Train your children to be responsible and productive at an early age and continue to impress the importance of responsibility and productivity into adulthood.
Until your children can make objective, rational decisions for themselves, they are your responsibility. Train them to be responsible and productive at an early age and continue to impress the importance of responsibility and productivity well into adulthood. Remember that impressing is different from manipulating and force. Provide an objective and yet easy-going environment from which your children can rise to greatness on their own!
It is important for you to understand that your child is a unique individual and every right and freedom applies to every individual. Therefore, afford them 100% individual freedom to be the person that they want to be.
Think of yourself as a guide that has a positive influence on another human being. Of course there are things you need to do for your child regardless if they want to or not, but suspend any controlling aspect of your own personality and habits, and truly allow your child to develop on their own accord. You are just an experienced life-traveler transferring your knowledge to your pupil. It is up to them to choose and to learn.
Even if your child is diagnosed with a learning disability, these techniques can help awaken even the most challenged individual’s full potential. Never give up on anyone, especially the children. Unique human conditions such as autism can be a tremendous advantage and benefit at any age.
Basic Safety Guide
This part was mainly written for new parents or guardians that do not have any education in parenting; in addition, other people can benefit from these suggestions as well.
Never shake a child for any reason. Shaking a youngster can cause serious brain and neck injury and even death.
Always keep drugs, chemicals and hazardous materials out of the reach of children. Lock cabinets if you have to or install childproof latches.
Mouth Open, Insert Object
The first thing an infant will do after grabbing something is to put the object in their mouth. This is how they interact with and learn about their surroundings.
Make sure toys are clean and appropriate for your infant’s age. Buttons and other small toy parts can choke babies. Do not place sharp object within reach. Check to make sure electrical cords are securely tucked away. If a child can grab whatever it is, you know they will try. Kids are little explorers of their new universe.
Always test the temperature of hot foods before giving them to your child. Take a small bite yourself to test things. The underside of your wrist is a great place to test liquids. A metal spoon can be hotter than the food. The denser a substance, the longer it will retain heat.
Plug up unused electrical outlets with plastic plugs specifically designed to prevent children from sticking object into the slots.
Children mimic other people, so they will try to grab tools or anything else they see you using. They will try opening every door they see you access.
Make sure you test bath water temperature before placing a child into it. Remember, children are more sensitive to heat and cold, so always keep them comfortable.
Keep your eyes on your child in the bath and never leave young children unattended. Children can drown in as little as an inch deep of water, so no buckets left out containing liquids. Also, be careful around swimming pools, Jacuzzis, and other bodies of water. Teach your kids to swim as young as possible so that they can save themselves if they have to. A child can get water in their lungs and die later from what is called dry-drowning. Teach them to bend over so that fluids run out of the lungs.
Never leave a child alone in car. During the day with the windows rolled up, the temperature inside a car can jump to lethal levels in a matter of minutes or even seconds depending on the outside temperature.
Be careful while carrying your child to avoid accidental bumping while moving through doorways and around hard furniture. Make sure you have a good grip so as not to drop your baby.
Recognize when your children are sick. Don’t hesitate to take them to the doctor if they are acting strange or if a fever gets too high. Talk to your pediatrician about the specifics regarding health warning signs and when to take emergency action.
The heavy metal lead is more toxic to children than it is to adults and can cause severe brain damage. Remove lead based paints from the living place. Most candlewicks have a lead core that vaporizes into the air when burned, so avoid that type of wick even if you don’t have children.
Keep any type of smoke away from your child. They’ll get enough unavoidable air pollution while growing up, so adding to that by smoking around children can diminish their chances at a long life.
Eliminate refined sugar completely from your family’s diet if you can. We know that means eliminating a majority of the processed foods available, but your baby and whole family will be much better off without sweets. Did you know that chemically, refined sugar and cocaine differ only slightly? Sugar is highly addictive and it can cause imbalances and deterioration in a developing human brain and body.
While we are on the subject of diet, another dangerous food additive to eliminate is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). This approved flavor enhancer acts directly on the brain and nervous system, and it is very addictive. MSG is probably one of the biggest contributors to obesity. If you find yourself craving certain foods or even specific restaurants, you can bet that those food manufacturers and establishments are feeding you food intentionally spiked with MSG.
Here is a great article on the dangers of MSG:
Be aware that even foods labeled as organic still may contain MSG.
Discipline, Martial Arts
Finally, never smack your child around in order to “toughen them up”. Enroll them in sports and martial arts if they want, but never cause physical or mental abuse to teach self-confidence. Hitting or pushing a child only teaches that child that they need to be violent and a bully to get their way. These people usually wind up in jail or dead at an early age.
Martial arts training are great ways to teach protection through self-defense. It also teaches coordination and confidence.
