Raising smart kids

Every parent’s desire is for their kids to do well in school, stay out of trouble, and grow up to be a successful and well-adjusted adult. Although there is no set path to guaranteed parenting success, there are however, some guidelines that can greatly improve your odds for raising smart kids.

Here are five (5) things you should do for raising smart kids.

1. Get your kids involved in academics early 

Research shows that reading to your children and teaching them early can greatly impact their achievement in later years. And some parents use helping their kids with their homework as a way to teach them. However, it is important for parents to start easing off of helping their kids with their homework, by elementary school. This is because, always helping your child with their homework can actually stunt their development and prevent them from doing any independent thinking. So, while it is important to always communicate your interest in your kid’s schooling, it is equally as important to encourage them to take charge of their own work, independently.

2. Don’t overprotect them

Many parents have difficulty allowing their kids solve problems by themselves. Instead, they rush in to help them fix these challenges. What happens though is that these kids end up depending completely on their parents which becomes detrimental to their development. As a parent, what you should do is allow your kids to make mistakes. This will help them develop resilience and be more resourceful, which are both critical skills that would set them up for success as they grow older.

3. Teach them social skills

Conflict is a part of everyday life. Your kids will sometimes get into disagreements with their siblings, friends, or classmates. It is important therefore, that you teach your kids how to resolve these issues whenever they arise. They also need to learn how to share things with others, how to listen without interrupting, and how to offer help to their friends and classmates. Starting with the basics of social ethics, is a good place to help them develop their social skills.


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4. Monitor their productivity

It is true that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But it is also true that all play and no work makes Jack a mere toy. As such, it is important for parents to maintain this balance. Kids have a tendency to want to play all day. It is therefore on you, as a parent, to encourage your kids to engage in a more productive use of their time. Whether it’s learning a new skill or language, by being productive, your kids’ brain gets a boost, and that is something they will benefit from as they grow older. 

5. Don’t be quick to praise inborn qualities such as intelligence, etc.

Avoid making statements like “You don’t read much yet you pass your exams easily”. Or “you are very smart”. Study shows that giving children praises that focus on their intelligence, can actually lead to a child underperforming, over time. As a parent, it is better to direct your praise towards the effort your child puts into overcoming their problems with determination and hard work.

Every child has the capacity for brilliance. What makes the difference is the effort the parent is willing to put in to help them achieve that potential. Smart kids aren’t born. They’re raised.

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