Encouragement & Direct Guidance Are Best Child Development Tools

Studies continue to show that the best child development tools available to parents are offering encouragement and direct guidance to the child.  Case in point:  A 1995 study conducted at Baylor University discovered that kids who were seldom spoken to or touched, and who weren’t allowed to experiment with toys, had 20 to 30 percent smaller brains than normal children who were touched and allowed to play.

This jives with the story you may know of Emperor Frederick II who, in the 13th century, tried to discover children’s “natural language” that they would speak if they were to be raised without exposure to any language.  Frederick along with many others felt that children would naturally learn “the language of God.”  Instead, they never learned any language, and all of them died in childhood.

When parents interact with their children, it not only will help boost a child’s IQ and develop language skills, but it also helps him with the development of imagination skills.

Another study validates this idea.  Professor Wendy Haight from the University of Illinois discovered that children learned much when parents help them through pretending games and showed them skills such as manners and greetings.

Taken together, we can conclude from all of these studies that when an adult is interacting with a child, it positively impacts his or her ability to learn, to imagine, to innovate, and to make and maintain positive social contacts. Furthermore, this holds true regardless of which ethnicity, economic level or language grouping that the child comes from.  There is some thought that perhaps this at least partially explains the success of home schools in creating smart kids.

As a bonus, not only does such interaction boost a child’s IQ, but it also helps fulfil his or her emotional needs. Conversely, other studies reveal that kids who have been neglected and abused find it harder to learn and suffer more emotionally.

The moral:  Don’t just stick your child in a room or corner somewhere and tell him or her to stay out of your hair.  Rather, engage them and interact with them if you want to grow healthy, smart kids.

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