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How To Raise an Intelligent Child

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How to raise an intelligent child? 

This is a question that has been asked for centuries, but it is only in the past few decades that we have had any real answers.

All parents wish to provide their children with the best start in life.  The right approach can aid their development and even intelligence.  There are many subtle moves parents can make to encourage their child’s intellectual development.

The ideas on this page are just some of the concepts mums and dads have used in recent times. The basic rule of thumb is that you just need to keep them motivated and entertained.  In most instances, children are pretty inquisitive, and so it’s not difficult to push them in the right direction.

In this article, I will explore how to raise an intelligent child and what you should be doing from the moment your child is born, and even before.  However, it is never too late to start making changes in your life if you want to raise a smarter child so don't wait until they are older because every year counts!

How to raise an intelligent child

What is intelligence?

Intelligence, in a nutshell, is considered the individual's ability to analyse and draw conclusions. Intelligence involves being able to think logically and solve problems in order to meet your own needs or those of others, sharing information with others effectively, and understanding cause-effect relationships. Some professions that require high levels of intelligence include scientists or mathematicians.

Many people think intelligent children are those who are born with an above-average intelligence quotient (IQ) and well they are definitely intelligent in an academic sense, IQ is not the only factor that determines a child's success. There are other factors, such as social skills, emotional intelligence and creativity that also play an important role.

An intelligent child can be one who is able to think and reason at a level that is beyond their years. This means that they are able to learn and understand things quickly, and are able to use logic in order to solve problems.

Intelligent children tend to be more successful because they have the ability to learn faster than their peers. They can also think of solutions to problems or challenges quicker than others.

Hopefully this can benefit them in the future by making more intelligent financial decisions, being problem solving entrepreneurs, business leaders, innovative and generally having a successful career and life.

What are the benefits of raising an intelligent child?

Raising a child is an investment that will take a lot of time and effort. However, it will pay off in the long run and is wise for their future. We need to be aware of the benefits that raising an intelligent child can bring in order to make the right decisions.

It is important to note that there are many benefits to raising an intelligent child, but not all of them are measurable in the short term. Some may only show up when your child starts going to school or when they get older.

Intelligent children are more likely to be successful in school and life. They are less likely to suffer from depression, and they are more likely to be physically active (no thanks to schools and most physical education!). Intelligent children often grow up to be intelligent adults.

The benefits of raising an intelligent child include better success in school and a higher chance of being healthy. Intelligent children also have a lower chance of suffering from depression and being inactive.

Intelligent children often grow up to be intelligent adults who go on to do great things for themselves, their community, or the world at large.

How do you raise a child to be more intelligent? 

Raising an intelligent child is a huge responsibility. It requires support from the parents and teachers, who should work together to provide the necessary stimuli that will stimulate the child’s brain development.

But how do you raise an intelligent child? Let's explore.

Nourish them with a healthy diet

There are many factors that can affect a child's intelligence, but there are some things that you can do to help them. One of the most important things is to have a healthy diet and lifestyle.

A healthy lifestyle is a crucial factor to brain development. It includes eating a balanced diet, a child getting enough sleep, and keeping active. However, the most important factor is nutrition. A child's diet is a significant factor in their intelligence level. It is important to provide the right nutrients for brain development and growth, as well as for energy levels. The brain needs essential nutrients like proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to function optimally.  Great foods for brainpower include:

  • Berries
  • Leafy Greens
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Broccoli
  • Dark chocolate
  • Wholegrains
  • Avocados
  • Soy
  • Tomatoes
  • Blacurrants
  • Sage
  • Oatmeal
  • Cinnamon
  • Apples
  • Plums
  • Beans

A balanced diet should include plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals, and enough calories for the child’s age.  It is also important to provide children with a variety of foods from different food groups to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.

Healthy eating should be started at an early age because it has the potential to affect the child’s intelligence and physical development for the rest of their life.  In fact, healthy eating for your child's health starts in the womb, if not before!  It's so important to follow a healthy diet if you are trying to conceive and to continue while baby is in the womb to give them an optimal start in life and optimal brain development. 

You should also make sure that your child is getting plenty of exercise, both physical and mental. They should also be exposed to different types of learning materials and activities so that they can develop their skills in different areas.

It can be hard to find healthy snacks for children, but if you introduce them to plenty of natural, wholefood and plant-based snacks from a young age, then there are many healthy snacks you can enjoy making together like energy balls from natural ingredients like nuts, dates, oats and raw cacao.

Provide a stimulating environment from a young age

One of the most important factors is the environment in which the child is raised. If you want your child to be smarter, you should provide them with an enriched environment in their early years. This can include reading and playing games with them often.  Parents should provide their children with stimulating surroundings and opportunities to learn from a young age. 

Encourage any hobbies or collections

Everyone needs a hobby, and the younger you start, the better you will become.  It’s important to find a hobby your children enjoy. Maybe they would love to learn to play a musical instrument? Perhaps they have shown an interest in taking dance classes? As a parent, you can encourage their interests and give them a gentle nudge towards them.

Some children love to start collections, and that’s a fantastic idea too. If your child shows an interest in model tractors, it’s worth entertaining the idea.  Children may also love to collect magazines, gemstones and foreign coins, for example.  Collections encourage kids to learn more about their chosen passion, and that boosts intelligence.  It may take some trial and error, but finding a hobby your child loves is worth it.

