Four Ways to Raise Smart Kids

The complex world we live in today means that our children have to grow up and become wise to its ways at a much younger age than we did. However, this is the reality you need to face if you want to raise your child to be mature, responsible, and able to take care of themselves.

While you might have been responsible for cooking, cleaning, and other chores as a kid, you didn’t need to worry about whether your ‘friends’ on social media were pedophiles wanting to groom you. The dangers of the modern world make most of us want to become helicopter parents when that is the last thing we should do.

Emphasize the value of hard work

Children have different capabilities, and they achieve at different levels. You should never lavish all your praise on the child that gets the highest marks. Instead, you should be commending the child who worked valiantly to achieve the results they did, even if they’re not the best in the class. 

Accept that your children are not necessarily going to meet the conventional definition of ‘smart’, as in academically gifted. This does not, however, mean that you don’t expect them to deliver their best effort every time.

Gifted kids often rest on their laurels because they achieve results without putting in too much effort. Your child should know from an early age that coasting isn’t good enough. Working hard and not giving up when the going gets tough are vital soft skills that your child will need when they grow up, go to college, and enter the workforce.

Limit screen time

While there is a lot that can be learned from a screen, it is no substitute for real-life experiences. By installing a spy phone app on your child’s devices, you can make sure they adhere to your screen time rules. Set limits for how long your children should be accessing devices and monitor what they do to make sure that it is of educational and social benefit.

Watching a screen requires the eyes to move up and down to absorb the image. Reading makes the eyes move from left to right as they track the text on a line.

Children who spend too much time in front of a screen may find the adjustment in eye span requirements difficult, thereby inhibiting their reading skills. Additionally, screens leave little to the imagination, where books and games outdoors stimulate it.

Assign chores

There’s no sense in having a child who understands college-level geometry at age 12 if they cannot make their bed in the morning. Life is about a balance between knowledge and skills. While academics are important, they cannot be the entire focus of your child’s development.

Children should be doing age-appropriate chores from the time they are very young. Don’t bribe them into doing chores by paying them. Children need to understand that some tasks just need to be done without the expectation of a reward when they’re finished.

Explore your parenting style

Authoritarian parents might have model children when they’re young, but they often become highly rebellious when entering their teens. Permissive parents have kids who are challenging to manage from the beginning right into adulthood.

The key is finding the balance. There is a time for autocratic leadership as a parent, but there is also a place for a democratic approach. Be authoritative, not authoritarian, and be permitting, not permissive. 

By using this approach, you can set loving boundaries your children will respect. They will also learn how to process emotions healthily and interact with others on a social level in a meaningful manner.

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