Little Einsteins – Three Easy Things Parents Can Do To Boost Children’s IQ
Forget the toys and gimmicks that promise to make your baby smarter, research published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science show three key things you could do to raise your child’s IQ. Part of being a profession that provides speech therapy services is knowing what factors influence a child’s cognitive and emotional development. This study highlights essential elements for cognitive and language growth in a child’s early, critical years.
Turns out the three things that could boost IQ are pretty easy to achieve and you might even already be doing them! In the study, led by researcher John Protzko, at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, combined the findings from existing studies using children from birth to kindergarten to evaluate the overall effectiveness of each type of intervention. Finding that results are often scattered (you know, a news headline there, a new must have vitamin there), he and other researchers wanted to create a “Database of Raising Intelligence.” Here’s the three things he found:
Fish Oil: Supplementing pregnant women and newborns diet’s with foods rich in Omega-3, were found to boost children’s IQ by more than 3.5 points! According to the authors, Omega-3s are rich fatty acids, which provide the building blocks for nerve cell development.
Preschool: For an economically disadvantaged child, there is no substitute for education. For these children, early education intervention was found to raise his or her IQ by more than four points; a center-based education component raised a child’s IQ by more than seven points. This comes as no surprise to us in the education field, who know that early education provides stimulation and language modeling in addition to early pre-reading skills. Interestingly, timing isn’t everything. The authors found that early education interventions that take place earlier in childhood were not more effective than those that begin later.
Reading: Now this one is exciting for the speechies! Teaching parents to engage their children while reading with them were found to raise children’s IQ by over 6 points—only for children under 4 years, however. Early, shared reading may accelerate language development, which, in turn, boosts IQ. Look here for a list of great preschool books.
For parents, this information is probably what you’re already doing, and if you’re not, consider the following to stimulate reading and language development: Make trips to the library with your child. To motivate and inspire children to enjoy books, involve them in the process (from picking out the book to scanning it at the checkout). When reading to your child, try to add your own comments and questions to the story—its OK to stop reading the text and review the pictures on the page. Parents can provide the best stimulation by talking aloud about the pictures and helping children analyze what they’re seeing (for example, “Oh look a doggy, he’s sitting on the table, that’s silly!”) Exaggerate funny or emotional words (sad, MAD, Happy!) by making faces or changing the tone of voice.