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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Unlocking a Child's Potential - Success Secrets Every Parent Wishes to Know

By Andrew Loh

Every child has immense potential and latent intelligence that can help perform better in the classroom and academics. A child's innate IQ, smartness, intellectual ability, social, emotional and cognitive skills are just like muscle fibers. They can develop very fast or decay depending on how parents provide much needed help and assistance in applying effort through measured and calibrated actions throughout the childhood. Children who display academic readiness and a capability to regulate their actions in the kindergarten level are more likely to achieve reading level standards when they reach their third grade; this might also include paying keen attention during classroom activities and developing an ability to follow diverse directions.

Potential in a child could be equated to a dam holding lots of water. Even though, the water that is stored in a dam is stationary and looks harmless, it could reach its ultimate force when it is diverted to flow towards a turbine station that produces electricity. A child's mind could also be compared to this analogy as potential unleashed means unqualified success in the classroom. Unfortunately, many children do not realize their potential nor do they understand the immense ability that could be put to use to reach academic and professional excellence. Young children may not possess the capability to understand the importance of hidden skills and talents that could be applied in their personal and professional life. In fact, they need help and assistance from their parents to realize their full potential.

Here are some important tips that can help children get ready to understand their potential and realize it in a practical manner:

Reading is a very powerful tool

Reading is a mighty powerful tool that can widen a child's intellectual horizon. Reading habit is a perfect way to realize one's full potential too. Reading habit also makes a child wise and knowledgeable. Reading could also be use as a means to kick start basic conversation skills. Children should spend at least 30 minutes in a day to develop reading habit. Reading should be fun and thrilling in the beginning. Splattering books in every corner of house is a good idea to promote reading habit. Thematic stories and colorful image can boost imagination and critical thinking power in children. Past research studies on reading indicated that children whose parents read with them during young ages are far more endowed with an ability to perform well academically by age 15 and this ability puts children in an advantageous position by almost a year.

Developing conversational skills

Developing proper conversational skills is a key to success in life. When children learn how to converse with others, they can open up their mind, talk freely and expand their horizon a series of possibilities. Conversations should be pointed, meaningful and full of meaningful content. Conversation should also be prolonged rather short and abbreviated. The length of each individual conversation thread is also important; the conversation length between parent and child relate closely with the child's future IQ. Parents may ask a series of open ended questions to children, seek their responses and collect opinions; this simple exercise is known to help develop imaginative conversation between parents and children.

Course correct children and provide positive expectations

Children are prone to commit mistakes when they work. In fact, it is very common. As and when you correct them, provide at least two positive expectations that will help them to ponder and think over the mistakes they made them in the past. This help them to correct their approach and think of devising newer ways and methods to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Compliment them for their efforts and make sure that all good deeds and performances are recognized immediately. Stop correcting children! Instead help them understand your expectations. Once they follow through your expectations, give specific positive praise for efforts.

In an academic context, you can cite specific efforts instead of focusing on learning efforts or an instance of failure. Example:

  • “You did a good job of focusing on mastering how to count from one to ten”

  • “That was a great effort. You can improve next time. In the meantime, if you realize your potential, you can do lot better.”

  • “Please understand that you can realize your full potential when you work hard and put plenty of focused efforts.”

Realizing one's potential is a difficult task. First, children may not know the technique and method to understand self potential. Second, they might never know that they have a hidden potential inside them. Third, children lack the required motivation to work towards understanding and realizing their full potential. Hence, parents should help children in the following two ways:

  • Make them realize that they have immense potential that is hidden and stored inside them and

  • Help them learn ways and means to unlock that potential to achieve greater good in life.

You may want to read Unlocking a Child's Potential - Easier Approaches to Help Children Realize their Hidden Potential


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