Raising smarter children is every parent’s goal – especially in a city like ours where major exams like PSLE and O Levels determine your child’s future – academics is no laughing matter.
However, you may have noticed that sometimes the smartest child in your kid’s class might not be the one who has the most number of tuition classes or somebody who is – as we Singaporeans call it “gifted”.
Decades of studies have shown that natural ability or talent doesn’t make a person smart or successful, instead it is all about having a mindset that’s open to learning and a mindset that treats shortcomings as problems that can be solved.
This growth and learning-focused mindset, not just lets kids handle problems better but also make them highly adaptable – both desirable skillsets in any part of the world.
So, parents, we share with you some pointers on how to go about raising smarter kids:
1. Focus on strategies
Teach your kids to have a mindset that’s targeted towards the process of learning and not just raw ability. Let them understand the value of hard work and praise them for their effort. This way of thinking will let them understand that hard work matters more when it comes to learning, and it also makes your kids treat everything as a learning experience.
2. Lack of effort can cause kids to fail
Focusing on raw ability or intelligence alone can cause kids to fail whenever they encounter something that requires more effort than usual. Kids that have always been told that they’re smart usually find it hard to move forward when faced with difficult problems since they’re used to coasting by and having an easy time in school. On the other hand, kids that have been taught that hard work is the key usually find a way to handle problems better. They treat failure as a problem that they need to solve, and not as a hurdle that they can’t overcome. This sort of thinking fosters success not only in school, but also life in general, and is vital in raising smarter children.
3. Make their brains work
Of course, hard work alone won’t make your kids successful. The key is to make their brains work so that everything for them becomes a learning experience. Teach your kids to learn from everything around them and to always keep their minds working. Having a mindset that’s focused on growth and learning early on is something that your kids can take with them to adulthood, so it’s best to start them young.
4. Foster self-discipline
One of the key traits of any smart and successful child is self-discipline which is the ability to control your impulses
and focus on the task in front of you. A study
conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that a student’s level of self-discipline is a stronger predictor of their future academic success than their IQ. So parents encourage your kids to exercise self-discipline by setting a routine for them to follow strictly, and if they don’t, mete out some consequences.
So parents, to cap it off, raising smarter children isn’t something that you can learn overnight. As with your kids, your brain will also benefit from having a growth and learning mindset. Learning isn’t something that stops when you finish school since learning happens all the time.
The best way to go about raising smarter kids is to start raising kids who love to learn and are willing to put in the hard work and effort required to learn as much as they can about the world around them.