7 Parenting Tips on How to Raise a Smart Child

We all want our kids to grow up happy and healthy, and of course, that is the number one priority. However, number two for many parents is that they will be smart, get lots of qualifications, and be successful. In this article, we will outline 7 parenting tips on how to raise a smart child.

1. Give them experiences, not possessions

Many of use worry that we are raising kids that are too materialistic. There is a growing trend of minimalism, and appreciating the value of owning less and doing more. Likewise, studies have shown that there is a direct link between the number of possessions that somebody has and their levels of anxiety. Thus, if you want to foster personal growth in your child, how them the value of experiences (watching the sunset, visiting a museum, eating a dish from another country) rather than material possessions.

2. Unlock their mind through reading

Reading is truly a way to explore the world, yourself and ideas. As Stephen King said, books are ‘uniquely portable magic’. If you foster this belief in your children from an early age by reading to them, there is nothing that they cannot do: explore the jungles with Kipling, go down the Rabbit hole with Alice or ask Dickens why society was so unjust. Reading is a way that your child can unlock their intellectual potential, and also their self.

3. Music can open their mind

It is no coincidence that music is utilized by many religions and spiritual practices in order to get closer to the divine. Music can be a profound force of self-improvement, and some studies show that music can even increase IQ, particularly classical music. Therefore, if you give your child the opportunity to be musical, for example by teaching them an instrument, they will grow as a person whilst also nurturing their intellect.

4. Don’t stifle them

Freedom v boundaries. This is possibly one of the biggest worries that parents have. They need both. Your children may ask questions like ‘why does x happen and y not’, or they may say things that shock you or that you disagree with. You need to, whilst not always agreeing with them, encourage them to explore ideas and test things out in a safe environment. In this way, they will grow as thinkers and as people, and their general frame of reference will be larger. We do realize though that this is difficult for parents, as it is for educators in general.

5. Don’t give them too much freedom

Children, people, beings; they all need boundaries. If you are to raise a smart child, there has to be some element of discipline in their behavior. For example, if their language skills are to improve, they need to set an hour aside a day to read. If they want to get better at math, they need to do their sums after dinner. If you encourage routines and bring in some boundaries, you will give them the opportunity to grow and develop.

6. Make them mindful

Mindfulness is all the rage, and no wonder. Research has shown that mindfulness is so powerful that it can actually change the structure of your brain, and it can also change your thought processes and your life. There is also a growing mindfulness-for-kids’ movement, which says that it could help make your kids smarter and more well-rounded people. According to experts in mindfulness, it is particularly appropriate for children because they have flexible minds.

7. Use technology appropriately

For parents, technology is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it can allow your children to experience educational opportunities that would never have been available to them in the past. On the other hand, the internet is replete with dangers. One way in which you could raise a smart child is by teaching them, or allowing them to learn, coding. Coding has many intellectual benefits for kids, and it can also allow them to improve themselves through exercising their creativity, as coding is about creating something from nothing, which will really boost your kid’s motivation and confidence.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list, and many things about parenting (and unfortunately life in general!) are down to chance, genetics, and other variables. However, if you do the above, you are helping to give your child the best start in life, particularly in relation to their education.

Happy parenting,
Holly

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The Importance of Creativity in the Learning Process

There are certain things that help children to develop quicker; the right environment, a healthy diet and plenty of resources, to name just a few. In a space of learning, getting the right balance of everything your child needs to flourish is crucial to a good education.

One such crucial need is creativity. Even in subjects like math and science, which seem to be the furthest thing from anything like art and self-expression, bringing in a creative aspect can really help push your child forward in their development.

Creativity can be merged with education in a number of ways. From using play toys for little children to encourage their development to creating songs that help your child to remember key facts – there’s a wide array of options when it comes to creative learning.

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Art Therapy Activities to De-stress

We all get stressed sometimes. Whether you’re in the middle of exams, having relationship troubles or going through a tricky period financially it’s easy to feel a bit anxious. The trick is to find healthy ways to deal with your anxiety and distress effectively.

Art has long been used as a calming and happy alternative to more destructive forms of self-help, and these days art therapy is very common. Go into any hospital, prison, school or nursing home and you’re likely to find an art therapist supporting people there. Luckily it’s also easy to do art therapy yourself at home.

Why not try some simple, creative activities to help you deal with life’s stresses and strains? Here are three easy activities to get you going.

