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


~ B R A I N Y - Z I N E ~

" Learn How to Nurture A Smarter Kid "

Volume #7   Issue #7

ISSN: 0219-7642    Nov 9, 2008

Andrew Loh, Publisher

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All of us know and understand that the world we live is a world full of pessimism and negativity. Most of us are encapsulated or covered by a vicious web of pessimism and negative thoughts that eventually hinder our personal and professional developmental processes, and act as insurmountable obstacles of our life. Unfortunately, as parents we tend to pass on these so called negative traits and characters to our children and their future. All of us want our children to be optimistic and positive in whatever they do or learn. In fact, optimism and expectancy are two of the most critical characters that our children should develop and master. Children who possess and display these two parameters tend to become highly successful in personal and professional life.

Why should parents want their children to be optimistic and expectant of good things, better academic achievements and successful future? Optimism and expectancy are the states of intense anticipation! These are the heavenly feelings that are subjective and that cannot be easily visible! These are the surreal energy that can be enhanced and developed only through personal willpower and repetition. The noble characters of optimism and expectancy are mandatory for reaching goals and objectives.

Children who possess the power of expectancy are better equipped to handle failures, display a very strong sense of personal control and they are better prepared to bounce back again in their life from previous failures. Optimism and expectancy are two of the most important life skills without which we cannot expect our children to be successful in their life. Because, parents are the major partners in developing the thinking styles of their developing children, it is very critical that they do all they can to teach the basic issues of optimism and expectancy to their children.

Available research suggests us that the importance of optimism and expectancy in our children is severely limited by the lack of a developmentally appropriate or correct measure of children's expectations. Helping your children look on the brighter and sunnier side of life is an important and critical life skill to develop and master. Children can learn optimism and expectancy from their previous experiences or tastes of success, and through their active interactions with parents, teachers and their peers in their classrooms in the first few years of life. All the best!

Thought for today:
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty" - Winston Churchill

Best Regards,
Andrew Loh
Andrew Loh
Publisher & Editor, BrainyZine
andrew @


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The Innumerable Benefits of Optimism and Expectancy - Teaching Basics to Your Children
Optimistic children are successful children, while children who expect good things in life are confident and courageous! Teaching good characters of optimism and expectancy can yield rich dividends, while parents teaching these characters to their children can have happy and successful children.

Practical and Useful Tips on Making Your Children Optimistic and Expectant
Optimistic parents are more likely to have optimistic and positive children. Teaching optimism and expectancy is a life long process and difficult one too. As a parent, you may wish to develop the ability to teach your children the basic aspects of optimism and expectancy at their early age.


Q1: My daughter is 22 months old:

  • She has an extensive vocabulary, in fact she probably knows and understands every word she has heard.

  • She easily strings together sentences of 5-7 words

  • She counts to 14

  • She recites her ABC's

  • She has learned (by heart) 15 nursery rhymes

  • She knows all the different shapes (including the difference between oval and circle / square and rectangle, etc)

  • She recognizes 4 colors immediately but plays around with the rest (for now)

  • She can replace a 36 piece wooden shape puzzle in less than 5 minutes

  • ....etc

Please could you advise what is the best course of action for my child would be. Alternatively if you think that the abilities/milestones I have mentioned are of a "clever" baby and not a gifted one or if you think she is just average then I will accept this and feel more comfortable knowing that I am not depriving her of any education or special care.

A: Whether a child is gifted or not, it shouldn't make much difference in providing educational enrichment; except that for a gifted child, perhaps more challenging activities that stimulate them may help foster development. Children, in general, would need that extra help and guidance in meeting their educational needs to maximize their learning and development. For example, a toddler (regardless of whether s/he is gifted) who is able to solve a shape puzzle should be given puzzles with higher levels of difficulty or challenged to solve similar puzzles in lesser time. Children who are challenged adequately in general would develop better... Continue to read Dr. Sandhu's answer on Nurturing a Bright Toddler here.

Q2: My daughter was tested at the end of 1st grade for a gifted program. She scored in the 99 percentile on the Naglieri but her scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills were in the 40's. All tests were administered one grade level above. Can you help me understand why there is such a discrepancy between the two scores? ...

