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5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Infant’s Brain

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5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Infant’s Brain

As a parent, it’s normal to wonder if you’re doing all you can to help your infant’s learning and development. Are you buying the right toys? Telling the right stories? Spending enough time together? Don’t worry! There are a number of ways you can jumpstart your infant’s brain while still creating a strong, emotional attachment with them. Here are the top five ways to jumpstart your infant’s brain:

#1: Once upon a time…

Creating a routine of reading your child a bedtime story is crucial to your infant’s intellectual growth. Not only does listening to stories help with language and thought development, depending on the content of the story, infants begin to learn how to deal with problems and fears in everyday life. Making a bedtime story a nightly ritual is a way for parents to bond with their child, providing a sense of security and deepening your bond. Also, hearing classic children’s stories can help an infant’s brain learn how to use their imagination by creating images in their heads of the words you read to them. Instead of scouring the book store aisles, get free, unique stories sent to you via email every night through the website www.bedtimeshortstory.com.

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#2: See Spot run

Many parents may be wary of bringing an animal into their home with an infant, but pets are actually beneficial to infant’s brain development. Interacting with pets can help infants build their social skills and learn appropriate behaviors. Dogs more so than cats can help infants pick up on important social cues and understand how expressions and emotions are displayed. If a pet is already present in the home, introduce the pet to your infant slowly and of course, always monitor interactions.

#3: Choose appropriate toys

Buy toys for your infant that will not only entertain, but also educate. This doesn’t mean toys have to be complex and expensive! Simple, classic toys like building blocks can help infants use their imagination to create something using the individual pieces. Although a jack-in-the-box may seem like a simple, out-dated toy, infants start to understand the “if-then” relationship, meaning “if I wind up this box, then jack will pop up”.  Don’t throw out old toys, either! Find new, brain-stimulating ways to use existing toys. All of those old stuffed animals your baby used to cuddle? Now, encourage your infant to use these animals in pretend play.

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#4: Encourage creativity

Parents may be used to cleaning up spills all day, but there’s a time and place to encourage a little messy behavior with your infant. Set your infant up with different crayons, markers, finger paints and paper and let them have at it! Have them explore what happens when they use the materials together and allow them to use this opportunity to express themselves, even if it ends up being a colorful scribble! Of course it is important to develop infants’ language and problem-solving skills, but fostering their creativity is vital for intellectual growth.

#5: Label their surroundings

When communicating with your infant, make sure to point out objects around you and clearly state the objects’ names. Wait for a baby to follow your gaze or point and use phrases like “see the dog?” “look at the moon!” and “isn’t this a pretty flower?”  This will help your infant’s brain begin to understand and familiarize themselves with their surroundings. Hearing a large variety of words on a regular basis will spark word learning and speed up their language development.

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How many of these top five ways to jumpstart your infant’s brain do you already practice? What kind of activities do you do to help your infant’s development? Tell us in the comments below!

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

How to Help Your Child to Get Better Grades

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How to Help Your Child to Get Better Grades

Children are most likely to say that they want to just lounge around or rest for a while after spending hours listening to lecture after lecture from their teachers. There is nothing wrong with this if they had a rough day.

What’s disturbing, is if they deliberately stay away from schoolwork or procrastinate when it comes to reviewing for their tests or completing an important science project.

When it seems that it is becoming a habit for your child to put off school work, it’s time for you to step in and help your child develop good study habits to get better grades. It is important for you to emphasize to your child the importance of setting priorities early in life. Don’t wait for them to flunk their tests, or worse, fail in their subjects before you talk to them about it.

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You can help your children hurdle their tests with these 7 tips:

1. Help them set targets

Ask your child what they want to achieve for that particular school year. Tell them to set a specific goal or target. If they say, “I want to get better grades,” tell them to be more specific. It will be better if they say they want to get a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Having a definite target will make it easier for them to undertake a series of actions to achieve their goals, instead of just “shooting for the moon.”

2. Preparation is key

At the start of the school year, teachers provide an outline of a subject’s scope along with a reading list and other course requirements. Make sure that your child has all the materials they need for these course requirements. Having these materials on hand will make sure that your child will have no reason to procrastinate and give them the opportunity to study in advance.

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3. Teach them to mark important dates

You may opt to give them a small notebook where they can jot down important dates or a planner that has dates where they can list their schedule. Ask them to show this to you so you can give them “gentle reminders” to block off the whole week before the dates of an exam. During this week, advise your child to not schedule any social activity so they can concentrate on studying.

4. Schedule regular study time

Encourage your child to set aside at least two hours every day to go through their lessons. This will help them remember the lectures for the day and understand the concepts they were taught. They should be encouraged to spend more time on subjects or concepts that they do not understand.

5. Get help

Some kids find it hard to digest or absorb mathematical or scientific concepts. Ask your child if they are having difficulties with their subjects and if they would like to seek the help of a tutor. There is nothing wrong in asking for the assistance of a tutor who can explain complex subjects.

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6. Schedule some “downtime”

Your child needs to relax from time to time. During his break, you can consider bringing your child to the nearest mall or grocery store and get them a treat. You may play board games with them during their downtime. The idea is to take his mind off studying for a limited period of time.

7. Reward your child

If your child achieves their goals for the school year, you may give them a reward such as buying them the gadget they have always wanted or allowing them to vacation wherever they want. By doing this, you are telling your child that hard work does pay off.

Conclusion

You need to take the time to monitor your child’s performance in school. Your guidance is essential to helping your child realize the need to prioritize their school activities. As a parent, your ultimate goal is to expose your child to habits that will lay down the groundwork for their future success.

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Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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