Want to learn the secret to making your children smarter and happier? It may startle you to learn that it doesn’t come only from the classroom. Learning transcends the schoolhouse.
Quotes about Intelligence
“Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven.” –Edward de Bono
Stephen Hawking, one of history’s greatest astrophysicists, once said,
“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” -Stephen Hawking
Now, we won’t completely disavow intelligence tests. Many of the world’s most brilliant minds (like Hawking) scored extremely high on “intelligence tests.”
The problem is that we, as a society, still place a disproportionate amount of emphasis on “intelligence tests.”
We will make the argument – as will many of the brightest brain scientists – that nourishing intellect is far more important.
Einstein and Edison
Not too long ago, scientists proclaimed that intelligence was fixed. Either you were “smart” or “dumb.” A number from some obscure test determined your “intelligence.”
Now, genius sometimes appears when and where it appears without any material cause. A very (very) small percentage of children are just born with a genius-level intellect. This, however, is exceedingly rare. And even this is not measurable.
Some of history’s greatest minds – Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison among them – were once told they would “never amount to anything,” or that they were “too stupid to learn.”
Einstein is a genius, and arguably the greatest mind to have ever walked the planet Earth. Thomas Edison, the “stupid” one, would go on to become history’s most prolific inventor. Nobody living today would doubt the intelligence of either man.
So, what made the difference for Edison and Einstein? Self-confidence. They knew what they were capable of, and couldn’t give a rat’s ‘a’ about what some “academic” said otherwise.
Fast-forward to today
We know, for a scientific fact, that intelligence is not fixed. The human brain has the remarkable capability of molding itself, growing, and becoming smarter. Yet, we continue to administer tests for private school admissions, gifted and talented status, or public school placement (in some areas of the world) based on I.Q. test results.
Regardless of what you may or may not believe, you can improve your child’s innate gifts. We’re going to discuss how to increase seven abilities that every person needs to succeed in today’s world. Those seven skills are:
- Information retention (short-term memory)
- Long-term memory
- Critical thinking
- Fine-motor skills
If you’re a parent, you should be pumped and raring to go. If you’re a childless adult, the same applies. You can increase your intellect at any age.
Let’s get our brain power on!
Here are seven easy ways to boost your kid’s (and your) smarts:
1. Introduce math at an early age
It really doesn’t matter how you build curiosity and talent for math. If your kid is playing with 12 blocks, take 2 away and ask how many are left. Put the 2 blocks back and ask the same question. Tell them to count the number of puzzle pieces for a certain puzzle. As they mature, ramp up the difficulty.
2. Challenge their memory
“Tell me five things you did in school today.” “How many friends did you play with at recess?” Again, it doesn’t matter how you test the child, just test them. They may get frustrated; they may want to play. This is when your role as a parent reigns supreme. Test them. Challenge them.
3. Give them paper, crayons, scissors, glue, paint, etc.
Fine motor skills are drastically underrated as a marketable skill. Did you know that a certified master mechanic earns more than the typical business manager? Exactly. Give them this stuff. Let them get dirty and build things.
4. Let them solve problems autonomously
Is your child late for school? Tell him or her to figure it out. Don’t be afraid to put a little pressure on. “You have (x) minutes left. Let’s go.” Just make sure to provide some encouragement “You can do it. Use your mind.” This kind of autonomy is invaluable.
5. Give them blocks and puzzles
Spatial skills, like fine-motor skills, is another area where very smart people struggle. Why? Because our education system places far too much emphasis on rote memorization. Not only will your child increase their brainpower, but they’ll also have fun.
Speaking of which…
6. Let them play
In a documentary this writer watched, a child was forced to remain in her bedroom studying…and studying….and studying. This type of parenting is detrimental to a child’s health. Today, we deal with the same problem: rote memorization and learning – and no emphasis on creative thinking. Children develop creative thought through play.
George Carlin, the hilarious and brilliant comedian, once quipped: “When does a child get to play in the yard with a stick anymore?”
7. Talk and read; then talk and read again
Did you know that children raised in “high-language” homes average 38 points higher in IQ tests? This writer (and many scientists) are not convinced of the merit of I.Q. tests – but this is a noticeable difference. Talk to your kid, read to your kid; let them talk and read to you – about anything and everything – and whatever is in-between.