Helene Goldnadel on Developing A Gifted Child
In order to raise a gifted child, first of all it starts with you - Yes, you as the parent, the main caregiver of the child. This is because you will be the one largely influencing and creating the right environment to develop your baby into a gifted child - genius.
Contrary to popular belief, a genius is not necessarily "born" with a genius mind. A baby's brain, without any external stimuli, degenerates over time. According to Theva Nithy in his book "Your Child Your Genius", a baby is born with about 12 billion brain cells. In the average child, by the age of 12, only 6 billion cells are left. Imagine what this "average" child could become if he was given the opportunity to develop all the 12 billion brain cells!
Of course, the foundation of all nurturing starts with unconditional love. But besides love, how does a parent help a child reach his fullest potential?
A healthy child is born with enormous potential. The mind of a healthy infant is like a sponge. Experts call it the "super-absorbent subconscious mind". A young brain is able to absorb massive quantities of information.
Parents carry a huge responsibility to provide the right opportunities using the right techniques, to help their child reach his fullest potential to become a genius, which he was born to be.
What then, are the right techniques?
Here are a few tips by Helene Goldnadel you can use with your 0 to 6 year-old child:
Years of scientific research has confirmed that music will induce alpha brain waves. Alpha waves are associated with calm and focused state - this is the state in which we learn and absorb information best. Playing soothing music (e.g. Classical) over time to your child can enable your child to reach an alpha state easily. This method of exposing your child to soothing music is to enable your child to develop the ability to calm and focus his mind at will. Over time, your child will learn the important skill of focus and concentration for long periods of time.
Play the music throughout the day, quietly in the background if you can. This includes his sleeping time. Remember that even when the baby is asleep, he is still absorbing information through his subconscious mind.
During playtime, you can play more upbeat music like nursery rhymes or children's songs. The faster tempo of the music will help your child to remain interested in the playtime activity.
As your baby grows older, it is definitely a good idea to expose him to a whole range of different types of music. It will increase his intelligence.
Brain cells will not die off if they are exercised. Providing visual stimulation to your child exercises his brain cells. Do you know that 70% of all information received is absorbed through the eyes?
Showing your child flash cards, especially those with bright contrasting colors, and talking about them is a very beneficial exercise. You don't have to spend a bomb on flash cards. An alternative is to use your own family photos or pictures from magazines.
Another great (and free) visual stimulator is to bring your baby out wherever you go. For example, bring your young child out for long strolls in the park, letting him view the green on trees, the blue of the skies, and the pink of flowers. Or bring him to the grocer's - let him touch and see the red of tomatoes, the green of green pepper, and the orange of carrots. You get the idea.
The importance of reading from a young age cannot be overemphasized. Encouraging your child to read from a young age is important because most of knowledge learnt is through words read - via books, magazines, etc. If your child hates reading in future, it is going to be a huge impediment in his learning process from school all through to adulthood.
Begin by reading to your baby from birth, even when he is asleep. As he grows older, continue reading and singing (e.g. Alphabet songs) with varying tones. Read aloud from books, let your child watch you point out the pictures, flip the pages from right to left. When he can, encourage two-way interaction. For example, ask simple questions, ask him to point out pictures, get him to flip the pages or simply hold the book steady.
Another suggestion by Helene Goldnadel is to bring him often to the library where he can learn from other role models - other adults and kids enjoying their read
Knowing the techniques is not good enough. You must execute it. It means extra time and energy required. For working parents, spending time to provide additional nurturing opportunities to your young infant is an even greater challenge because it means more patience, more time required for creating such opportunities, and less time left for your own rest.
However, remember that your hard work will pay off. You reap what you sow Your investment in your child now will reap you rewarding dividends later - happier, self-confident, well-balanced children who enjoy learning and making friends.