Centuries ago, midwives and mothers advised pregnant women to stay happy, listen to music, be around nature, and embrace good health. Now advanced research in child development shows that brain development in children does not occur after birth but begins in the womb itself.
So, it is important for both parents but especially mothers to avoid smoking, alcohol, and substance abuse when pregnant and to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It is just not about food and exercise. It is about staying positive in thoughts, keeping a happy frame of mind, exposing the child in the womb to wonderful happy thoughts and music. There are parents who talk to the unborn child and swear that their child is clever and an achiever because of this. Try it, ask your doctors about it.
Changes in Routine Help
Babies, as well as toddlers and older kids, respond to the stimulus offered by experiences in their home and environment. Did you know that the brain of children is stimulated by the variety of sensations encountered each day?
So, you can set the wheels in motion by introducing activities within the house as well as outdoors. These will promote learning and interactive experiences. Talk to the child as much as you can. Maintain eye contact and allow the child to absorb your facial expressions. Savor every attempt at communication made by the child be it a hand extended towards you, a gurgle, or smile. Create a rapport between you and the child, and you will be surprised to see that the child understands and responds.
Food for Thought
It is not just brain-stimulating activities that boost brain power, the food a child eats affects its thinking as well. Did you know, a brain needs plenty of carbohydrates, fats, as well as proteins, vitamins, and minerals for both repair and function? In fact, many mothers are witness to mood swings and erratic behavior in their children after the consumption of chocolates or junk sugar foods like candy, icing, syrups, and packaged baked products. The sugar highs and lows caused by certain kinds of foods can make a child fidgety, irritable, inattentive, and sleepy.
Sharpen the Intellect
The goal of education is to teach children to be effective thinkers —as you know, this is what equips them to stay ahead in situations where solutions need to be found at the snap of their fingers. So, you must focus on cognitive development and higher-order thinking.
As a parent, there are a great many ways in which you can work towards the goal of effective thinking and higher reasoning. Technology has made available several computer programs, software CDs, and DVDs that are fun to use and place the children in more and more difficult situations, which they need to solve. The focus of companies such as Smart Neurons are educational teaching aids and toys which fulfill the goal of enhancing thinking, mathematical abilities, and problem-solving in children.