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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 #6   Issue #14

ISSN: 0219-7642    Mar 16, 2008

Andrew Loh, Publisher

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Now a days, lot of experts and educators use buzz-words called "gifted child", 'giftedness' and "gifted kids". Until now, this word was hardly understood even by seasoned educators and teachers. In fact, this put a considerable amount of pressure both on the parents as well as kids. Here is a true story of a mother who faced a series of problems with her gifted daughter.

Susan is a mother to a lovely daughter and pretty son. Her daughter is exceptionally talented and skilled in a number of things. She had her own inherent abilities and talents to perform a number of tasks like singing and drawing. But, she was quite poor in her academics in her elementary school. Though she was very smart and agile, her performance in her studies was just above average. Her year-end report card was always a sorry sight, as it got filled with a number of Cs and Bs. Now, Susan was a worried mother and she did not know what to do and how she could teach her kid at home.

Susan tried her best to find out the reason, why her daughter was failing so badly in her academics. But, it was a tough time for her to find good reasons or causes for her daughter's inferior academic performance. It was a community seminar conducted in her locality, where she came to know about the word: gifted child. She was so curious to know more about the topic of giftedness that she decided to contact the seminar moderator, to learn and understand more about the topic. After lengthy meetings and countless hours of counseling, she came to know that her daughter had a range of gifts and talents that were never recognized in her school nor did they come out of her persona.

Now, Susan knows what she needs to do exactly to help her daughter, and how she can manage her daughter's giftedness in an effective manner. Her daughter appears for a number of drawing classes, where she is learning advanced techniques and methods of painting and drawing. She is also making it a point to learn classical piano with the help of a symphony orchestra instructor. Though her academic grades at school is yet to improve, she has found a way to let loose her inherent talents and gifts.

Susan is now the happiest mom and she can proudly say that her daughter can compete and win with any other child! She is also helping other mothers who are facing similar confusing situations and scenarios. Ask Susan about her experience and she will tell you- "Never give up! You can win with a sense of deep perseverance and dedication. You can bring about a marked change in the attitude of your gifted child. What you really need is quality time and lot of patience to make it happen". Yes, I also believe in Susan's courage and determination. Let us use our care, affection and talents to help our gifted kids to effectively compete with other kids, and later assist them to succeed in life in whatever they do and perform. All the best!

Thought for today:
"Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction " - Annie Sullivan

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


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Motivating Children: The Power of Optimum Motivation

Parents need to encourage and motivate children on a consistent basis. Find workable suggestions and tips to help motivate your to perform both in studies as well as other daily activities.

Motivating Kids to Perform Better: Some Useful Tips

Motivating your children is actually a long drawn process that needs tremendous levels of dedication. Find some useful tips to motivate your kids to perform better here!


Q1: I am not familiar with how to interpret the test results from the TerraNova. Can you please tell me what the "average" score would be? Also, the scores are abbreviated as NP, NS, NCE, SS. Would you also please clarify what each of these mean. NP-National Percentile? SS-Standard Score? I have to look at these scores in order to decide on the correct placement level for high school students. I hope you can help.

A: Unfortunately, I am only familiar with the TerraNova based on reading and available information - I have not administered this test. I would try to help you with the information I have on NP, NS, NCE and SS. National Percentiles (NP) represents the percentage of students in the national norm group whose scores fall below a given student's score. This means, a student whose NP is 72 for instance, scored higher than 72 percent of the students in the norm group. NPs scores are useful for comparing local student achievement to students' achievement at the national level.... Continue to read Dr. Sandhu's answer on Interpreting TerraNova Scores here.

Q2: I don't know if a two years old toddler being able to do a 70 pieces puzzle is an extraordinary thing, but I have never seen a two year old do this before so I thought it might be. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

A: This is a question a number of parents ask to determine if their child is gifted and is indeed a puzzling question! You did indicate that you bought a 200 piece puzzle for your older child but did not mention if she was able to complete it or the time she takes to complete it. Roughly, the recommended age for most puzzles of about a 100 piece is about 5 or 6 years and above depending on the level of difficulty. You could use this as a base... Continue to read Dr. Sandhu's answer on Gifted Children and Puzzles here.


