3 powerful ways your child can have a sharper brain

Written by Isha Chakraborty

Bio

4 mins read

   “It takes energy, mental toughness and spiritual reinforcement to successfully deal with life’s opportunities, and to reach your objectives.” ―Zig Ziglar

Dear Parent – Are you convinced that your child’s brain is getting the right kind of exercise and stimulation?

Would you like to know about the right ways to stimulate your child’s brain? 

This mental health day, learn the top 3 ways you can help your child exercise their brain:

Journal your way to Higher IQ!

Matthew Lieberman, UCLA associate professor of psychology, is convinced that expressing feelings in the form of words is extremely therapeutic for the brain and helps in effective healing. 

Other research studies show that when children write journals and engage in expressive writing, they are able to regulate themselves better. 

Such journaling includes children using language to express their study or achievement goals in a clear and systematic manner. Evidently, effective self-regulation and goal-setting are seen to be extremely important for motivation and efficient learning!

And this is not the end of it! 

Research done by Reza Falahati (Department of Linguistics University of Victoria, Canada) indicates that as children undertake writing activities on a consistent basis, they strive hard while searching for new words to express their emotions. In this process, they are able to expand their vocabulary. 

And why is this important?

Well, many studies have found that an expanded vocabulary base is positively correlated with higher IQ. 

And therefore, it should not come as a surprise to you that multiple intelligence tests treat vocabulary strength as one of the best single measures of overall intelligence in a child.

Oh, and there is one more interesting fact that you will surely find intriguing – an early start in journaling is better for your child’s intellectual abilities at a later stage! Because when Virginia Marchman and Anne Fernald (Department of Psychology, Stanford University) began their reserach on the speed of word recognition among young children, they found out that their early language skills were fundamental to intellectual and cognitive functioning when they eventually reached the age of 8. 

And what better way of enriching your child’s language skills than encouraging them to indulge in fearless expressive writing via journaling?!

And if you are clueless as to how to start and where to find such journals, then help is on its way in the Google Search! 

Just type the keyword “free journal for kids” in the search bar and you will find a plethora of free downloadable resources. 

Amp up the Music!

Is your child showing a strong inclination towards joining their school’s musical band or even play the electrical guitar like Jimi Hendrix?  It’s high time you let them grow their skills. 

Research shows that when children start learning to play a musical instrument, their verbal and mathematical abilities improve. And it is equally exciting to discover that music helps maintain neuroplasticity in the adult brain as well!

To be scientifically precise, this works because the parts of the brain responsible for speech/reasoning and music have a number of common/shared processing systems.

 Therefore, musical experiences that enhance and enrich the common cognitive processing parts of the brain can positively influence the ability to correctly perceive language.

Also, active engagement with music sharpens the brain’s ability to recognize, encode and store linguistic sounds (in memory). 

In fact, a scientific study revealed that children of the age of eight improved their perceptual cognition with just 8 weeks of musical training. 

By now, it should have become clear to you that an ability to perceive language will definitely help your child read and write better! 

But wait, there is something more to share!

Music not only influences a child’s verbal abilities but learning an instrument can have a salutary impact on their intellectual capabilities (spatial reasoning, specifically). 

 Interestingly, when children make music together, then the results are even better! 

Sebastian Kirschner and Michael Tomasello of Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany, report that 4-year-old children who made music together in a band showed an increase in spontaneous cooperation and helpful behavior. 

Okay! Perhaps it is enough of music already 🙂 

So, now let us steer our gaze towards the last and maybe the most important technique that will help your child stay sharp and develop steel-like resilience!

Play Brain Games!

It’s high time you let your child play more games, and we’re not just talking about any games. 

Strategic brain games like math/logical reasoning puzzles and other brainteasers challenge your child’s brain with mental calisthenics.

And what comes out of it? Well, there is ample research evidence available to suggest that brain games lead to improved cognitive functioning among children as well as adults!

When your child maneuvers through mental tasks, they use multiple areas of the brain at once (normally, we don’t use multiple parts of our brains while doing routine activities).  

It is this cross-communication between different parts of the brain that stimulates neurogenesis – or the growth of brain cells. 

Additionally, higher-order problem-solving requires a combination of long-term memory, short-term memory, visual-spatial reasoning and sometimes, muscle memory as well. 

Simply put, your child’s brain is like any other muscle in the body – the more they stretch it, the more they strengthen it.  And this is not just some pop-neuroscience stuff – even the experts are talking about the benefits of playing brain games. 

For example, Simon Mccallum is an Associate Professor at the Gjøvik University College, and he says that when the players get deeply engaged in a game, where their skills are aptly matched against the challenges, they enter into a mental state of “Flow”. 

And this specific state of mind has positive implications for the mental health of the players. 

So, don’t wait for any further and start playing (and enjoying) brain games with your child! 

And if you are wondering where to start, then the ubiquitous Google Play Store can come to your aid.

And if you are an iPhone owner, then you can go to Apple’s App Store and search for brain games.  The most effective games will already be popular – you just have to look at the ratings and the number of downloads (more than 1 million, maybe!).

Now that you know the 3 powerful ways to help your child get mentally sharper, share this blog with your friends and let them know about your secret too.


Want to catch up on most such interesting posts?  Hit the like button on our Facebook page today: www.facebook.com/cuemath 

Leave a comment