I have explored the science behind the things that make children happy, what kind of parenting is best and what makes a family happy.

But what enhances the intelligence of your children, from their early years to adolescence?

Here are 10 things that science can help:

1. Practice an instrument

Practice an instrument - children's intelligence

Clear and simple: studies show that practicing a musical instrument enhances the intelligence of children.

With regard to children in a control group, children in the group of practitioners obtained greater increases in their IQ. The effect was relatively small, but widespread across all IC tests, grading scores, and standard academic achievement measures.

In fact, musical instruments help everyone, young and old:

More and more studies conclude that practicing an instrument gives students advantages for learning in the classroom. Now a Northwestern University study has shown that practicing an instrument can also benefit grandmother by offsetting some of the harmful effects of aging.

2. The silly sportsman is a myth

The silly sportsman is a myth

Silly athletes are stupid because they spend more time in the field than in the library. What if you make sure that your child engages in both?

Fitness increases your learning ability. After exercise people learn new vocabulary 20% faster.

The book “Spark: The New and Revolutionary Science of Exercise“, by John Ratey, tells us:

In fact, in a 2007 human study, German researchers found that people learn new words 20 percent faster after exercise than before exercise, and that the learning rate had a direct correlation with levels of neurotrophic factor Derived from the brain

A 3-month regimen of exercise increased blood flow to the part of the brain focused on memory and learning by 30%.

The book “Spark: The new revolutionary science of exercise” tells us that

In his study, Small put a group of volunteers on a 3-month exercise regimen and then took pictures of their brains. He observed that capillary volume in the hippocampus memory area increased by 30%, a truly remarkable change.

3. Do not read to your children, read with them

Do not read to your children

Do you have a little learning to read? Do not let them just see the pictures in a book while you read.

Mark the words. Read with them, not to them.  Studies show that this helps develop your reading skills:

… When reading a shared book is enriched by explicit attention to the development of children’s reading skills and strategies, it becomes an effective way to promote reading and writing skills early, even for disadvantaged children.

4. Lack of sleep stuns children

Lack of sleep stuns children

Losing one hour of sleep converts the brain of a sixth-basic child into the brain of a fourth.

In the book “Educate Today: Nobody Said It Was Easy” Sadeh explains:

“Losing one hour of sleep is tantamount to [losing] two years of maturation and cognitive development.”

There is a correlation between the notes and the average hours of sleep.

In the book “Educate today: no one said it was easy” comments:

The group of adolescents with the best grades slept on average 15 minutes more than the next group of notes, who on their part slept on average 15 minutes more than the next, and so on. Wahlstrom data was an almost exact replica of an earlier study of more than 3,000 high school students in Rhode Island, conducted by Carskadon of Brown University. Unquestionably, these are midpoints, yet the consistency between both reviews emerges. Every one of the fifteen minutes check.

5. IQ is not worth much without self-discipline

IQ is not worth much without self-discipline

Self-discipline predicts better than the IC who will be successful.

Charles Duhigg’s excellent book, “The Power of Habits,” explains,

Dozens of students demonstrate that self-discipline is the most important key habit for individual success … Students who exercise high levels of self-discipline were more likely to get higher grades and be accepted at more selective colleges. They were less absent and spend less time watching TV and more hours on their homework. The researcher states: “Highly self-disciplined adolescents outperformed their more impulsive peers in all academic performance variables. Self-discipline predicted academic performance more accurately than IC. Self-discipline also predicted students who would improve their grades during the school year, while the IQ did not … Self-discipline has a greater effect on academic performance than intellectual talent. ”

The notes have more to do with diligence than with raw intelligence.

In Paul Tough’s book “How Children Triumph: Determination, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Personality

… diligence was the most predictive feature of job success. What intrigues Roberts is that diligence predicts results well beyond the workplace. Diligent people have better grades at school and college, commit fewer crimes, and have longer marriages. They live longer, not just because they smoke and drink less They have fewer strokes, lower blood pressure, and less Alzheimer’s.

Who is better in life? To children with determination.

In the book “The surprising truth about what motivates us” by Daniel H Pink, it is said:

Researchers have found that the best indicator of success was the possible indicator of a non-cognitive and non-physical trait of cadets, known as ” determination” and defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.”

6. Learning is an active process

Learning is an active process

Baby Einstein and cognitive training games do not work.

In fact, there are reasons to think they stun children.