A Parent's Guide to Understanding and Motivating Children
By Amy Lew and Betty Lou Bettner

This is a clear and concise guide for all parents. In a very practical view it helps the parents understand their children's behavior and misbehavior. It is a very encouraging book. It is a great relief for someone to put into words the worries we all have as parents and to illustrate techniques that will help in the solution of everyday problems. It deals especially with creating cooperation within families.

I believe it could become your constant companion in the struggle that all we have in trying to bring up our children to be responsible, caring and likeable adults. It is also a book that helps educators to understand the intrinsic behavior of children and how they can rectify and correct problems in the bud itself.


When Kids Know Why They Try
By Dan Doyle, Ron Kop and Yun Doyle

As warm and thoughtful as chicken soup, these messages for parents and educators are beautifully wrought and deeply affecting. They create an enduring image of how young people grow to become leaders. Bill Clinton's mother may have read a guide like this while the future president was growing up. A gift that few ever receive, everyone who works with teens and children should have a copy.

The encouraging environment for a child is not his or her apartment building, neighborhood, house or school building, but the interpersonal environment that, in Dr.Doyle's words, aspires to inspire. Obviously, leadership skills cannot be demanded or commanded. They are developed by the actions offered to teenagers by the adults in the environment. It is not what adults say but how they respond.



Good Parenting Raises Kid's Mental Skills
CBS News Feb 19, 2008

Growing up poor has insidious effects on kid's mental abilities, beginning when they are very young. But, there is new evidence that parents living in poverty can improve their children's chances for a better life by changing how they relate to them at home. Researchers at the University of Oregon, studied a unique counseling strategy in a small group of poor families enrolled in a Federal Head Start program in Oregon. They looked at measures of thinking skills in young children before and after parents had special counseling.

Poor Working Memory Tied to Low School Scores
Yahoo News Mar 03, 2008

Poor working memory, rather than low intelligence, could be the reason why some children are underachievers at school, says a British study. Working memory is the ability to retain and manipulate information. An example would be doing math without the aid of pen and paper or a calculator. Students need working memory for a variety of school related tasks, such as following teacher' instructions, or remembering sentences they have been asked to write down. Using a new tool developed, a team at Durham University surveyed more than 3000 children of different ages and found that 10 percent of them suffered from poor working memory which seriously impairs the ability to learn.

Pesticides may be hidden danger to child IQ
ABC Mar 5, 2008

Household pesticides may cause some of the intellectual development problems in children previously associated with lead, an Australian toxicologist says. In a commentary available online in the journal Science of the Total Environment, Professor Brian Gulson says there is no question lead has a detrimental effect on children's intellectual development.

Typical North American Diet Is Deficient In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
ScienceDaily Mar 11, 2008

New research from the Child & Family Research Institute shows the typical North American diet of eating lots of meat and not much fish is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and this may pose a risk to infant neurological development. Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fats found in some fish such as salmon and herring and in smaller amounts in eggs and chicken.

Why Can't My Child Succeed in School?
American Chronicle Mar 12, 2008

Children struggle in school for many reasons, but parents, teachers, and other adults tend to focus not on the causes, but on the effects. The result? The struggling student frequently comes across as being lazy, uncaring, and/or having an attitude problem. But when we focus on these issues, we may be taking the easy way out, and not dealing with the actual causes.

Babies Learn to Read with Signing Time
Yahoo News Mar 11, 2008

17-moth-old reading phenomenon featured on Today Show further proof that there is more to Signing Time than sign language. Yesterday morning viewers of NBC'S Today Show watched in awe as 17 month old Elizabeth Barret read to them. Her parents attributed her early reading in part to Signing Time, the television and DVD series that teaches young children to communicate using American Sign Language (ALS).


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