Parenting is considered one of the most difficult tasks in the world, but there is no one universally accepted course on how to be a successful parent. However, the good news is that there are many simple ways to stimulate a child’s brain development and use everyday activities as learning opportunities. Carlota Nelson, director of the documentary Brain Matters, shares five simple, effective, and evidence-based tips to help prepare your child for a successful life.
Support and Encourage Your Child’s Babbling and Perceive It Like a Real Conversation
The sounds and gestures of babies do not always seem so important, but this is their only form of communication. Early childhood development experts say we need to support and encourage babbling and take it as a real conversation. Parents need to respond and interact with their child’s sounds, signals, and actions throughout the day. The words that a child hears from an adult before the age of two, and mainly their number, will determine the volume of their vocabulary, and later will have an impact on the development of their reading skills. Take the baby’s talk seriously and encourage it.
Read to Your Child to Develop Speech
Little children may not have learned to speak or read yet, but they are, in fact, ready to learn from birth. At the age of three months, they can distinguish every sound used by parents. Every time you read aloud to your child, you are developing speech and language skills. As you read, showing pictures in the book, ask questions about the story and its characters. Simple questions such as “what are they wearing?” and “how many people are there?” will help the development of the child’s speech and language skills. Reading to young children will not only help them learn new words but also stimulate a love for reading books. Remember, leaders are those who read a lot, so why not start this process as early as possible?
Find Educational Moments in Everyday Activities
For young children, any of the daily activities is learning. Whether it’s bathing, sorting laundry, cooking, or doing sports, these activities are excellent learning opportunities. While performing certain actions, say out loud what you are doing in order to activate the child’s speech activity. Count and sort your clothing, play with food ingredients, and learn aloud the structure and consistency of various objects to develop scientific thinking. Grimacing that displays different emotions is a great way to develop emotional understanding in children.
Take the Game Seriously
Small children learn all the time. By playing, they acquire vital skills. Playing different characters allows them to imagine themselves as someone else and learn to understand the feelings of others. When they play with other people, they learn to compromise and take action. Participation in imaginary games, such as imagining that a toy train can travel in outer space, awakens creativity in children and activates speech. During these games, young children learn to express their ideas and thoughts verbally. When young children create new imaginary worlds, they learn to solve problems and find new opportunities. What appears to be simply fun is actually meaningful action. Take play seriously because it is an important learning process.
Show an Example
Small children are brilliant parodists. They visually pick up everything that you do. Until the moment they begin to speak, they become experts at reading information from facial expressions and defining relationships that are not expressed in words and learn to parody them. By observing your gestures, how you relate to others, or how you react to various situations and problems, young children remember this and, over time, can begin to use similar attitudes, reactions, and actions in their lives. Your behavior and attitudes will shape your child’s personality, so try to avoid bad examples. In particular, do not allow yourself to scream at your child, or punish them without a reason.
We believe that by using these five important tips in your daily life, you will significantly increase your child’s chances of future prosperity. Providing your kid with the best resources for a future successful life has nothing in common with financial investment or expensive teaching resources. The only thing you need to invest is your time and the level of your participation and interaction with a child.
Are you a parent of an active toddler? Or maybe you have already got two or more kids? Share your parenting tips and funny stories with us in the comments.