Most children go through a stage that often causes headache to parents, the curiosity stage. When children start to talk, this is the time where questions are constantly being asked. Many children are naturally curious and are always actively looking to explore and discover new things. Therefore, it is completely natural to find your child asking questions about everything.
When your child asks you a question, you have a few options. You can shut them down with a “Just because”, explain to them about the answer or you can even turn the question back to them and help them figure out the answer with plenty of encouragement. However, no parents or teacher has the time and patience to respond perfectly to all of these questions. But a new book, “Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children” by Roberta Minchnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh- Paserk is designed to get us thinking about the magnitude of these moments.
The author of the book is a professor of developmental psychology at Temple University. She has found through her research and decades of experience that there are six crucial ingredients to raising brilliant children and setting them up to succeed in life.
Here are the 6 crucial ingredients for raising brilliant kids:
Collaboration is named as the most core ingredient in raising a brilliant kid according to the author. Collaboration is when a group of people come together to work on something. It is everything from getting along with others to controlling your impulses from doing something you should not do. Teaching your kids how to collaborate with others is the foundation of all future success. They have to learn how to restrain their selfish impulses, how to get along with others and how to work as part of a team. Through collaboration, children can learn to understand how others view the world. They can develop new and different perspectives and learn to appreciate differences of opinions.
Communication is one of the most important aspect in raising a brilliant and successful child. Teaching your kids how to communicate with others effectively is a key to their future success. This includes how to speak well, how to write, how to read and most importantly, how to listen well. When your child has learnt how to speak, you should not always talk for your child. Instead, you should acknowledge their struggle and encourage them to take a second and try to find their words.
Content is built on communication. You can’t learn anything if you haven’t learned how to understand language or how to read. Teaching your kids how to understand and process content is important. If they know how to study and how to learn, they can master any field or solve any challenge for that matter.
As we can get overwhelmed with too much information out there right now, it is very important to know how to sift through it. Critical thinking is based on evidence and logic rather than emotions and memorisation. Critical thinking means that they will be able to evaluate something and not just take it at face value. As a parent, you should always teach your child the ability to think critically . To develop their critical thinking skills, you should ask open-ended questions and encourage them to think in new and different ways. It helps them to make their own decisions instead of just accepting what someone else tells them.
Creative innovation refers to taking the information and using it in new ways. To create something new, it requires the person to know the subject well enough. Therefore, teaching your kids creative innovation will help them take what they already know well and make something new. Critical thinking skills often combine with creative innovation because kids will be able to make connections across different subjects to create or discover something new. One of the ways you can teach your child to be a creative innovator is by making learning fun. When children feel that their learning is “dead serious”, they become afraid to take chances and they will be more likely to think in less risky ways.
Lastly, confidence. To become successful, you should have the confidence to take a safe risk. Teaching your kids to be confident will help them feel safe enough to do something that is risky. They should learn the value and importance of taking risks and believing in themselves. Parents should help them to discover that it’s okay to fail, and how failure is part of the process of learning. What is more important is that they are willing to get up and try again. While self-doubt will limit forward progress, confidence and the willingness to risk will drive your child on to ever greater exploration and success. To train your child to be confident, you can send your child to participate in public speaking classes offered by enrichment centres such as Ebright Learning Centre.
Other than instilling these 6 characteristics in your children, it is also very important to have a relationship with your child. It is not just about what your kid is doing, it is also about what the parents are doing and how they occupy their time. When your child notices that you aren’t paying attention to them, they don’t really get to learn much from you. Therefore, take five minutes a day away from your phone or laptop and pay attention to your kids. Only then, they can really learn from you.
Lastly, a reminder for parents that success is not built around the narrow confines of memorising our math tables and learning or memorizing our poetry. What is more important is raising a child that is kind, caring and happy!