Every parent wants a child they can be proud of; a child that will be healthy, strong, happy and intelligent. There will always be the concern of how best to instil these qualities in a child, since the parent cannot do this for them, it is something the child will have to learn and develop for itself during life’s journey.
Some of the child’s traits will be genetically influenced and will therefore always be part of its nature. However, most of the child’s characteristics and personality will be formed depending on how it is nurtured. Here’s how create an environment which is conducive to raising bright children:
Provide a loving home environment
Kids need to feel loved. They need to know that if anything goes wrong or they do anything wrong, they will still be loved regardless. Happiness is a key ingredient of a bright child and it is very difficult for an unhappy child be bright. Even if you need to discipline a child, do it with love and always justify why you are doing it. Children understand more through love than anything else.
Satisfy their curiosity
Curiosity is one of the most crucial elements to a child’s instinct. Without it, a child will not develop the ability to learn new things, gain life experience or progress in school. If they ask difficult or challenging questions, tell them the truth. Don’t fob them off with, “You’ll find out when you grow up,” or “Ask your mummy/daddy.” Kids deserve and expect to be told the truth.
Value their opinion
Cultivating a level of respect between parents and children is an important factor when it comes to making children feel valued. Don’t dismiss them simply because of their age. Engage them regularly with honest, useful, mentally challenging and meaningful conversation. Respect their thoughts, ideas, values and opinions. Encouraging them to explore their ideas further will expand their thinking.
Praise their achievements
If children are praised for doing something, they will do more of the same. They will associate achievement with commendation and will develop the notion that achievement is good. Through receiving praise they will also feel loved and will develop a sense of self worth. This in turn will sow the seeds of inspiration and high self esteem in a child.
Choose mentally stimulating toys
Children often spend long periods of their time playing with toys. A great way to stimulate their brain is to combine toys with mental development. Choose toys which will make them think or solve problems. This will give them a head start compared to their peers by making their lives easier when it comes to tackling problems. When they’re older they will already have adopted the correct mindset.
Nurture their talent
Children often develop an affinity with a certain subject, activity, hobby or interest because they enjoy learning from it and they’re stimulated by it. Recognize and nurture this talent. You may just have discovered your child’s forte in life. Such a talent will also provide a valuable release mechanism for their energy and could well evolve into a future career path. Discover what interests your child and get them to explore every possibility in the subject.
Having lots of friends will not only develop a child’s social skills, it will allow them to develop confidence and explore different levels of intelligence other than their own. This is an invaluable learning experience for them. It will allow them to observe good as well as bad behaviour, therefore introducing them to the concept of morality and distinguishing between right and wrong.
Limit your expectations
Do not expect too much too soon. Excessive pressure to achieve or perform at an early age can be damaging. Children should be positively encouraged to achieve, but should not be burdened by unrealistic expectations. Every parent wants the best start for their child however learning at an early age takes time and will be an ongoing process. Every child is different and will develop and learn at a different pace.
Provide a healthy diet
Kids love sweet and sugary foods. This is ok in moderation however excessive indulgence at a young age can lead to future health problems like obesity and diabetes. Promote the benefits of healthy eating and ensure they get plenty of exercise. Do not encourage excessive use of video games or low activity based entertainment as a means of passing time.
Familiarize them with learning
Introduce different shapes, colours, sounds, tastes and numbers into their learning curve. Encourage them to think as much as possible and expand their minds. Let them learn and explore new things at their own pace in their own style. Let them ask as many questions as they need to in order to satisfy their curiosity.
Brighter children are better equipped to face life’s challenges. Their minds are more open and therefore less prone to the fear and negativity associated with situations they are not emotionally prepared to deal with and understand.