How to: Raise a Genius
It doesn't take a genius to help your baby grow up to reach their intellectual potential. All it takes is loving, involved parents willing to put some effort into everyday life. Here's a list of fun, everyday things to do with your smarty-pants. And best of all is you can start using most of these as soon as your baby is born!
Routine or The Unexpected
Expose your child to the unexpected. I know this sounds a little contradicting coming from me because I'm always stressing how important it is for children to have set routines. This is still true; from playtime and eating to bedtime routines, babies need these to build good habits and have some structure of what their day will be like.
But you can't raise your child in a bubble while expecting them to reach their full potential.
Travel, expose them to foreign cultures, have them experience different environments, let them meet new people, allow them to explore. Opening your baby to a world full of possibilities leads them to earlier development.
Talk to your baby
Even though it seems you're baby can't understand a thing your saying and certainly can't respond to you, your little one is actually analyzing the tremendous amount of information that you are sharing with him.
You know that cute baby talk where you shorten and simplify words? Skip it. Instead, name things around you, narrate your daily activities as baby watches, but always in the intonations of a grown-up even when your baby is just a newborn. It will help them develop speech abilities much faster.
When should you start reading books to your child? According to many scientists: as soon as possible.
Our brains work in such amazing ways that the words your newborn repeatedly heard while in the womb will be recognized by your baby as soon as they come into this world.
Reading out loud helps enhance their ability to concentrate as well as expanding the range of sounds and later - words.
Make reading part of your daily routine and before you know it, you'll have a little book worm excitedly choosing their own books for you to read to them. Not only are they learning but it's also such a special bonding moment between parent and baby.
Easy as 1-2-3
Did you know that babies can perceive quantity as early as 3-months-old? It is scientifically proven that they notice when the amount of objects in front of them changes so don't put off the math lessons for when they enter school.
Don't get ahead of yourself and start pulling out the algebra equations just yet, but by simply counting out loud when handing your child two or three toys you are welcoming their first math lessons.
Let your child have a voice
Learning to make your own decisions might be the most crucial skill for a confident and strong personality, so why not start by helping your baby start practicing as of now. Encourage him to make small decisions, like choosing between two toys, picking which fruit he'll have as a snack, deciding which book you'll read for bedtime. Encourage him to choose his own path and help him learn from his mistakes.
Less smart phone, smarter child
In a world where everything revolves around technology, baby learning videos have proven low in effectiveness at increasing brain development. Since Journal of Pediatric's research, over 10 years ago, studies continue to support the fact that children under 2 years old shouldn't be exposed to media. It also states that children over 2 years old should be limited to two hours a day since sitting around staring at a screen for longer than that, instead of helping, may actually delay word learning.
I'll be the first to say that no media exposure before two years old is beyond unrealistic to me in all circumstances. Although my 18-month-old has no idea what an iPad is, I do have to admit that now that I have two under two, "Paw Patrol" helps me entertain him more than I'd really like.
As long as you understand that videos like Baby Einstein will never be a better teacher than you and that they're not a replacement for one-on-one contact, they are not necessarily a bad thing. Just don't expect to sit your baby with an I-Pad in hand and really think this is going to improve his brain development.
Before you go off to read a book with your little one, don't forget to share some of your tips below on how you help boost your smarty pants brain even more.