5. Allow Your Child to Fail … and Like it
What child likes to fail? Yet, failure is the sure way to learn concretely and with confidence. Parents, especially those desiring to see their child become a genius, tend to overprotect or shield their children from being hurt by failure. Heavy coaching and training on the parent’s part leaves little room for a child to fail and then learn from their mistakes. Protectiveness leads to understating a failure, therefore hiding the mistake and indicating failing is a bad thing.
We know learning cannot come without failure. And confidence is not gained by overachievement: it is gained in greater strides by attempting, failing, and adjusting to reach success. Academic potential, even from infancy on, is undermined by the perception that only perfection is acceptable. Confining your child to a world viewed as success oriented first, inhibits their gumption to try new things and reach beyond standard learning.
A company made of managers who ‘micro-manage’ their employees, is stunting the growth of that company as employees wait for the yay or nay from a manager. In the same way, smothering your child with assistance and suggestions will stunt them from excelling in school. Fear of failure breeds insecurity. And insecurity prevents your child from taking chances and grasping the thrill of higher education.
4. To Praise or Not to Praise
Each baby is born with in inept desire to explore and learn about the world around them. Each infant thrives in a stimulating environment and the earliest learning comes from how they respond to new experiences. When a baby, toddler, or young child finds a particular action has a specific outcome, they subconsciously commit it to memory. This inventory of experiences gathers in the brain of even an infant and adds to their feeling of control and mastery. The benefit results in toddlers and children who feel good about their capability and puts the on the road to confidence. This adds to the child’s ability to be self-sufficient and promotes further motivation to learn.
Where praise becomes crucial is when the infant or child accomplishes any level of success or learns a new skill. The adults that are important to them provide the highest level of confidence when praise is given. Being specific when praising your child, makes them aware of the reason and thus solidifies their efforts and success. Examples of specific and mindful praise are; “You did a great job putting your toys away,” or “I really love the way you wrote your name on your paper.”
Motivational praise is opposite of a negative reinforcement. A child, who is praised for their ‘effort’ as often as for their success, teaches problem solving for future assignments. Instead of, “You knocked down your block tower before finishing it.” Say, “I noticed how hard you worked at building your block tower. I can’t wait to see your next one.” The focus is on what the child did well, instead of what they failed at. There is no false praise for a mistake made, instead praise to drive them to try again. A child will be more apt to take on difficult subjects when they have grown up with proper affirmation.
3. Teach Your Child to Eat ‘Wisely’
“You are What You Eat.” We’ve all heard it said. The first coining of the phrase was in 1826 when French author wrote, “Tell Me What You Eat and I’ll Tell You What You Are.” A developing infant in its mother’s womb needs the right amount of nutrients, and prenatal care involves constant monitoring of the mother’s diet. But once an infant is born, the lifetime nutrition and eating habits they learn from birth will affect how well they learn.
In infancy, a shortage of iron and iodine impairs cognitive development and early motor skills. These results can be serious and at times, irreversible. Much data is published on the effect of DHA, an essential fatty acid, during the first years of a child’s life. DHA is a necessary substance needed for production of synapses of the brain. Early brain function is greatly influenced by levels of other nutrients like zinc, folic acid, and choline.
There are scientifically proven benefits of nutrition from infancy on and your child’s ability to learn and retain knowledge. Healthy choices mean foods that contain proteins, vitamins, and readily absorbed nutrients that have a great effect on brain function and learning capability.
Start early: your child needs to be accustomed to healthy food choices and good eating habits so in the future, it will be second nature. Of course, the occasional fast food adventure and candy store trip are required if you want your child to cooperate with healthy eating. To squash the binge on forbidden foods, be sure to allow some treats not normally served at home.
If a child is used to fresh vegetables, home cooked meals, high fiber snacks, and other good food choices, they will retain these habits throughout life. Their education depends on proper nutrition to maximize their brain function and make learning easier.
Your budding genius will reach their optimal IQ when good nutrition is provided from infancy and modeled through daily eating habits.