If a child wants to be a weakling or completely passive, that is their right to choose by their own free-will. You will never get anywhere positive with a child by being bullish or mean. Try a compassionate, confident approach tempered with patience and you will see any child’s learning capacity increase. Make any situation a fun and learning experience for your child and you will be richly rewarded with a friend for life!
The Critical Years
Use the following age-bracketed guide as just that, a guide. Some children will develop faster than other children, so feel free to apply later-stage techniques earlier on if you see rapid development.
Birth Through Three Years Of Age
Some people downplay the first three years of life, as if it is not that important of a period in development. As with every stage of life, this period is extremely crucial in jump-starting personality, intelligence, and awareness of reality. Infants learn to judge what they experience in their surroundings and then learn to adjust their actions to learn more.
By providing more than the typical interactions and stimuli, you can positively affect the development of your child.
Holding Your Baby
Years ago, a study showed that in third world countries where mothers continuously hold infants throughout the day, those children have a lower mortality rate than in underdeveloped countries where mother-child contact is minimal.
Share in the training! Have other members of the family hold infants as much as possible. Even if you cannot hold your baby all the time, keep them close so that they can observe your activities and so that you can make frequent physical contact and conversation with them.
Keeping them in a back room devoid of human interaction is unhealthy. If you cannot keep in frequent contact with your baby, then hire someone that can help you do that. This interpersonal contact is extremely important in maximizing beneficial affects.
Display as much happiness to your infant as possible. Help them to laugh and play. If you grew up without much interaction between yourself and your parents or guardians, then it may take a little effort to get in the habit of being affectionate and in communicating on a regular basis with your baby. Evolve your parenting skills from adequate to exceptional and from exceptional to outstanding.
Although your newborn cannot understand language yet, talking to them will increase the bonding connection between the two of you. They will learn to key in on your voice. When they are just a little older, you’ll be surprised at how much they do understand. Talk to them as often as possible, and say their name frequently.
Infants can differentiate between some communications, for example, they can interpret your body language instinctively and they do know the difference between happiness and anger. Also, they can learn the meaning of words such as yes, no, okay, and look.
Try using the words no and don’t as little as possible. If you can’t think of a positive way to say something in order to correct a child, then be specific as to why you are saying no or don’t. Children of all ages tend to ignore negative commands. Use constructive alternatives and logic to dissuade certain behavior, but even more so, use positive reinforcement as to why other behavior is better. Scare tactics and threats never work.
Be as positive as possible around your baby. Keep negative attitudes, arguments and bad talk between you and other people away from your child. They do not deserve that type of mental stress at such a young age. They may not understand what you are yelling about but they do react adversely to hostility even when it is not directed at them. On the flip side, they develop very well under happy and fun conditions. They will also develop neutrally under stale or neutral conditions, so it’s better to surround your household with laughter and genuine caring. Humor is an important human evolutionary step, as is feeling and showing love to your family.
Children are also smarter than you may think and they can show signs of comprehension long before they can even talk. Much of what a child learns is by observing other people. They will begin to mimic your gestures and other mannerisms including your speech.
You can get them started on the alphabet and basic math skills by counting to them and explaining simple operations such as addition and subtraction. Repetition is also the key to engraining information.
They can also easily learn the meaning of more complex spoken words and sentences. Therefore, along with talking in goofy baby-talk-like babble to your child, talk to them often as you would to adults. Even if you think they don’t understand you, keep up the conversations and the physical stimulus. Again, these types of actions helps to bond you two together and it helps familiarize your child with normal talk. Ask them questions that even require a response and see how easily your child will adapt to the new stimulus. Just remember that at this stage this is for brain development only, so no expectations of intelligent response should be set until later.
Along with talking to and holding your baby, introduce as much stimulus as possible to your child. You don’t want to overdo anything, and you do want to keep your baby’s safety your number one priority, so no loud music or noises, and no startling your child on purpose. Keep the traumatic experiences to a minimum – although, you can’t prevent everything from happening. If your child is unexpectedly shocked and cries, console them and reassure them as soon as you can. Talk to them logically about negative things or mishaps that they experience.
By using the phrase, it’s okay repeatedly, your child will learn to relax when coaxed correctly. This will help train them to expect surprises without getting emotional about everything. If you hug them to reassure them, then eventually set them at arms distance while still reassuring them vocally. This can inspire your child to take separation from you as a sign for them to work on the trauma as an individual. In other words, try not to smother a child with over-protective I’ll take care of it for you training. The idea is to trigger an early sense of individuality, rational thinking, and personal strength within your babies.
Very young children also need quiet time and time to themselves. There are myriad selections of toys for infants that help develop coordination and self-entertainment skills.
Use colorful distractions or re-directive techniques to take a child’s mind off a tantrum or crying spell. Again, never shake a child! In fact, reduce physical contact in the act of discipline to minimal or even to none at all. You can get your educational point across without using force or pain tactics. Anger or force will usually always be met with resistance and sometimes even resentment. Become your child’s best friend.