Pay for after school tutoring

This approach isn't for everyone, and it depends on your budget, but hiring a private tutor could really boost your child’s intellect in a particular area. There are thousands of private tutors operating in the UK at the current time, so you’re sure to find someone suitable. If your son or daughter shows advanced skills in a particular subject, it could be a great idea to develop these. For example if they excel at maths, then hire a maths tutor.  If they excel in languages, hire a languages tutor, and so on.

A tutor isn't only required if a child is struggling in a certain topic.  It’s also not supposed to be a punishment, but rather a treat that helps them to learn more and become more confident through knowledge. Some children show signs of expertise in certain areas from a young age. As a parent, you can help them realise their potential.

You can easily search online to find the tutor you need.  So if your child needs extra help in French then search for French GCSE tutors near me or if they need math help for kids then simply search for maths tutors in London, or wherever you are.  A tutor in a specific area can help them prepare for their exams such as their GCSEs, excel in a subject they already enjoy or progress in a lesson they struggle with.

Or you can even hire a tutor to help teach them a new skill, perhaps to learn a new language they don't learn at school but want to!

Don’t sit in front of the TV all night

Lots of children spend their evenings watching uneducating television programs with their parents. Too much TV isn’t going to aid their intelligence. In fact, some experts believe it could even stunt their progress. Do your child a favour and make sure they don’t use the TV for more than one hour or so each day and if you can, choose educational programmes.  This is especially important during the half term holidays.

Instead of always turning the TV on, why not let them pick their favourite classic children’s book and enjoy story time together?  Reading to your children early on encourages early reading skills.  Also, reading a book together before bed can soothe them and ensure they have a relaxing night's sleep.  Interestingly, children who read at a young age have a much higher chance of succeeding at university. That’s because their minds are trained for the process.

Should kids have TVs in their bedrooms?  The topic is hotly debated in parenting forums and there's no right answer, but there can definitely be too much TV which can impact their learning!

Teach children to have responsibility with age-appropriate chores

Teaching children about responsibility at an early age will help them grow up into a responsible adult and develop self-esteem in the process. Parents can teach their children to have responsibility with age-appropriate chores. For example, a toddler can be taught to put toys away or clean up the mess they made. As the child gets older, more responsibilities can be given such as taking care of younger children, making their own lunch and so on.  

Doing chores can help children develop their intelligence in various ways. First, it helps them develop their social skills. For example, they learn to work with other people and communicate with them to complete a task together. Second, it helps them develop their cognitive skills such as planning and problem-solving. Third, it helps them develop their physical skills such as coordination and balance. Finally, it helps them develop their emotional skills such as self-control and empathy for others.

Children might not be very forthcoming when it comes to chores, however!  Let’s take a look at five easy strategies for helping kids feel positive about the idea of chores:

1. Trust and freedom

It’s at this stage of life that kids learn to have self-discipline. That’s why it is important that instead of forcing them to do things and yelling orders, you trust them to get chores done and allow them the freedom and time to do so.

Of course, it requires some flexibility and diplomacy. Tell the children that they can watch TV or use the computer/smartphone, but only after their daily tasks have been completed. That way, instead of the threatening “right now,” they will decide the best time to start working and manage their time by making their own choices (the later they start, the longer they will have to wait to use their electronic devices!)

2. Make it a game

Popular wisdom says if you can’t beat them, join them. Sometimes the only way to motivate your children to do some housework is to treat chores as a game and make them more enjoyable and challenging. An example is to create a chart with all the household chores and assign points to turn the tasks into a competition.

3. Use a reward system

Using a reward system will make chores even more enjoyable for kids – and prepare them to trade their skills for money in adulthood.Rewards can be symbolic or even monetary, such as pennies in a jar or some Monopoly money that children must collect and then exchange for items like snacks or small toys. This way, you will also teach them the basics of finance and the value of saving.  You can combine pocket money with chores easily by using the GoHenry pocket money app and set your children tasks for small amounts of money as a reward.

4. Positive reinforcement

Practicing positive reinforcement through praise is the best way to make the undertaking more enjoyable for them.  Always praise your children for a job well done and suggest where they can improve rather than criticising them for an activity that was done wrong or incomplete. This way, you also encourage kids to feel confident and accomplished after getting chores done.

5. An exclusive element

Incorporating an exclusive element to chores helps make the undertaking more enjoyable for kids. For example, you normally don’t allow your kids to use yard tools independently, but with your supervision and care, you can encourage them to do some yard work and have access to “adult tools,” something that will challenge them and make them feel more responsible. Don’t forget to protect your children with proper gear, such as protective gloves and kids’ durable prescription sunglasses and ensure they are supervised at all times while not being allowed to use any tools that could easily injure them.

Final word on how to raise an intelligent child

There are many factors that contribute to a child's intelligence from genetics to environmental factors. These environmental factors can include their mother's health, the quality of their education, and the number of books they read as well as how much they watch TV.

A lot of people believe that a child can become smarter if they learn more difficult things at an early age. But this theory has been challenged recently because it may not be true for every person - some people might just be naturally good at difficult tasks while others might not be able to learn them easily no matter how hard they try.

There are lots of great ways you can encourage your children to succeed and develop a passion for their hobbies, which will inspire their own learning.  It's important to expand on their interests and skills, and to sometimes give them that all important nudge in the right direction!

To roundup, some of the benefits of raising an intelligent child and why it's worth the investment include:

  • They develop their skills in a more timely manner
  • A higher chance of success in life
  • More likely to be successful in school
  • Higher self esteem and confidence


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Posted in 2016 and updated in 2022 and 2023.