Ideally, your child should always eat heathy meals, but we all know how hard that can be to keep up. It’s almost impossible to always feed him a perfectly balanced diet, so sometimes sweets do slip in.
However, we should be careful when we’re feeding them these snacks, because research has shown that food is one of the key factors that influence school achievements.
Everyone knows that breakfast is a must on days with exams, if we want to function at full capacity during the test. Fibber-rich, easily digestible foods are ideal.
But it’s important to know that not only what the child has to eat in one particular day will influence his performance. Even food consumed one week in advance will do that. An experiment aimed at observing speed and accuracy of thought, tested the performance of 16 students before and a week after eating foods rich in fats and carbohydrates. The results showed that their performance had considerably worsened.
Experts recommend that we try to feed our children a balanced diet, but that, if we fail to do that, we should try to schedule the ingestion of these foods at times that will minimize their negative effects.
Caffeine and glucose have beneficial effects on cognitive performance.
So, since attention and memory are both cognitive processes, a combination of caffeine and glucose should significantly enhance the ability to pay attention, and, along with that, improve memory.
So, since your child will end up eating sweets at certain times, it’s recommended that he does it when he’s studying, not when he’s relaxing.
7. Happy kids have the best chances of succeeding
Happy kids have the best chances of becoming fulfilled adults. Happiness is an enormous advantage in a world where performance is highly sought. On average, happy people have more success than unhappy people, both in their personal and professional lives. They’re more efficient, have better jobs, higher wages, better chances of getting married and maintaining a happy home.
What’s the first step in raising a happy child? Make yourself happy first, and it will catch on.
8. Friends are important
Genes are quite important, because both your genes and your partner’s will transmit and define a great deal of your child’s personality. So, you’re probably wondering, if that’s so, than how important is the way you raise him? Not that important, as it turns out.
When it comes to intellectual capacity and other personality traits, children are very similar to their parents. But there’s also something else that influences a child’s development: his group of friends. Peer influence is usually perceived as negative, when in fact it’s, most of the time, positive. When you make sure that your child spends time with other children who he likes and who can influence him in a positive manner, than things are quite different.
A study performed on students at Dartmouth College showed that the influence of friends and colleagues is considerable and important. The person leading the study, an economist named Bruce Sacerdote, discovered that when students with low academic achievements became roommates with students with good results, then their results also improved.
So, considering how important friends are in your child’s life, you should really pay attention to who he chooses for the part.
9. Trust your child
Believing that your child’s intelligence is above average makes a great difference. It’s been proven that if you believe that your child is intelligent, than he will act that way. The study that showed this was performed in 1968 by Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson, and its subjects were teachers who were told that certain students’ intelligence is above average. Kids were randomly chosen, and they had average IQ’s. By the end of the school year, 30% of the randomly chosen kids experienced an IQ raise of 22 points, while the rest of them experienced a 10 point raise.
This phenomenon is known as The Pygmalion Effect and it proves that the expectations we have from our children will directly influence their performance. So you should be careful about what you communicate to your child in terms of your expectations from him, as they might become real.
10. Video games have a positive effect on certain skills
Studies have shown that video games have positive effects on children’s abilities. Some of these are: better coordination between sight and movement, an improvement in problem-solving abilities, logic, identifying patterns, estimations, hypotheses testing, resource management, memory improvement, space perception and decision making skills.
However, games can also be addictive. Therefore, you should constantly make sure that your child’s daily schedule includes many different activities, and, most importantly, quality time with his parents.
11. Limit the time spent in front of the TV
As you already know, moderation is key. Especially when it comes to time spent watching TV. During your child’s development, it’s not recommended that he spends too much time watching TV, because it’s more important that he spends it learning new things, doing homework or developing certain abilities.
Moreover, for kids below the age of 2, no positive effect of watching TV was recorded.
12. Your child’s playtime shouldn’t be scheduled
It’s essential for your child’s development that you don’t intervene in the scheduling and organizing of his playtime. The involvement of parents in these activities can cause serious psychological problems in children. Freedom in playing helps children develop their cognitive and social skills and, thus, become happier and healthier adults.
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13. Exercise is necessary for a healthy life
Experts recommend that your child practice sports for at least 20 minutes a day. A study performed in Sweden on more than one million 18 year-olds has shown that sports do influence IQ.
Moreover, for kids with ages between 9 and 10, 20 minutes of physical exercise before a test will significantly improve its results.
14. Learning a foreign language influences our ability to focus
Recent studies have shown that children who learn a foreign language have a better ability to focus in stressful situations and are more able to focus on relevant situations.
It’s important that you offer your child all the opportunities he needs for a good development, but don’t forget that putting pressure on him is not beneficial. Any parent wants a smarter child, but be careful: your desire to help might end up impairing the process.
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