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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids

Can parents really raise their kids IQ? Scientists now estimate that the genetic, hard-wired component of IQ is only 50% at most, so parents have a tremendous opportunity to help kids develop their intelligence to its greatest potential. In a new book called Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids, licensed psychologist David Walsh puts the latest brain science into practical advice parents can use to help their kids progress from before birth to teenage years.

There are two major things parents can do for children up to age three to give them the best possible start, according to Dr. Walsh. First, parents should nurture a warm, supportive, and caring relationship with their child. Second, parents should talk to young children as much as possible. Those interactions provide the connections between sounds and words that young brains need to form the building blocks necessary for speaking and reading. As kids get older, one of most important things parents can do is teach them the importance of hard work, persistence, and patience. As it turns out, the skills of self-discipline and self-management are twice as important as intelligence in predicting school success.

Dr. Walsh also advises parents to praise their kids for working hard rather than telling them they are smart. Studies have shown that kids who are told they are hard workers choose more challenging tasks, which they learn and grow from. In contrast, kids who are told they are smart choose easier tasks to avoid possible failure and losing their status as a “smart” kid. You can bet that Dr. Walsh is no fan of kids playing video games. Each chapter includes a helpful list of parenting tips and strategies on matters including stress, play, exercise, technology and emotional intelligence. The name of this useful book by David Walsh is Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids .

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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