Understand the factors that make children brilliant

UNDERSTAND THE FACTORS THAT MAKE CHILDREN BRILLIANT

This is a long article but you can’t really raise smart kids if you won’t read.

Every parent I have met wants a brilliant child and I have also met some who would get enraged if a child comes back with a below-average report card. They would even go as far as beating a child who isn’t doing very well in class. I always wonder why they do that because the truth is there are a lot of factors that make a child brilliant and very few of them depend on the child.

In fact, I can say the only factor that depends on the child is concentration and seriousness. Every other thing, including the ability to think, assimilate, read, memorize, prepare and a host of others fall under the purview of the parents, whether consciously or unconsciously.

With that said, we will look at the long held Nature versus Nurture debate.

The nature debate says a child that has the genes of parents who were average students will most likely be an average student. This position which is backed by a lot of scientific debate says that a child picks a huge chunk of his brain power from the mother.

Another thing a child picks from the parents is the memory power.

So if you were forgetful as a child, there is a big probability that your child would also be forgetful due to a gene scientists refer to as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

The gene comes in two forms and if parents pass the weak version of this cell to their child the child might be forgetful and read only to forget quickly.

Thankfully there is the nurture part of the argument that says a child’s brilliance can still shine forth despite what nature bestowed on the child if the parents use some special skills to raise him.

These skills have been used repeatedly in developed countries and are open for parents that are willing to learn and put the knowledge to practice.

These skills aren’t just gimmicks that your child can use in school because, let’s face it, school is just a tiny part of the huge part to success.

There are lessons that your child will need for a lot of other spheres of life. Here are a few of them broken down into simple concepts.

Encourage an early thirst for knowledge

Steve Jobs’ stepfather taught him about electronics when he was a toddler. Oprah Winfrey’s grandmother taught her how to read when she was three. Tiger Woods was playing golf when he was two.

This early introduction to knowledge is what I rarely see in Nigeria. When a child is a toddler here he is either in front of a TV all day – which isn’t great for his brain development – or he is in a day-care facility sleeping all day.

Here is the advantage some successful people have; they were raised to start early incorporating information pertinent to their lives so they grew up loving knowledge. That has helped them a great deal.

The truth is a child you read story books with as a toddler will love to read more as a adult than the one who watched African Magic all day as a child.

Encourage questions

There is a phase in a child’s life that is characterized by a lot of questions. That phase is a very important part of your child’s life.

Your child’s brain is at the opinion phase where it is forming opinions about a lot of things it cannot explain.

It is also a time when your child’s mind is stretching. Sadly some parents sometimes kill their child’s mind. A parent who is frustrated by the questions a child asks explodes and says “Don’t disturb me!”

When you do that you just kill the flame of curiosity that leads to brilliance. Albert Einstein once said, ‘’Never lose a holy curiosity.’’

Answer their questions no matter how much and use the opportunity to give them brain twisters.

For instance a child might say “Daddy (or Mummy), why don’t you go to my school?” You might answer and say, “I am too old for your school but do you know there is a type of school I can still go to? Think of the answer and tell me later.”

You are forcing your child to think and that, believe me, is the greatest skill on earth, the ability to think!

Thinking is the currency of the brilliant and successful. That is why Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.”

Talk

 Many times we just assume talking is that thing we do to communicate. It is so much more than that; it is a tool to transfer brilliance especially to little children.

The next time you are with a little child, point to the TV, for example, and tell the child, “That is television. It is spelt T E L E V I S I ON.” Point to a car and tell him, “That is the car. It is spelt C A R.”

Tell the child, “Those are four books. 2+2 is four and 2×2 is four.”

Do this repeatedly and, I promise you, your child is on his way to brilliance

Never make learning seem like a chore

The reason many children hate reading is because they have come to see it as work. There are games like Scrabble, Ludo, Whot and Monopoly that are good for learning early Math and English that you should play with your kids.

These will put it in their minds that learning is fun and they will grow to see the importance.

Sleep

A sleep-deprived child will never be brilliant because his or her brain is not getting enough rest.

This will lead to weak memory and short attention span which will make him record low scores in class.

Here is the sleep chart science agrees with:

Newborn to 3 months old = 14 – 17 hours

4 to 11 months old = 12 – 15 hours

1 to 2 years old = 11 – 14 hours

3 to 5 years old = 10 – 13 hours

6 to 13 years old = 9 – 11 hours

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