Tips For Moms To Help Develop Child’s Mental Abilities
Is intelligence inherited or developed? Recent neuroscience studies suggest that most of us are born with the potential to achieve great cognitive abilities. Genetics do play a part, but it is the environment that strongly influences a child’s intellectual development.
Children are born with their very own unique qualities. Some are natural brainiacs, while others are blessed with athletic abilities, creative talents and so on. Intelligence is commonly defined as the ability to learn from experiences and adapt to changing environments.¹ Some of the factors that contribute to intelligence are the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, understand complex ideas; creativity; and emotional knowledge.¹′²
Children’s Development in Early Childhood
Children learn and absorb information the most in their toddlerhood years. This is when brain connections are most active, with more than 1 million new neural connections formed every second!³ With their innocence and all the information they’re absorbing, it’s no wonder why kids say the darndest things!
Did you know that most 4-year old children are better at solving novel problems compared to adults? Children look at the world “openly”, paying attention to tiny details surrounding them, while adults are more focused, meaning they only take in information that is perceived to be relevant and leave out those that seem unimportant. Children learn better through interactions with adults. This is how they develop language and communication skills, among others. In addition to that, experiences with other children also plays an important role in children’s development.⁴
Nurturing Children’s Mental Abilities
Not all children have sharp, intellectual minds, but as the brain keeps growing, intellectual abilities can always be improved. Science has proven that a child’s brain is totally “teachable”, which means parents have the opportunity to shape their little one’s brain to achieve greater cognitive abilities. According to recent genetic studies, a child’s intelligence is partly inherited, but greatly influenced by his home environment and parenting, education and accessibility to learning resources and nutrition, to name a few.¹′⁵
Good and bad experiences in the toddlerhood years have a huge impact on shaping a child’s mind. So nurture your child well by supporting his brain functions (a.k.a executive functions). Brain functions are categorised into basic capabilities in planning, time management and memory-oriented details.
You can do this via mental training activities, which is scientifically proven to fuel your child’s learning experience with more excitement.
10 Awesome Tips To Develop Children’s Mental Abilities
If you’ve ever watched videos of super smart kids doing extraordinary things and thought: “that’s my future kid right there!” - Well, this is your chance. Whether you’re currently expecting or already are a mom of a youngling, we have some great tips that could help you develop your child’s mental abilities from early childhood!
1. Reading Together
★ Don’t just read to them, but read WITH them to spark their love for reading.
★ Reading unleashes your child’s curiosity and imagination based on their perceptions.
★ Discussing broadens your child’s imagination and creativity. bedtime stories
2. Teaching Self-discipline
★ Research has shown that rather than IQ, will power is the most prominent factor in a student’s success.
★ Good self-discipline is the key to a brighter future.
★ Expose your child to be aware of his priorities and how to achieve them.
★ Time-management training from an early age will benefit your child as they grow older.
3. Enrolling in Music Lessons
★ Music education is known to boost a child’s IQ and learning to play an instrument has shown to improve a child’s “voluntary attention”.⁷
★ Children who learn music display a relatively elevated brain development, compared to those who don’t.
★ Music lessons provide your child with a creative outlet where he has the opportunity to work on his musical intelligence.
4. Playing With Your Child
★ The best gift you can give your child is your time, especially play time!
★ Enjoy the outdoors - picnics at the park or the beach contribute to your child’s personal experiences. This allows him to learn about his surroundings and gain confidence by interacting with the environment.
★ Encourage your child to make friends with other children so he can learn to communicate, share and be respectful to one another.
★ Exercising not only refreshes the body, but also revitalises the mind to help increase learning capacity.
★ One study suggests that the brain picks up vocabulary words 20% quicker after exercise.
★ Consistent exercise increases the blood flow by up to 30% to the brain section that is in charge of learning and memory.
6. Ensuring Enough Sleep
★ Sleep allows the brain to recharge brain functions. When we sleep, our brain does not receive new information, instead it gets into “saving” mode, where it saves all the information we have received throughout the day.
★ Napping for an hour in the afternoon is said to be useful in enhancing cognitive learning capabilities.
★ Children need 10-12 hours of sleep every night.
7. Active Learning
★ Active learning encourages children to challenge their learning and thinking capacity using real-life and imaginary situations. It is more engaging compared to passive learning.
★ This method involves spontaneous, pre-planned and purposeful activities that require children to investigate and explore the house or classroom.
★ This is a good method to work your child’s mind and body at the same time.
8. Open-Door Communication Policy
★ Encourage young children to speak up and ask questions.
★ Be patient and pay attention to your child when he is struggling to put his words together to say something.
★ Giving your child the opportunity to talk will help him boost his self-confidence. You will also gain his trust and this makes him feel comfortable to confide in you.
9. Building Concentration
★ Boost their memory and concentration level with simple games.
★ Have your child line up his toys and count them one by one. Then remove one or two at a time and ask them which ones are missing.
★ You can also casually ask your child to name the items around the house and what they are used for. This exercise helps strengthen their retrievable memories.
10. Focus on Mental Health
★ Help them develop good self-esteem by showing love and acceptance, get involved in their interests and activities, help them set realistic goals and recognise their efforts, no matter how small.
★ Children are still learning how to understand big feelings. Listen, and respect their feelings. Encourage them to open up to you to express their feelings. There are times when they feel they can’t talk to you, so find someone else whom you can trust to be their other shoulder to cry on.
★ Create a safe, positive home environment. Be aware of your children’s screen time - who they talk to, what content they are consuming and the amount of time spent on gadgets. Be a good role model to them by taking care of your own mental health.
And that’s it, mum! 10 powerful, super doable ways for you to help develop your child’s mental abilities. They are things that you can do every day, either casually or pre-planned. This routine is a good way to normalise learning in your household. Make it fun, effortless and meaningful!
Hold on, we have an extra treat for you.
There’s one more thing that you should do to further enhance your child’s mental development, and it’s none other than fuelling him with essential nutrients!
Nutrients That Help Support Children’s Mental Development
Besides the ever-popular DHA, which is the building block of brain and eye development, another nutrient that plays a vital role in enhancing brain connections in children is sphingomyelin.
What is sphingomyelin?
- Sphingomyelin is a phospholipid that is an integral component of the myelin sheath.9
- Myelin sheath is created when a substance called myelin (made of fatty lipids and protein) coats the nerve fibre, which is where messages get transmitted between neurons. This process is called myelination.9
- Sphingomyelin is important for myelination and supports children’s learning.10-12
S-26 GOLD PROGRESS is now formulated with innovative ingredients to provide our most advanced formulated milk powder for children.
S-26 GOLD PROGRESS is specially formulated with sphingomyelin, DHA, 2’-FL and oligofructose. Support your little one’s growth with appropriate nutrition and sufficient rest to help him Think Quick and Learn Fast.
9. Salzer JL, Zalc B.Curr Biol. 2016;26:R971-R975.
10. Henríquez-Henríquez MP, Solari S, Quiroga T, Kim BI, Deckelbaum RJ, Worgall TS. Front Neurosci. 2015;9:300.
11. Quarles RH, Macklin WB, Morell. American Society for Neurochemistry 2006:p.51-71.
12. Martínez M, Mougan I. J Neurochem. 1998;71(6):2528-33.
DISCLAIMER: The content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Due to unique individual needs, the reader should consult health professional to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader's situation.