How much attention are we paying to the development of our children’s minds? It is important that we start properly molding those minds as early as we can. We all want our children to be successful as they get older. We all want them to get a good education and a solid job. However, college is pretty stinking hard. What are some steps that we can be taking now, to mold those brains so that they are more prepared for their education when that day comes?
So, I started thinking, what are some good ways to impact our children’s brain development in order to set them up for success later in life? Come to find out, there are many things that you can be doing, right now, that will help your child down the road.
Zach’s Top 10 ways to Mold His Child’s Brains
Way #1: Display emotional intelligence. Our children model everything that they see us do. They are like sponges, soaking up our every word and action. By staying on top of our own emotions and teaching our children to identify theirs early, they have an advantage over their peer group once puberty hits.
Way #2: Tell your kids stories. Now, I’m not just talking about the one that you use to put them to sleep at night. What I’m suggesting is that you should be sharing stories with them about your life. What were some things that you liked to do before they were born? What are some ways that you spent your time as a child? The more you share with them, the broader their world will become.
Way #3: Practice being happy. This might come easy to you if you are naturally a happy person anyways. However, if you struggle with this emotion, practice being happy anyways, even if you have to fake it at times. Our emotional state will roll over into our children’s lives and the happier they feel, the better their emotional state will develop as they age.
Way #4: Encourage them to try new things. Most children will not, by nature, desire to step out of their comfort zone and try new things. However, engaging in activities that are new to them is excellent for their mental development. We have required our children to each settle on two things that they really enjoy to be engaged in. Sydney has chosen tumbling and soccer. Caleb is still trying things out.
Way #5: Help them develop their conscience. I read once that you never have to teach a child to be bad. They will do that just fine on their own. However, children do not naturally develop unselfish habits. Those things have to be taught and there really isn’t a time that is too early to start that process. When you see your child doing something that should trigger their conscience, engage in that with them.
Way #6: Keep them down off the pedestal. Many parents have a tendency to make little idols out of their children which breeds entitlement. You definitely don’t want your teenager expressing that the world owes him something so don’t build up this mindset in your youngster. Tell them no and do it frequently. It’s not cruel, just make sure they know why.
Way #7: Be kind to your child. This should be a no-brainer but there really is not a faster way to stunt your kids development than to be cruel to him or her. It’s crazy to consider but I have seen parents be downright cruel to their children. Now, do not confuse thsi statement with giving your children everything that they want. That’s not what I am suggesting at all. However, express love to this child as frequently as you can.
Way #8: Offer praise to your child. Your child’s confidence level is going to depend heavily on the amount of praise that they receive when they’re young. You must build them up for their successes. Please do not see this as encouragement to praise everything that they do. You want your child to be aware of failure when it occurs as it is an excellent teaching moment. But, when your kid does something good, heap on the praise.
Way #9: Expose your child to brain stimulation. It is so easy to let the television and the Xbox 360 raise your kids. Life gets crazy busy at times and you are just trying to make it work. But, here’s the deal. Your kids are going to need some real intellectual stimulation. Carve out some reading time. Plan a trip to a museum from time to time.
These are just a few ideas. There are tons of other ideas, thoughts and plans. You probably have a few of your own. Share a few of the ways that you keep your kids engaged in the comment section below.
Life is Strange. Live it Well.