Centuries ago, midwives and mothers advised pregnant women to stay happy, listen to music, be around nature, and embrace good health. Now advanced research in child development shows that brain development in children does not occur after birth but begins in the womb itself.
Sharpen the Intellect
Thinking skills are the most crucial in the technological world of today. Educators firmly believe that it is not the volume of knowledge but the ability to assimilate and make sense of information that is essential. Children must know how to find solutions to problems and situations.
The goal of education is to teach children to be effective thinkers —as you know, this is what equips them to stay ahead in situations where solutions need to be found at the snap of fingers. So, you must focus on cognitive development and higher order thinking.
As a parent there are a great many ways in which you can work towards the goal of effective thinking and higher reasoning. Technology has made available several computer programs, software CDs, and DVDs that are fun to use and place the children in more and more difficult situations, which they need to solve. The focus of companies such as Smart Neurons are educational teaching aids and toys which fulfill the goal of enhancing thinking, mathematical abilities, and problem solving in children.
Exercise Clears Cobwebs
Our grandmothers used to say that fresh air will clear the cobwebs in the mind—they were absolutely right. Physical activity, fresh air, and exercise help stimulate the brain and enhance learning.
Children need sustained physical exercise and as a parent you need to ensure this by taking the child to a park or play ground where he can run and play. Allow the child to climb the jungle tree, sit on swings, play ball with others.
Music Creates Geniuses
Wow! Did you know that music majors stand a higher chance at becoming doctors and most successful techies at Silicon Valley are practicing musicians —don’t be surprised to hear this but music creates geniuses.
Listening to music and learning music enhances retentive powers and vocabulary. Music nurtures the brain and stimulates overall growth. Studies show that listening to Mozart’s piano sonata K448 for just 10 minutes increased spatial scores in IQ tests.
Many parents now expose even newborn babies and older children to recorded classical music as it is firmly believed that it helps infants think better.
Food for Thought
It is not just brain-stimulating activities that boost brain power, the food a child eats affects its thinking as well. Did you know, a brain needs plenty of carbohydrates, fats, as well as proteins, vitamins and minerals for both repair as well as function? In fact, many mothers are witness to mood swings and erratic behavior in their children after the consumption of chocolates or junk sugar foods like candy, icing, syrups, and packaged baked products. The sugar highs and lows caused by certain kinds of foods can make a child fidgety, irritable, inattentive, and sleepy.
The best brain foods that you can feed your child are brain friendly carbs like: grapefruit, apples, cherries, and oranges—eaten whole is more beneficial than juice; oatmeal and bran as well as spaghetti and rice; legumes like soybeans, kidney beans, chick peas, and lentils; milk and yogurt. Introduce foods that have a low glycemic index into your little one’s diet.