real life experience.
  • Don’t be too critical or it may discourage your child. Focus on finding the solutions for the problems. This will help build character and lets your child learn the lessons instead of denying their mistakes.
  • Using money to get chores done and helping your child with money management at an early age as this will help your child manage money responsibly in the long run too. 
  • Make sure your child has a regular bedtime schedule so there is no excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). EDS creates learning difficulties in children.

Raising a Smart Teenager

Even though at this stage your child is more or else making their own decisions, there are still some things you can do to raise a smart thinker.

  • Be available. Listen more than you “lecture’ your teens. Be curious about their new life, their likes and dislikes and be engaged instead of being judgmental or harsh with your teens.
  • Restrict TV, computer and smartphone times while at home to help your teenager get better sleep and focus better in class during the day.
  • It’s ok to expose them to constructive conflicts at home as the pressure and the experience helps your child build stronger relationships in their adulthood.

Is there anything more you’d like to add? Tell us in comments!

About our guest blogger: Alicia Clarke is an educator and professional writer. Follow her on Twitter

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