A lot of curious parents or parents with kids who face troubles in school often want to know- ‘Is there a way to make the kid learn faster?’ or ‘Is there something that we can do to boost their IQ?’
So,in today’s blog we will explain certain things that scientifically boost your child’s ability to learn. But before I go any further, understand that science still believes that there is not much that one can do to change the existing IQ or Intelligence Quotient in a person.
However, there are researches which suggest that some brain training activities, exercises can improve the grasping ability and thus enhance memory as well as learning skills. Thus, we will be talking of things to improve learning skills and not the IQ of a kid.
It might take you by surprise, regular exercise stimulates brain growth to enhance your child’s ability to learn. Exercise also helps children in improving attention in school. Send your child out to play daily or have some form of physical activity for a minimum of one hour daily.
Playful behaviour in kids has a positive effect on kids and their ability to learn. Free play or imaginative play improves the functioning of cerebral cortex- the part of your child’s brain that plays an important role in attention, perception, awareness, memory, consciousness and language skills.
There are toys or games that are made to enhance learning skills in children. For example, blocks or Lego helps in enhancing spatial learning, math and problem-solving skills as well as verbal skills.
Which is why the next time you go out to buy something for your child, instead of splurging on a video game or an electronic item, buy a puzzle or a game that will help them learn new skills.
What kids eat matters the most when it comes to brain growth.
Breast feeding your child exclusively for the first six months of life has shown incredible difference in the learning as well as memory of kids who have not been breast fed.
In kids who are older, adding healthy dietary fats enhances brain function- so add a lot of omega-3 fatty acids that are present in fish oils or sea food, nuts and seeds i.e. flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts etc., plant oils like soybean oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil etc.
Believe it or not, sleep too has a very important effect on your child’s memory, intelligence and learning skills.
According to a research conducted in Canadian kids between the ages of 2.5-6 years, researchers concluded that children who had chronic sleep deprivation or in simple words did not get enough sleep according to their age had a poor performance in neurodevelopmental tests (tests that are done to assess the activity of mind)
Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your child is getting enough sleep in an age appropriate manner.
Here is how much sleep your child needs:
Newborn: 18 hours
1-2 years of age: 14 hours
3-5 years of age: 10-13 hours
6-12 years of age: 9-12 hours
Parental Sensitivity and attachment:
Last but not the least, you as a parent play a crucial role in determining your child’s learning and brain development.
Responsive parenting i.e. parents who have constant interactions with their children, who understand their emotional as well as physical needs and respond accordingly has a great impact on your child’s brain development.
Sensitive or responsive parents are in tune with their children and understand their needs better.
Thus, one needs to be prompt, contingent, display warm and accepting behaviours to your child.
Neglecting the child due to familial or financial responsibilities, constantly nagging the child to do better, or even a mindset for failure (believing that if your child failed once- will always do so/ or they cannot improve) leads to children with low emotional intelligence, difficulty in learning and even poor memory.
Sadly, there is no secret mantra or a magic wand that can be handed over to parents to improve their child’s memory and learning skills. It takes time and effort to develop- so as long as you are constantly trying and encouraging your child to do so too; you are in the right direction.
Also, if your child is suffering from a learning disability or medical condition- it is best to consult an expert in the field and adapt appropriate techniques to improve their skills.