As a parent, one of the most important things you can teach your child is how best he or she can function optimally. Healthy food, including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, enough hours of sleep at night, and regular exercise are foundational for a healthy body and a sharp and alert mind.
Once you have the foundational elements in place, including the instruction for a positive mindset (a “can do” attitude is extremely important for optimal brain function), then you can look at other ways to further sharpen your child’s mind.One of the easiest ways to do this is through the use of games and activities. Children love games, so it doesn’t feel like they are putting forth mental effort to play a game! Plus, games are a great bonding activity, which is also important for good mind health and a relaxed outlook.
5 TIPS FOR A SHARP MIND
Read a list of items to your child, and see how many they can repeat back to you. Keep score and applaud any correct answers! Then shoot for even more correct answers the next time you play. For example, you might use a scenario such as the following: “Mary went to the grocery store and bought a bunch of bananas, two apples, a quart of milk, two pounds of butter, a bag of cat food, some frozen blueberries and a deli pizza. “ Give your child credit for any part of the correct answer (for example – ‘blueberries’ is correct, even if they forget the ‘frozen’ word).
Place a group of various items on a table. Have your child study them for a minimum of 30 seconds. Then hide them and ask your child to either tell you or write everything down that she can remember. Increase the number of objects to make it even more challenging.
Teach your child to use his imagination to picture what he has to do as part of his daily chores or activities. For example, if he needs to feed the dog before doing his homework each day, have him picture his hungry dog greeting him at the door after school as he goes to put down his books on the kitchen table. Then have him imagine petting the dog, feeding him, washing his hands, and then sitting down to the table to begin his homework.
Have your child make a list of all the things she needs to get accomplished in any given day. This will teach her to keep her thoughts in order, relieve her brain from reminding her of things to do at inopportune times, and let her feel the accomplishment of checking off things on her list that she has accomplished.
Have your child memorize a favorite poem or song and then practice it often. This will teach him that his repeated practice will help him to remember whatever he needs to learn and recall. Throw in some silly rhymes or limericks for fun. Children love to laugh and hear others laugh with them!
These are just a few tips for helping your child maintain an alert and sharp mind.
Implementing these in time spent with your child will teach him or her that learning can be fun!