“The mind of every child is like a sponge, it has the ability to learn beyond what most of us think.” – Titilola Lewis
Have you ever seen a one or two year old that can count up to 50 and identify alphabets and wished he/she was yours? Have you ever wished your son could read at age 3 or say his multiplication table? Do you wonder if brilliance was by any chance genetic or the efforts of the parent? There has been a lot of debate over which it is and as at today, both schools of thought are yet to agree.
I am of the school of thought that every child can be a genius if given the right environment and resources. Over the years, I have seen toddlers do or say what most people will assume is beyond their years. A newborn that is read and spoken to frequently as well as soothed with classical music (enhances mathematical skills) will most definitely talk at age 1 and audibly at 15months.
Here are some of the ways we can achieve having geniuses as kids.
- Children must be exposed to creative pursuits early in life that is well before the age of one. As babies you can begin to engage them in creative pursuits by providing play materials that help develop their minds such the maze, building blocks, puzzles, stackers, lacing beads etc. Puzzles improve reasoning and problem solving abilities. Mazes do the same and add critical analytical thinking which builds intelligence. Puzzles, maze and building blocks are must haves no matter your budget.
- Children must be encouraged to explore their environment and the setting should be challenging in a safe way. This will task their minds and encourage them to ask questions such as “why” and “what if”. Do not stifle their curiosity by being uninterested or showing them that their “many questions” are burdensome. This questioning period is for a short time but the impact is for a lifetime.
- Efforts must be celebrated and not outcomes. It encourages them to try many things. An example is a child who picks up a cup of water to drink and spills in the process. The important is not the mess but a child becoming independent and self confident. It is most definitely not a time to scold, if anything, show how accidents can be avoided. A two year old can feed and clean up after her with little or no mess.
- Talk, talk and talk to your children, use words that you figure they might not understand. You will be surprised how fast they will catch on.
- Read to your children and read yourself. A child is more likely to follow a parent’s example. Buy books that directly or indirectly encourage good behavior. Everything must be with purpose.
- Delayed gratification is also an important factor as they get older. This enforces the discipline necessary to uphold learning. An example that readily comes to mind is my mother telling me to finish my main meal before touching the meat. It is teaching children to complete tasks before lounging in pleasure. A lot of adults fail for this singular reason
In summary, it is important to always remember when buying toys, to pause and ask ourselves what the child will benefit from it. Everything we give to our child for work or play must be with purpose – to help that child discover and develop his inner genius. So take these learnings and break your barriers and enable your kids not only to pursue academic success but intellectual and emotional ones also.
About the writer
Titilola Lewis is a child educationist. Over the years she has dedicated her life to helping parents raise little geniuses at her Preschool in Lagos, Nigeria – Babyville. She recently opened an online store where parents can get creative play items that can help their kids on the journey to being geniuses. Find our more about her materials at www.themesparty.com.ng