A: The IBTS is a grade based achievement test while the NNAT is an IQ test. This may clearly cause some differences in the scores. It has been researched that gifted children are best identified by reasoning tasks (such as verbal, spatial, mathematical), and many score lower in processing skills, such as visual-motor speed (as they may be reflective and perfectionist) or short-term auditory memory (since their memory for meaningful material may be much better than for non-meaningful). These are usually the basics of IQ tests. In contrast, achievement tests determine how advanced a child is in academic subject areas such as reading, math, writing, and spelling.... Continue to read Dr. Sandhu's answer on Discrepancies in Test Scores here.


Raising an Optimistic Child
By Bob Murray and Alicia Fortinberry

The most precious gift you can give your child isn't a generous trust fund or a top-notch education--it's the resiliency and unwavering sense of optimism that allow a person to thrive no matter what challenges life sends their way. Yet researchers are finding that increasing numbers of very young children are at risk of depression.

Now, in Raising an Optimistic Child, you'll learn how to bring about lifelong happiness in your child--even as young as infants--and protect him or her from the pain and damage of depression. Inspired by years of groundwork, this book provides a lot of information on you can guide your child to lead a life full of optimism.


Raising Resilient Children: Fostering Strength, Hope, and Optimism in Your Child
By Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein

In this practical handbook for parents, clinical psychologists Brooks and Goldstein draw on their considerable experience working with children and families to demonstrate that parents' core goal should be to instill in their children a sense of inner recourse. "A resilient child is an emotionally healthy child, equipped to successfully confront challenges and bounce back from setbacks," they contend, and to this end they provide 10 parenting "guideposts" for nurturing the kind of resilience that helps children thrive.

From being empathic, to teaching problem-solving, to identifying "islands of competence" in order to help a child experience success, to editing and eliminating what the authors call "negative scripts" (what parents hear themselves saying and doing repeatedly, "with negligible beneficial results"), the guideposts are clearly delineated, first outlined in the introductory chapter and then expanded in individual chapters.



Brainy Babies: Is it Genes, Diet, or Playing the Right Baby Games that Tip the Scales?
Happy Hour Radio Nov 6, 2008

As parents we all want the very best for our children, so how do we give them a head start right from conception and in those first important months of life? It is the combination of a good diet as well as your interaction and encouragement with some simple baby games that can give your child the best start in terms of brain development. Pregnant women are made very aware of the need for extra folic acid in the early stages of pregnancy but what about fats which make up a large proportion of the brain, in particular essential fatty acids?

Idiot box or brain food?
Dispatch Nov 4, 2008

Parents, you can keep those flashcards and alphabet books. Another device at home, however, might help develop linguistic and visual skills. It's called -- hold onto your remotes -- the television. The "idiot box," instead of representing the root of all cultural evil, could boost test scores, especially in disadvantaged homes, according to a recently published study from the University of Chicago.

Teach Kids About the Brain and Nervous System
Teach Kid Show Nov 6, 2008

The brain is a mysterious organ. We do know at least the basics of how it works to support life, how it helps us learn and communicate, and how it impacts humanity and the rest of the world for better or worse. The brain and nervous system can be compared to a very fancy computer with the nervous system being the highly sophisticated relay network to and from the various parts of the body. We are not our brain, but we would be nothing without it.

Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Washington Post Oct 29, 2008

Parents of youngsters who were breast-fed as infants were less likely to report that their child had a behavior problem or psychiatric illness during the first five years of life, a new study found. And the likelihood of mental health issues decreased in proportion to the duration of breast-feeding, meaning that a child who had been breast-fed for a year was less likely to have behavior problems than a child who had been breast-fed for just two months.

Moringa-The breast feeding supplement
Health or Disease Oct 25, 2008

Many people across the world are learning about the enormous health benefits of Moringa. Moringa is a fast growing tree that produces leaves and fruit pods that are consumed as a highly nutritious food. The nutritional density and diversity of Moringa has deemed it the "Elixir Tree" or nature's most nutritious food. The nutrients in this miracle from nature have been reported to treat over 300 different diseases and disorders of the body.


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