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6 Hacks to Learn Anything Faster

In life, there are people who can learn anything faster in the blink of an eye and others might need a bit longer to learn a simple concept or theory. In this article, however, I will highlight and showcase the 5 hacks anyone can use to learn anything (yes, anything) much faster than usual.

1. Review your errors

It’s a life truth that you learn better from your mistakes. Any mistakes you have made in the past act as a pinpoint reference for you to better yourself. Reviewing them even for the shortest amount of time will help understand where your problem-solving skills let you down.

This hack is fantastic as you gain a pure understanding of how you approached the problem before, where you went took the wrong turn and you become stronger at the problem.

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Mindfulness Has Improved My Life in Just 18 Days

2018 is the year of getting better, of being better, both physically and mentally. I’m a mom of 3 children, and I’m very determined to stick to my new year’s resolution of being and doing better.

I want to be the mom that does as she says she will, and I don’t want my kids to see me do any different. Children pick up on everything, even those moods you think you’re hiding so well, and it affects them.

We all want our kids to grow up to be happy and healthy and, though this took me a few years to realize, a lot of that is looking after yourself. It’s strange way to think at first. It’s almost selfish. I’m a mom, I’m so used being the caretaker to others that being the caretaker for myself made me feel like I was taking away from my children.

Instead, I’m helping them by helping myself be the healthiest I can be. Mindfulness has improved all aspects of my life, including my work life and my home life.

Here are the 4 simple things that have changed my life 18 days into the new year.

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How Higher Purposes Can Motivate Students in Studying

Most students have a reason for wanting to study, but it depends on what that reason is that is going to determine how motivated they remain. In the beginning of a new semester, students are usually highly motivated to do better. As time goes on, many students loose this drive and motivation, because they do not have a cemented purpose.

If you want to achieve your highest goals, you need to perhaps re-evaluate you reasons. Let’s say you are busy with a psychology and criminology personal statement and half way through you lose your motivation. If you had a higher purpose to keep your motivation intact, you would not stop until it is done. A lot of this is a mind-set change with a combination of an attainable goal. Here is how a higher purpose affect your studies.

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Decoding Texting Slang Your Teen Uses Regularly

I remember a few years ago I was watching a news program and it offered a list to teach parents about decoding texting slang they claimed teens were using. Among some of the more colorful gems were:

– LHS – Let’s have sex

– IGTD – I got the drugs

– PIRDTAS – Parents in rooms don’t talk about stuff

– SMH – Satan makes me happy

These were so ludicrous that I have never forgotten them. Have you ever seen those used anywhere? Can you imagine your teen doing it? Of course not, it was so out of touch that I was sure it must have been a joke (spoiler: it wasn’t).

Slang is a normal part of communication, especially for young people as they assert their independence. Each generation has their own and in the digital era it is a little different than the “boss” and “sick”’s of our own decades.

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The Most Narcissistic Generation: Which One Is It?

Not too long ago, I saw a Facebook comment on a George Takei post. A man from the Baby Boomer generation was going on a rant about the Narcissistic Generation & Millennials and how they were useless, lazy, didn’t know what they were doing, didn’t have real jobs, didn’t buy houses and more. It was quite a list of sins.

One particular thing which stuck out to me was his vehement claim of narcissism. This online stranger claims that millennials are selfish, self-absorbed narcissists.

Narcissistic Generation or a Value-Shift?

I don’t normally engage with random people on the web; however, his passionate rant rubbed me the wrong way.

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Improve Health and Happiness by Cleaning the Air in Your Home

We spend more than 90% of our time indoors, yet how often do we consider the air quality of our homes? Polluted air is often linked to traffic filled streets and coal burning factories, but pollutants released outside will disperse easily. Our homes lock in dirty air and contribute to the onset of asthma and even lung cancer. You can improve wellbeing by spending time in nature, but for when you are home, here are some steps you can take to clean up the air.

Remove Toxic Chemicals

The list of products that pollute the air in your home is endless: cookers, cleaning products, moisturisers and air fresheners all mean that the air indoors is dirtier than outdoors. Luckily, there are natural alternatives for most of these things.

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Allowing Your Children to Take Risks and Learn From Failure

No one learns without failing or making mistakes. Yet, we as parents often forget this universal truth as we raise our children. Instead of pushing them to take risks, experiment and uncover their true potential, we refuse to let them learn from their failures.

However, shielding our children from risks only cripples their ability to learn new skills and prevents them from discovering their innate abilities. It also hinders them from learning how to overcome failure and adapt to change- key attributes required for personal growth.

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