The book “Journey to the Child’s Brain: Raising a Smart and Happy Child” by John J Medina, explains:

These products do not work. They had no positive effects on the vocabulary of the target audience: infants aged 17 to 24 months. Some, in fact, did harm. For each hour the child watched certain videos and DVDs, the infants understood an average of 6 to 8 words less than infants who did not see them.

True learning is not passive, it is active.

What does Dan Coyle, author of “The Keys to Talent” recommend? Do not read simply, start self-examination:

Our brains evolved to learn by doing things, not listening to them. This is one of the reasons why, in the case of many skills, it is much better to spend two-thirds of your self time examining yourself and not passively absorbing them. There is a two-third rule. If you want, for example, to memorize a paragraph, it is better to spend thirty percent of your time reading and the other 70 percent examining what you have learned.

7. The awards are good, but at the right time

The awards are good

In general, it would be best if the children ate healthy all the time. Studies show that food influences children’s grades:

Everyone knows that you should take breakfast the morning of an important test. Studies show that it is better to prefer foods with many carbohydrates, fibers and slow digestion, such as oats. But what you eat throughout that week is also important. A study was carried out to analyze the speed of attention and thinking of 16 university students, who then did for five days a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates, high in meat, eggs, cheese and cream. When they performed the tests for the second time, their performance declined.

There are always exceptions. No child eats healthily all the time. But the irony is that children generally eat “bad” foods at the wrong time.

Studies show that caffeine and sugar can stimulate your brain:

Caffeine and glucose may have beneficial effects on cognitive performance. As these areas are considered to be linked to the processes of long-term care and short-term memory, the results suggest that combining caffeine and sugar may increase the effectiveness of attentional systems.

They are also powerful rewards that children enjoy.

So, if children eat candy and sodas occasionally, it is best that they do it while they study and not while they are resting.

8. Happy children = successful children

Happy children

Happier children are more likely to become successful adults with extensive experience.

In her book, “Learning Happiness (Personal Growth),” Christine Carter explains:

Happiness is a tremendous advantage in a world that emphasizes performance. On average, happy people are more successful than unhappy people, both at work and in love. They have better performance appraisals, more prestigious jobs, and earn more wages. High. They are more likely to marry, and once they do, they are more satisfied with their relationship.

And what is the first step to raising happier children? Be happy parents.

9. Your peers matter

Your peers matter

Your genetics and the genetics of your partner have a great effect on your children. But the way you raise them?

Not that much.

According to Malcolm Gladwell, in his book “The Turning Point“:

In things like measures of intellectual ability and certain aspects of personality, biological children are quite similar to their parents. However, in the case of adopted children, the results are categorically bizarre. Your scores have nothing to do with your adoptive parents. These children have no greater similarity in their personalities or intellectual abilities with the people who nurtured them, nurtured them, dressed them, read them stories, taught them and loved them for more years than with two strangers chosen at random.

So, what has a huge effect on your children’s behavior? Your peers.

Usually we speak of group pressure when it is negative, but usually it is positive.

A house in a good neighborhood, a good school and make sure your children play with good children can make a big difference.

What is the easiest way to upload a college student’s grades? Choose a smart roommate.

Shawn Achor, in his book “Advantage as Happiness,” comments:

A study with students at Dartmouth University by economist Bruce Priest illustrates the power of this influence. He found that when students with low averages began to share rooms with high-school students, their averages increased. These students, according to the researchers, “apparently were infected with good and bad study habits, so much so that a roommate with a high grades average could lift the average low of his partner.”

10. Believe in them

Believing your child is smarter

Believing your child is smarter than average makes a difference.

When teachers were told that certain children were smarter, those children performed better, even if they had been randomly selected.

In his book “The Heart of Social Psychology,” Arthur Aron explains:

Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson (1968) did the same study in a classroom, told elementary school teachers that certain students in their classes were “academically advanced.” In truth, these students had been chosen at random. The researchers made no other effort to select these children. And yet, by the end of the school year, 30 percent of these arbitrarily advanced children had gained an average of 22 IQ points, and almost all had gained at least 10 IQ points.

In summary

  1. Practice an instrument
  2. The silly sportsman is a myth
  3. Do not read to your children, read with them
  4. Lack of sleep stuns children
  5. IQ is not worth much without self-discipline
  6. Learning in an active process
  7. The awards are good, but at the right time
  8. Happy children = successful children
  9. Your peers matter
  10. Believe in them

A final comment: Intelligence is not everything . Without ethics and empathy really smart people can be scary.

As PJ O’Rourke once said:

Smart people do not start many fights in a bar. But stupid people do not build many hydrogen bombs.

I hope this helps to boost your child’s intelligence.