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How To Raise Smart Kids: Unmissable Secrets Of Parenting

How To Raise Smart Kids: Unmissable Secrets Of Parenting
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We all want our children to do well – to become something great and lead happy and healthy lives. Intelligence in a child has its advantages but having a truly smart kid isn’t all about getting good grades at school.

It’s becoming more and more clear that intelligence is no longer black and white. Using IQ tests to find out how intelligent someone is has been long thought of as a measure to how smart someone is academically and a score of over 100 is worn with a sense of pride. But many studies are fast showing that cognitive and emotional intelligence are just as varied and important – a brain surgeon and an artist can therefore ideally be looked at as being on the same level.

The way parents interact with their child has a huge influence on how a child develops and how smart they become. Allowing your children to be “life smart” and preparing them for their path into the independent world is one of the greatest achievements you can make as a parent.

The overall key as a parent is to focus on the process rather than the intelligence and talent that a child possesses. In other words, it’s all about the journey and sense of achievement that needs to be cultivated rather than praise once a child has completed something. This encourages a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset and will help your child understand the importance of the effort they’ve put in rather than the end goal. Psychiatrist Joe Brewster, believes that a child should be encouraged to see learning as the process of becoming better at something, instead of having a fixed mindset of his intelligence.

With that in mind, here are just a handful of ways to encourage your child to be more aware and, in turn, help you to raise smart kids.

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1. How You Respond To Your Child

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    The way in which you respond to your child through various situations largely determines how they assess their range of experiences. For example, if you react in an indifferent or restrictive way, this could discourage your child from wanting to try new things and cause them to learn to be too cautious and therefore limiting their personal experiences. Instead, encourage your child by asking open-ended questions creating, a space for them to think about actions and awareness of those around them. If they are misbehaving, then try to change their perspectives on the situation by getting them to think about how their actions have affected you and others involved.

    Smart kids are those that get the chance to see another point of view and develop their sense of awareness.

    2. Raise Smart Kids By Limiting The Amount Of Rules

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      Think about the rules you put into place and whether any of them are really necessary. Research has found that the number of family rules affects kids’ creativity and those families that have, on average, six family rules have children of average performance at school.

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      Further studies have found that the most creative architects in the U.S. were encouraged by their parents to develop their own moral rules without any restrictive family rules being enforced. The idea is that a child can develop a sense of right and wrong from sources other than their parents. This allows them to develop more creative personalities and intelligence. The author of the study defines creativity as the following:

      Personality characteristics of creative individuals includes broad intelligence, openness to experience, aesthetic sensitivity, autonomy in thought and action and the pursuit of new challenges and solutions, curious, self-assertive, high achiever, self-critical , self-sufficient, intuitive and empathic, emotional sensitivity, imagination, ambition and dominance, self-acceptance, dominance, self-confidence, acceptance of unusual views as their personality characteristics.

      Enforcing too many rules curbs a child’s sense of creativity and overall development of intelligence. Making sure there are less rules gives your child more time to engage in open-end, free-flowing activities and stops them from being micromanaged and constantly corrected. Of course, children do need important rules but limiting the amount will benefit their long-term intellectual growth.

      3. Allow Your Kids To Be Bored

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        Boredom is usually seen as a negative thing, after all, surely you should be stimulating your child’s sense of creativity at every opportunity for them to be creative? Well, boredom isn’t all that bad – it actually helps a child encourage their ability to think. Quiet reflection is something that adds to a different perspective and gives the mind space to think up and create activities. Don’t always feel like you have to find them something to do in case you’re not doing enough to accommodate their learning. Boredom, in and of itself, is a time for their brains to develop and become more creative.

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        4. Let Your Kids See You Doing Smart Stuff

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          Kids pick up on all sorts of things, especially your own actions. Learning from adult behaviour is one of the major ways a child picks up habits and makes sense of the world. If your child sees you engaged in reading, writing, or anything creative, it will cause them to imitate you and become smarter in the process.

          It’s also important to let your children hear you talk about achievements from hard work. As I mentioned earlier focusing on intelligent achievements, both theirs and your own, will give a clear signal that will create a fixed mindset and a fixed mindset can lead to a fragile and defensive child in the long-run. Instead, when you speak, emphasise praise for hard work and focus rather than too much on the end result.

          5. Encourage Your Kids To Take Risks And Fail

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            Although we have a natural tendency to protect our children from feeling upset, allowing your child to take risks and failing will teach them fundamental life skills from an early age. Without experiencing failure early on, a child can develop low self-esteem and get discouraged from creating and learning for themselves. Fear is probably the number one emotion in our lives that can stop us from taking great actions. If we encourage our children to experience failure when they are small, the amount of fear they develop will lessen.

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            Teaching a child that failure is not actually a bad thing is a great life-skill that will allow them to make smart decisions and learn from life’s ups and downs. At the end of the day, children need to feel emotions to understand them and protecting your child from them will only stunt their ability to adapt and make sense of the world.

            6. Make Reading And Music A Part Of Your Child’s Life

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              Reading may be an obvious one to excel your child’s intelligence but not only does it help them to read but it also develops your child’s appetite for knowledge. It allows their brain to process situations, creating further perspective and sparks imagination that can benefit all areas of their life. Their thirst for knowledge will develop rapidly if exposed to different topics and ideas and again making connections to the world around them.

              Music can pose so many amazing effects on a child’s brain. Many studies have shown that getting a child to listen to music not only boosts attention, motivation, learning and memory skills but also lowers stress. Stress can have a detrimental effect on how the young brain operates – not something you want at such a crucial time in development. Learning a musical instrument is also great as it targets the brain’s proportional thinking and spatial temporal reasoning so raise smart kids the creative way and pave for well-rounded, life-smart children.

              Featured photo credit: Pezibear via pixabay.com

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              Jenny Marchal

              A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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              Published on July 22, 2021

              20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

              20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week
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              It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

              Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

              Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

              1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

                These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

                Get the recipe here.

                2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

                  This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

                  To try this recipe, go here.

                  3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

                    Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

                    Check out the recipe here.

                    4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

                      Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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                      Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                      5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

                        This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

                        Find the recipe here.

                        6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

                          The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

                          Get the recipe for this dish here.

                          7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                            Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                            You can find the recipe here.

                            8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                              Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                              Find the recipe here.

                              9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                                This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                                Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                                  Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                                  The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                                  11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                                    Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                                    Find the recipe here.

                                    12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                                      This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                                      Find the recipe here.

                                      13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                                        Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                                        This easy recipe can be found here.

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                                        14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                                          Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                                          Find out how to make it here.

                                          15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                            This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                            The recipe can be found here.

                                            16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                              This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                              Find the recipe here.

                                              17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                                Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                                Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                                18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                                  Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                                  Find the recipe here.

                                                  19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                                    Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                                    Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                                    20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                                      Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                                      Get the recipe here.

                                                      Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                                      Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                                      Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                                      1. Lose the Sugar

                                                      Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                                      2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                                      Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                                      3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                                      Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                                      When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                                      Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                                      Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                                      More Healthy Eating Tips

                                                      Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

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