According to a study from Genetics Home Reference, only 50% of a child’s intelligence is passed down from the parents, while the remaining 50% can be attributed to a child’s environment, availability of learning resources, nutrition, parenting, and education.
A study by psychologist Robert Sternberg concluded that kids’ skills and knowledge are usually the result of one’s family. However, it is not just genetic relation, but rather, an educational one. He further explained that children inherit practical intelligence from their parents which is the knowledge that comes from the way your parents communicate with their kids.
Most parents are probably wondering that if IQ is not just purely genetics, how do you help your kid’s IQ development? The process could actually start while the child is in the mother’s womb.
1. Prolong the period of breastfeeding.
As a parent, there are several ways you can interact with your child that will help with his/her brain development starting as early as the day the child is being conceived. There were also several studies linking breastfeeding with brain development. A recent study shows that a longer duration of breastfeeding is linked to smarter adults and higher chances of earning more during adulthood.
Dr Bernardo Lessa Horta, the lead author of the said study explained that, “The effects of breastfeeding on brain development and child intelligence is well established. Our study provides the first evidence that prolonged breastfeeding not only increases intelligence until at least the age of 30 years, but also has an impact both at an individual and societal level by improving educational attainment and earning ability”.
2. Encourage children to play with blocks and video games.
In a study at University of Washington in Seattle, they discovered that playing with blocks encourages and actually improves language abilities in toddlers in a duration of over a 6 months. Also, by enrolling your child to any of the creative arts activities such as painting, playing an instrument, or singing, based on the child’s early interests, it helps nurture his/her ability in that area.
While it’s understandable that most parents may be worried that kids may fall into addictive activities such as excessive use of the computer or the Internet, a study at Queen Mary University of London and University College School shows that certain types of video games can actually help improve the child’s strategic thinking and help train the brain to become more alert.
3. Learn through video conferencing.
During the early stages of the child, it is important to expose them to activities that will eventually help develop their cognitive skills, such as video conferencing. Elisabeth McClure, researcher from Georgetown University explained that, “Babies who are pretty young are able to pick up, in particular, whether or not an adult is actually responding to them in real time.
Video conferencing can be used in various ways to help engage a child, while making sure that you are also giving them an opportunity to learn. Playing guessing games, or reading stories on video calls, or play drawing games are some activities you can encourage. In a blog post at Bloomwell called Give Your Kid the Upper Hand With These IQ Boosting Tips, they’ve compiled studies that shows that even certain video games such as StarCraft could help the kids develop quick tactical and strategic thinking.
4. Imbibe positivity.
A positive mental frame can dramatically enhance intellectual performance. Teach your child to practice positive responses and positivity. Make sure that your child doesn’t become hopeless or negative under any circumstances.
5. Encourage the practice of meditation for better mental health.
Another efficient and effective method for stimulating a child’s mental faculties and performance is controlled breathing. Research shows that schoolchildren can increase their grades if they do breathing exercises prior to tests or assignments.
6. Indulge in mentally stimulating board games.
Mental games such as chess, checkers, crossword puzzles, scrabble, and mathematical puzzles go a long way to stimulate the mind. They enhance a child’s verbal skills, concentration, perception, and reasoning.
7. Allow them go outdoors.
Physical activity, including playing sports, boosts blood flow to all parts of the body, including the brain. When the brain is supplied with freshly oxygenated blood, concentration, thinking speed, and complex reasoning are all enhanced. These activities promote clear thinking, stimulate the brain’s learning capabilities, increase energy and concentration.
8. Encourage reading.
Reading to your child when he is young and encouraging him to read later is a great way to expose your child to the wonderful world of storytelling and knowledge. Reading is particularly important if you want to boost the IQ of your children.
Certain brain foods such as citrus fruits, eggs, fish, lean meats are said to improve memory, prevents mental fatigue, and contribute to overall mental health of the child.
The human brain is not static. Several studies show that while some of your child’s mental abilities may be influenced by genetics, the ability to learn and improve can be trained.
Featured photo credit: hugrakk via flic.kr