It is an often-stated fact that children, especially toddlers, are the most impressionable at that tender age. Their young minds soak up any and every bit of information that comes their way, and that is one reason why it is important that parents start inculcating toddlers with values and habits that might stick with them for the rest of their lives.
I found a great article about how to raise a smart toddler at Momvelous. What interested me the most is how they mentioned that children between the ages of 2 to 6 are still at the “preoperational stage of cognitive development,” meaning they are still guided by the behavioral patterns of the adults surrounding them, while being unable to think logically about them. You can read more about how to raise a smart kid on their page.
Here are some tips for you on how to raise a smart kid:
1. Talk, Talk and Talk.
Maintain a steady stream of communication with your toddler. Talk about everything you’re doing, everything your child is doing. Use a diverse and broader range of vocabulary, and your toddler will start picking up words and develop better reading and writing skills as time goes on.
2. Let Your Child Imagine.
An imagination-based environment stimulates creativity. Give your child the tools to play with, but also give him the space and time to try new things. For example, give your child a number of boxes, or a variety of multi-colored beads and items. See what it can do with those toys, and encourage them further.
3. Praise Your Child’s Efforts.
Your child may come to you to show you what they drew or made. Appreciate it, and praise the efforts they put in to produce that work. Instead of praising the outcome like, “What a beautiful drawing;” say, “You must have worked really hard to make this beautiful drawing.”
Did you know that you can unlock your child’s genius by exposing them to the right kind of music. Music has been proven the best way to encourage learning in children as it has an emotional component.
5. Encourage Emotional Development.
Toddlers are still learning about cause and effect. They are involved in a number of situations with their playmates; you, as a parent, should encourage a proper emotional response to those situations. If your child makes another toddler cry, say something like, “See how that made him/her unhappy;” or when your child bumps into another child, say, “Oops, that was an accident.” Stimulate appropriate emotional responses like this.