For newborns, black and white images with sharp contrasting angles can help stimulate eye acuity and brain development. Intermix neon-bright colors with high contrast images several times a day and increase the frequency of the colors as your baby gets older. Hold the objects at various focal distances and movements to help develop depth perception and eye coordination. You can easily make flashcard like stimulus tools for direct intentional training and even add an artsy mobile hanging over the cradle.
Consider painting the nursery walls with the same high-contrast, black and white, plus colorful images. Various lighting techniques can also add another realm of stimulation to your child’s visual senses.
Music and other sounds can broaden a child’s mental conceptualizing abilities. Associating visual and auditory stimulus together helps to link those two important functions together.
Start reading to your child at least as early as three years of age, and get in the habit of reading a chapter to them every night before you tuck them in for sleep. Reading opens the creative mind for mental imagery and fantasy. Reading right before sleep sets in motion a subconscious development that can be enhanced and molded into a powerful creative force. Simple entertaining stories with vivid pictures are fine in the first few years. You can progress to more in-depth and complex stories once a child has learned to process and understand language and concepts.
If reading mystically based stories, be sure to either preface the story with an explanation of the difference between make-believe and reality. Even young children can understand what is fact and what is fiction, but it is also important to make sure they know what is fact and what is flat out wrong. Point out logic and illogic, rational ideas and irrational ideas. Even better, ask them questions to see if they can pick out the differences on their own.
Make a point of mixing in factual stories along with the fairy-tales and fiction. Consider expanding on what was talked about in the fictional books after you are finished reading. Pull out an encyclopedia and use it to explain what an ittsy-bitsy spider is, for example.
Use television sparingly as a babysitting tool. Interpersonal contact is a better stimulus; however, some TV entertainment can broaden and inspire a budding, creative mind. Again, be sure to indicate what is real and what is fictional, and especially what is mystical.
Expose your baby to music not only to entertain but also to help expand the creative mind and increase brain-cell development. Try to keep the volume at an acceptable level instead of blasting the speakers around sensitive ears. Vary the music from classical to rock to pop and everything in between. Verbalize your selections as you start the music so that they learn to associate genre and artists, and eventually ask them what they are interested in listening to at various times. Helping them to make a choice on their own helps them increase their cognitive skills. Pick up your child and dance!
Introduce them early on to other people of all ages to begin the socialization process. This is especially important for children that act shy or reluctant to interact with other people. By getting them used to interpersonal interactions now, this will help them to be well adjusted long before they enter the school system.
The issue of safety and strangers are discussed in this next age range.
When is the best time to discuss sex with your child? We are sexual beings, and a healthy attitude coupled with responsibility can be the basis for presenting the issues of sex and biological reproduction to young children. Simple basics can be discussed early on by using examples in animal behavior, and then more complex issues can be discussed about how it all ties in with them in the upcoming years.
Say, “look!” and their name while pointing to objects at various distances. This helps associate your voice and the word with turning your child’s attention to the requested point of interest. The various distances helps to broaden your child’s immediate awareness of his or her surroundings.
Count from one to three, and on three, do something, such as roll a ball or perform some other type of auditory, tactile or visual stimulus. Repeat the counting exercise every day and several times a day while adding to the different types of stimulus. This exercise helps train the developing mind for expectations, so along with the repetition method, throw in a curve every now and then. For example, go straight to three! and perform the stimulus, or count, one, two, two and a half, two and three-quarters, two and seven-eighths, three! These psychological curves help to train a developing mind to expect the unexpected. Also, place objects in front of your baby as you count past three to ten. Hold up fingers as you count to add to the visual stimulus factor. This additional form of counting helps a mind to expect variety and differences with similar actions.
Sing to your baby and talk to them as you carry them around and do tasks. Even if you can’t carry tune, sing along with children’s songs simply to help fire those neurons into branching and developing the brain. Explain what you are doing as detailed as you can get. This continual type of communication will help a developing mind to expand in order to try to learn the new information. Even if your child acts as if they are oblivious to what you are saying, keep saying it. This conditions a mind to expect information that is beyond comprehension. If the information is repeated at the initial stage and then repeated a few days later, and then a week, a month, and etc, this helps ingrain the ability to learn in a super-human fashion. Keep your conversations as rational as possible.
As mentioned previously, read often to your child, or even make up your own stories to make a point or to stimulate imagination. Regardless of what you think your child is able to comprehend, go beyond the assumed intelligence in case their mind is able to stretch and learn. Revisit complex stories later, even just a few months later and you might be surprised how much your child remembers and comprehends. Be sure to ask questions about the repeated story and explain concepts portrayed and morals the author was trying to portray. Always point out mystical thinking by authors and provide alternative thinking examples to instill logical thought processes.
(continued June 22, 2009: Raising Super Children Ages 4 – 7)