Most people know by now (at least I hope most do) that playing music to your infants while they’re still in their cribs… actually increases their IQ and EQ.
We’ve heard a lot by now that playing classical music boosts our ability to study. (So much in fact that repeating this feels like I’m beating a long-gone dead horse.)
But… researchers conducted a scientific experiment involving control groups. And kids in the “music” group performed better on tests than the kids who did the tests without music.
Musical training, as it’s called, isn’t just for kids, either. Playing music helps everyone learn more effectively. (Especially learning music theory.)
(And, personally, there is no greater joy than listening to music and knowing how to play the songs I love. From Bob Dylan’s folksy beginnings all the way to Tom Waits’ serene melodies. Love truly is the power of music.)
But this is just the tip of the ice-berg when it comes towards using several social sciences to make your kids smarter.
Another CRUCIAL way is by using…
1. Exercise Increases Intelligence
Did you know that being fit and in good shape increases our learning abilities?
This is because exercising for as little as 3-months increases our brain’s blood flow. This is crucial to understand… because… that blood flows to the parts of our brain associated with memory and learning.
It’s been well-documented that exercise increases brain derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and lowers cortisol.
Cortisol, as I’m sure you’re aware, is the ipso facto “stress” hormone in our bodies. Too much cortisol and our heads go through the roof in an explosion!
Regular, consistent exercise lowers cortisol. That’s a fact.
Promoting BDNF is important because it’s related to cognitive improvement and the eradication of depression and anxiety. (It’s actually a protein that is commonly referred to as “Miracle-Gro for the brain.”)
Exercising to spike BDNF and reduce cortisol levels is much safer and faster than taking antidepressants – which usually take up to two weeks (all the way up to a month) to kick in. Plus, not all antidepressants are created equal, and may end up doing more harm than good.
For a more immediate (and natural) way to lower anxiety and depression, as well as annihilate stress, take 10 minutes out of your day for some exercise with your kid.
This is why jumping jacks are a staple among serious health lovers. They get you heart rate up, put some oil on your limbs, and keep you young. Same as burpees. (If traditional burpees are “beneath you”, here’s over 44 burpee variations to make things interesting and brutal.)
Best part is – kids don’t even have to do these for long! All they need per day is 10 minutes of these exercises. (If they can make it that long – burpees are killers.)
To prove your kids’ mettle and increase their fluid and crystallised intelligence, give them a round of exercise. Something as easy as…
- 5 jumping jacks
- 5 burpees
- 4 jumping jacks
- 4 burpees
- 3 jumping jacks
- 3 burpees
- And so on. (This is a REAL work out! Try it out for yourself if you don’t think so.)
Plus, counting the burpees and jacks as they’re doing them can stimulate their recollection memory.
2. Lets You “Hack” Into Success (Quickly)
When we’re figuring out how to do something – a DIY weekend project, or figure out how to work some new device (like an mp3 player)… do we figure out how to do it by reading about it?
Sure. We might read a few how to articles, hit up YouTube or Vimeo for instructables. But it isn’t until we actually go ahead and DO it that the doing gets done. (You can read about how to change the cold/hot water hoses on washing machines – but you’ll never know how to until you actually change them. Same as how you read books on raising infants – it wasn’t until you actually practicedwhat you read about that you knew how to.)
The same goes for children: we, as humans, learn the most by engaging in activities. Not passively reading about them or watching screens.
In fact, some researchers have made the argument that all those “educational” DVDs and teaching shows don’t make kids smarter; for infants under 12 months exposed to this type of media, they make them dumber.
Well, not dumber – that’s cruel to say. I should say that infants (and kids) who watched those “Baby Einstein” movies didn’t have any distinct advantage over plain-ol’ learning.
Author of The Talent Code (a best-selling book that shows you the best ways for nurturing talent using cutting-edge neurology, and how to utilise that talent for future success), Dan Coyle suggests testing ourselves (and your kids) on skills you read about. This gives you (and your child) the greatest chance for learning.
3. Happy Kids = Successful Adults
Is there really a science behind happiness?
Inspiring happiness and actually keeping your kids happy (as much as possible) boosts their self-esteem. This self-esteem transforms into increased performance. Which translates into later success as an adult.
It seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But the scientific evidence is there.
Obviously, since you’re a role model to your loved ones, being happy yourself (in front of them) is the first step to take to make sure they have smiles across their faces – as children mimic their parents.
All the way back in 1968, Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson performed a study in the classroom.
They simply told certain teachers that they had particular students who were academically gifted. (When, in fact, the students who were told they were gifted were chosen at random.)
Mean? Maybe. But it doesn’t change the fact that those kids – by year’s end, had performed better on tests than the “non-gifted” students. So much so that they acquired 20+ IQ points when tested.
So encourage your kids! This is above and beyond one of the best things you can do to ensure your kids are smarter.
If you value your chilrens’ future happiness and success at all, you’ll follow (and DO) the hints and tips listed above. Why not give it a shot? You have nothing to lose and everything wonderful to gain.
Featured photo credit: woodleywonderworks/CC BY 2.0 via flickr.com