How To Raise an Intelligent Creative Child
We all want our kids to reach their full intellectual and creative potential, to love learning, to enjoy reading. There's no question that doing well academically gives kids huge advantages for the rest of their lives. But even more important is the lifelong joy your child will derive from learning, if you can protect his natural curiosity and love of exploration. The links below are designed to help you raise a child who's intellectually curious, creative, and excited about learning on every level -- for the long haul.
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Many people believe that intelligence is static; either you're smart or you're not. But it turns out that intelligence is like a muscle: it can be developed with use.
Turns out parents have a lot more influence on kids' grades than they think, and none of it comes from paying kids for those As. Start by reading constantly to your child and don't let him develop the TV habit. The rest is easy.
Forget Baby Einstein. The single best way to increase your child’s IQ is to read to her and instill a love of reading. Most parents buy board books for their babies and say they hope they'll love reading. And yet, by middle school, most kids stop reading books that aren't assigned in school. Kids who love to read do better in school at all ages. What can you do to make sure your child is one of them?
Everyone is creative, although some people are born with talent in certain mediums: an artist’s eye, for instance, or perfect pitch, or a writer’s way with words. All of us need access to creativity to solve the problems of daily life. We can’t give our children talent, but we can train the eye and the ear and the mind, and we can help them gain access to a creative way of seeing.
When my first child was a toddler, his weekly mission at the library was to have me read as many books as he could sit through, after which, re-energized, he would race around creating havoc. Finding the time to sift through the books on the shelf so I could find some to take home was always a challenge. I finally stumbled on the strategy of going to the library prepared with a list of the authors we liked. Then I simply had to skim the B's, for instance, and grab everything I could find by Barklem, Barrett, Barton, Bemelmans, Brown, or Burton. I undoubtedly missed a lot of good books, and I still took every opportunity to browse unfamiliar authors, but at least I knew we'd have something satisfying to read that week. The question, of course, is where do you get the list? Here!
Most of us respond to our kids’ boredom by providing technological entertainment or structured activities. But unstructured time challenges kids to engage with themselves and the world, to imagine and invent and create. Kids need practice with unstructured time, or they'll never learn to manage it, or themselves. Here's how to handle boredom complaints so your child begins to find life more interesting.
Research shows that the more TV kids watch, the less likely they are to read as they get older. Time spent on the one activity precludes the other. And once kids develop the habit of TV, they are less likely to seek out books of their own accord. Books -- which are more work -- just can't compete with the lure of the screen.