11 tips to train children's intelligence

Who I am
Catherine Le Nevez
Author and references

Reuven Feuerstein was a professor of psychology and pedagogy in Israel and the United States, and headed the International Center for the Development of Children's Learning Potential in Jerusalem. His books and his method (Feuerstein method, in fact) are known all over the world and for some years they have been spreading more and more also in Del Paese.

Throughout his life Fuerstein has studied the learning potential of children, coming to the conclusion that intelligence is a set of skills and mental processes "that allow us to make sense of the world around us and to acquire the information to solve problems. problems… A dynamic phenomenon, in short, that can be learned ".

Journalist Nessia Laniado in her book “How to teach intelligence to your children” (Red editions) explains the Feurstein method to everyone in simple language and using many examples. Here are some of the strategies for developing children's intelligence.

1 When you talk to your child, do not assume that he is listening to you or that he is understanding you

No teaching will be valid if we are not sure that the child is listening and understanding what we mean.

For example, if a child has messed around on the sofa, it's not enough to scold him, you have to teach him that that behavior is wrong.

The first thing to do is to make physical and visual contact with the child (so don't talk from another room or while doing something else), then explain to him why what he did wrong and show him the consequences, "now the sofa is all dirty, it will have to be washed ".

And to involve him more directly and capture the listening, you can add: "Would you like it if I messed up your games?".

Finally to conclude positively: “I'm sure that next time you will be more careful”. Read also: How to enrich children's vocabulary

2 Train your child's mind to observe and analyze reality with comparisons

Taking a cue from the reality that surrounds him, it is useful to stimulate the child to observe and analyze what he sees, using comparisons and helping him to connect concepts that are close to each other.

For example, while eating a carrot, you can explain to him that carrots are roots like potatoes and ask him how they differ (in shape, color, flavor ...); ask him between the two vegetables which he prefers and why ...

Or "we close the windows because when the storm arrives, the floor gets wet because the rain enters".

This serves to teach him to organize concepts, and to give him a key to understand his surroundings by placing the facts of his life in a system of coherent relationships, learning the connections and cause-effect relationships.

3 Your child learns best about the world through emotions

A child knows the world through emotions and affection. To make him understand an idea, to make him progress, one must know how to arouse positive feelings in him.

For this reason, when we communicate with a child it is important to color our speech with adjectives that express emotions.

And let him participate in events that generate emotions in him and develop his creativity (a concert, an exhibition, but also simply a walk in the woods)

For example, when asked what a pigeon is, it is explained to him that it is a bird, then one can add that once the pigeons carried the mail and tell that as a child the mother had saved a bird (emotional story). Read also: playing with simple materials stimulates the imagination

4 You must make him feel that you have esteem and trust in him by accepting him as he is

A child needs to feel valued. The trust we show towards children affects their way of being. Our children need to have confidence in their abilities, we need to help them do things they are able to do, offering them challenges they can be able to overcome, with a little effort.

To do this, you need to create the conditions for success: let them experiment by starting with small steps (otherwise we risk that they will get discouraged immediately).

For example: if a child wants to color a drawing but is not yet able, you can suggest: "Start near the lines and take it slowly" and reassure him that it is normal to encounter difficulties the first time and never give in to the urge to tell him. "Come on here, I'll do it!". Read also: self-esteem in 7 rules

5 Make him feel understood when he is wrong and give him reasoned praise when he does well

The parent must listen to the child. Understanding his reasons and facing mistakes, suggesting how to do, rather than correcting. And never correct a creative work such as a drawing.

For example, if a child cries because he does not want to go to school instead of encouraging him with trivial phrases, it is better to show that you understand him: "I see that you are angry, I know you don't want to go to school ...".

Being understood reassures him. And in the face of a bad grade, understanding with him where and why he made a mistake, what he meant and was unable to explain. Mistake is an opportunity to learn and not to be mortified.

And when he is right it is very important to praise in a motivated way, only in this way will he have the perception of the progress made: "You got a good grade, you did well because you checked the answers well before submitting, you saw that you improved!".

6 Get used to making plans and from an early age you set limits and rules

Educating children to make plans serves to contain their tendency to operate randomly and helps them understand the path to achieving a goal.

For example: "Now let's go to the supermarket, go home, put the shopping in order, then I'll read you a book ...".

And when making a program, remember that gratification always comes after duty: "First the homework and then you play".

It is also important to establish rules because they help the child to have safety. Limits given from an early age are formative and enable children to set limits themselves and to respect them.

7 Stimulates his emotional intelligence. That is, the ability to identify with others

To do this it is important to get him used to being with others. A good rule of thumb is to find a time for the family every day to get together and talk about the day.

Other important moments of participation are visits to relatives, parties and even a funeral.

Fundamental to developing interpersonal intelligence is to educate children in good manners: greet, thank, let others talk, learn to listen ...

8 Develop his sense of responsibility by giving him assignments and making him make decisions

To develop a child's individuality and sense of responsibility it is necessary both to give him the opportunity to carry out family tasks from an early age (for example: taking care of the cat, hanging the laundry), and to get him used to making decisions and to take responsibility for them. responsibility.

For example: on Sunday morning the child can be made to decide whether to do his homework immediately or to postpone it to the afternoon and explain to him that if he chooses the afternoon as a consequence he will not be able to go for a snack with his cousins.

9 Stimulates his innate curiosity and the desire to experiment with novelties

Parental fears can block the child's curiosity. The little ones too bombarded with warnings are discouraged from taking initiatives. For example: Don't go up that slide, it's too high… ”.

Instead, we must encourage them to experiment, giving them all possible tools so that they do not get hurt. And if something is difficult to present it as a challenge.

So if a child wants to go on the adults' swing, instead of discouraging him by saying that he is too small, you can tell him that it is a feat for adults but if he wants to, he can try. So in case of defeat he will not feel incapable. You might be interested in: Music, a child's play

10. Never pigeonhole it in a role. Children always have time to change

Often parents (but also teachers) say phrases that communicate distrust and pigeonhole the child in a role from which it will then be difficult to free oneself. Ex: "You're the usual bungler!". Or: "You're really clumsy!" And so on: you are slow, you never pay attention, you don't understand math etc.

If there are really problems, action must be taken to change the child's change. Insist on new habits and point out small improvements day by day. Seeing the small improvements, children will be convinced that they can do it and then they themselves will want to experiment with new skills.

Ex: "Do you remember when you weren't able to tie your shoes?" “Last year you were afraid to sleep away from home. But now you like it so much… ”Read also: My son is a genius. Indeed, he is gifted

11 Let us communicate enthusiasm and always see the glass 'half full'

Success must be predicted. For example: before a test do not tell him: "Who knows how it will go" but "I'm sure you will be able to do the task well." And substitute the prize for punishment. This way you bet on what works.

Finally, remember to always see the glass 'half full'. Often it is enough to present the positive aspect of a request for the child to be motivated to implement it. Instead of saying to him: “Go and wash your face which is all dirty”, better say to him: “With that beautiful face, wash it so you will see better”.

Read also the 12 strategies for child mental development and What kind of intelligence does your child have?

Updated on 20.09.2022

  • intelligence
  • train children's intelligence
  • 3-5 children years
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