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One can actually boost up the IQ level of a child by making him/her come across various challenging activities and providing their support whenever needed.
1: Practice makes perfect
Children learn best only when they get the chance to do different activities. An infant’s brain is incredibly hungry for new experiences. By allowing the child to learn by doing we not only provide the opportunity to explore but sharpen their problem-solving abilities.
For infants, the ever-popular stacking rings and boxes improve kinesthetic abilities as well as judgment on different textures. With slightly older kids, you should give them the chance to solve jigsaw puzzles, building blocks etc. They might not be successful in the initial attempts. Remember, our aim is not to achieve the correct solution but teach the child the pathway to solving a problem. Never thrust the solution on the child.
Constant practice also develops the quality of perseverance, so essential to surviving competition. Remember, Edison’s maxim on inspiration and perspiration? Nothing worthwhile can ever be achieved without regular, sustained hard work. Even when the child starts on school, with this quality he would never consider homework a drudgery affair.
2: Communicate with the child
This might seem odd but the truth is many parents simply do not communicate properly with their children. The result is a disconnect between the perceptions on both sides.
Never assume your child would see your viewpoint. Rather you should strive to look from your child’s angle. After all, the child’s thinking process is not yet conditioned to work in a uni-dimensional manner. In fact, this openness is what we are striving to preserve and perpetuate.
The bottom line therefore is allow the child to articulate his views and thoughts. Listen closely to what he or she feels about a certain situation or problem. Empathize with their choices and their reasoning.
By allowing the child to freely express the thoughts, we are building self-confidence. A high level of self-esteem is believed to stimulate secretion of positive neurotransmitters that prevent depressiondefine, ageing and schizophrenia.
A sunny outlook always allows the brain to think clearly. When this cheerfulness becomes part of the child’s temperament, you are sure to have a well-adjusted individual.
3: Verbal skills
The child needs to build an excellent vocabulary and the attempt should begin pretty early. Whether English or any other language, verbal skills require long-term approach. Language learning is a unique ability of the human brain and research has shown kids have the propensity to learn up to six languages before they attain age 5 years.
Use a methodical approach to expose the child to stimuli first in mother tongue and then other languages in turn. Too intensive exposure could lead to loss of confidence and even stammering.
Start with simple words to identify objects. Use flash cards or illustrated books to teach words. Audio resources improve pronunciation. Move in a steady pace and never talk down to a child. Never use simplistic or gibberish pronunciation.
For slightly older children, you could use the junior scrabble. Introduce them to graded reading texts. When the child appreciates the joy of reading books, he would never be bored or distracted. His imagination is honed and he would be able to articulate better.
4: Never underestimate memory
These days there is a growing line of argument that teaching memory techniques is not so important after all. Yet we come across so many situations where only our memory bails us out. Scholastic tests for admission to university courses or tests for employment seek to evaluate our memory skills by reproducing information that we have learned earlier.
There can be no two arguments about the usefulness of good memory but the only point is how it is conditioned. Memory acquired by rote learning is of no use. Memory as a function of critical thinking and the ability to master large volumes of information by applying judgment on essential and non-essential is relevant.
A child’s brain is a fertile ground for teaching memory skills for it absorbs information like sponge. The author’s son could answer capitals of 26 countries and all the 50 states of USA and identify pictures of world leaders when he was three. Although, the relevance of the feat or its usefulness at that age is immaterial, the author has seen the child’s ability to focus when being taught improve dramatically. Now in school, he is appreciated for being attentive in class.
Therefore, good memory comes only from repetitive teaching. It improves with concentration by the child. Moreover, teaching memory skills by activity-based learning or board games is a panacea to behavioral problems like disruptive attitude or ADHD.
5: Give challenging social activities
Children should be given opportunities to interact with others as part of a group. This is essential to sharpen their problem-solving and analytical abilities. Several studies have established the new pathways or networks that give greater capacity to handle stress to be well entrenched in those with a socially bonding temperament rather than loners. Social cohesion also instills Emotional Quotient (EQ) that is as important in today’s management research as simple IQ. Participation in community events, sports, theater activities, adventure camps etc. are good methods to make children work with others.
6: Role playing and brain storming
This technique is useful in allowing children improve their visualization capacities. Children learn best by doing. So, wherever possible they need to be given the situation or problem and allowed to articulate a possible solution. Theater activities are the ideal choice. Here, a story idea could be taken as the base and each role should be assigned to a child. They should be given time to come up with how they would like the role to shape up. Then, the whole team should brainstorm and come up with the final script. The teacher or coordinator should gently nudge when the discussions go off tangent.
7: Physical fitness is just as important
It is not as if the brain stands alone inside the crown. It controls the whole body and hence the overall wellness is important. Nourishing food and plenty of physical exercise are essential. Children should definitely participate in one or two sport activities. It improves blood circulation and hence brings more oxygen to the brain. That keeps the brain alert. Adequate precautions like prevention of heat strokes, replenishment for lost water and salts should be adopted. Professional advice should be obtained in case the child has a pre-existing medical condition.
8: Love, love and more love
The child’s little brain craves for attention. So, a gentle pat on the back and words of encouragement are always a must. Therefore, love at all times and in all circumstances is the key to keeping the child well adjusted and adequately motivated. There is a need to encourage despite the child failing once or twice. Comparisons should go out of the window as also excessive spoon-feeding. Allow the child the normal environment to learn and flourish. Research has shown a positive home environment without sparring parents or bullying siblings result in mature individuals while single parent homes or where excessive violence or physical abuse is prevalent often result in maladjustment, substance abuse etc.
9: Failures are inevitable; try again
As a parent you might feel you know your child like the back of your palm. Wrong. It needs a lot of insight to even understand just a little about your child’s intelligence. So, when the results are not sufficiently successful, try another method or a different approach. Never panic or blame the child. Everything is possible with patience and perseverance. Failures also give the child the balanced perspective needed to live a peaceful life.
10: Intelligence is like a butterfly
What we mean by this statement is your child’s intelligence is always evolving and metamorphosing into a new and exciting form. So, keep track of the progress and use age-appropriate and adequately challenging methods. Don’t rest on your oars after just a couple of years. Good luck, dear parent!
Live Punjab News Service
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