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You are here : home > Intelligent Child > What is IQ? Can it be Improved? > Can Parents Enhance their Child's IQ

Can Parents Enhance their Child's IQ

To push or not to push

Parents vary widely in the stand they take on this issue. On one hand, you have the parents who follow the laissez-faire school of thought. They believe that a child's intelligence is determined at birth and develops naturally. As long as their children seem intelligent enough to get on in the world, they are quite happy to leave them to their own devices. The parents on the other end of the spectrum might call this lazy parenting. They feel that while nature gifts a child with the seed of intelligence, it is the parents' job to nurture and stimulate this intelligence to its full potential. 
 

Use it or lose it

Theva Nithy, author of a book entitled "Your Child Your Genius" is a person who supports the latter school of thought. He graduated in neuroscience from the University of Toronto, Canada and has been researching childhood intelligence for the last eight years. He is the founder of and a neuroscience consultant at Smartbrain Mind Technologies, a centre that specializes in child and adult mind development. His theory is based on the simple premise that what one doesn't use outgrows its usefulness and is discarded. According to him, every child is born with 12 billion brain cells called neurons. However, those neurons that are not used by the time the child is twelve years old die and cannot be replaced. Studies show that on the average only 6 billion neurons survive. In Mr. Nithy's opinion this is a colossal waste. He feels that parents must strive to ensure that their child uses as many of those 12 billion neurons before the child reaches the age of 12. In this way, parents can be sure that the child has made optimum use of its brain capacity. 
 

Opposing views

Sanjana Mishra has a one-year-old daughter and she says, "I want my daughter to enjoy her childhood, but at the same time I will do my best to stimulate her intelligence by exposing her to different sights, sounds and experiences. I don't believe that being able to recite ten different nursery rhymes is a great achievement. In my opinion rote learning is no learning at all because in the long run one does not remember things just because you have memorized them."

Mary Thomas, mother of twelve-year-old Ashish, feels differently. According to her, "These days there is a lot of pressure on children. It is not like the old days when you could play as long as you liked as long as you did your homework. Now parents have to be more involved and they have to make sure that their children do not lag behind. My son has tuitions twice a week in maths and Hindi. My son has also been going for swimming and guitar classes since he was ten years old. He was not happy in the beginning, but he will thank me in the end. I feel it is very important that children learn other things besides what is in their school books. Next year I want to send Ashish for computer classes."

In the past, childhood was a time free of care, full of play and anticipation for what the new day would bring. Today, it is a bit of a rat race out there. There are far greater demands on children today than there were a decade ago. They have to know more, do more and be more. Parents are beginning to see it as a duty to equip their child to deal with the pressures of the real world. The attitude is that parents should give their children the best opportunities that money can buy to learn and the rest is up to them. Parents of the 'laissez-faire' school may not agree with this. They probably do not understand the need to 'pressure' the child at this age when the pressures of adulthood are inevitable. While some children turn out fine without attending hundreds of classes aimed at turning them into well-rounded individuals, there are others that find themselves sorely lacking. The debate rages on with no conclusion in sight.

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Recent comments (25 comments)
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Comment: 
Name: Mneesh Mittal
Country: Canada

I strongly believe Indians put too much pressure on children. We need to relax. It is easy to push and push, it is harder to find a balanced way of teaching. I don't know the answer, but I do know that I will not harass my kids into submission. I want them to be happy first and successful second. So Indians relax!!! Stop living through your children.
 
Name: Harsha Chandra
Country: India

why can't lives be simple again? i don't want my son to go through this rat race. and thats what it is - a rat race. all the mothers are always discussing which classes they are sending their children too. computer classes for 3-year olds? soon they will start for 1 year old. learn to type before you write.
 
Name: Sony Malhotra
Country: India

the world is becoming extremely competitive, children must get a head start but parents must also ensure that they get to have fun too.
 
Name: Tanya Singhal
Country: India

i firmly believe its the parents duty to do their best they can. life is getting more and more competitive, today's children are far more capable and intellegent than those of the past decade or beyond.if they are not made to pursue value added activities they'll be more prone to pick up trouble both for themselves and society at large.
 
Name: MALINI
Country: India

it is very important to ensure a balance between the two.ifeel that children should be channelised towards a better future by guiding them todeal with the competitive world of today by providing them with as many chances to enchane their talents as possible ,at the same time letting them enjoy free play.
 
Name: Beena Thomas
Country: India

no doubt children have to be trained well to survive in the rat race.teaching them by making a game of every activity of learning will definitely have an impact.better slowly push them on without their realising it rather than finding out on growing up that there are a very many lot of people who can grasp faster and more than you can. decsion making capabilities have to be improved by giving the child a choice of any useful activity(not watching tv) the options should not include movies(if the children approach every learning session as a game they should enjoy it).confidence in their decsiions later would bring out an emotionally healthy child with a positive attitude
 
Name: Amber
Country: USA

i think we should watch our children and really learn and understand what they want.that there needs are met. they have to want to do the things we encourage them to do. parents are a big influence on there children so the more we encourage them the better. the children will learn more and soak more in if they are interested in what they are learning.
 
Name: Usha Pandit
Country: India

i enjoyed reading the views of parents on this topic. i am myself a parent and a teacher and i have lived long enough in india and abroad to reflect on the various views and philosophies of parental nurturing of children. wanting to do the best for ones children is natural and competitiveness is sometimes the inevitable consequence of this endeavour. however this can sometimes result in overworked and overstimulated children who have no quiet time or space to think about and savour their learning. children are naturally curious and active and all one needs to do is to feed this spontaneous enquiry in the child. does the adult "talk" enough to the child? when my daughter (now 20) was growing up my husband and i constantly talked and listened to her. she was part of all the decisions we made and most of the problems we solved. there were distinct parent child boundaries which she knew and respected. we apologised when we made mistakes and explained why some issues were out of bounds for her.she also knew that learning something was for herself and it was therefore her responsibility. we gave her plenty of opportunities but did not force completion on her. she was made to understand the cost of these activities she undertook though. what a child ultimately needs to have is confidence and self esteem, skills to work with and priorities to pick when making choices and a sense of freedom in being able to live his or her own life. living out someone else's dream can be very taxing. communicating with children will help understand where their dreams and aptitudes lie. what the child naturally enjoys he/she will do well and what he/she does well he/she will succeed in. they dont have to do everything the neighbour's child is doing. the worry of "missing out" seems to driving many parents to force their children into a punishing regimen that is almost abusive and which in the long run will prove wasteful (considering the effort to achievement ratio). adults need to trust in their children rather than live vicariously through them. otherwise we transmit our anxieties on to them and they learn to live in fear and propagate it to their children. parenting is a journey and cannot be assigned to maids and tutors or solely to teachers. it is a partnership with all of the child's caregivers in which you are the greatest beneficiary, therefore you have the biggest responsibility.
 
Name: saila
Country: usa

its realy scary to read some of the comments,having two kids 4yr and 8month resp.i am afraid what their future would be,forcing them too much might result as becoming sucessful adults as they grow up but necessarily not a fun loving and good natured adults, and atlast what is the life for if u dont enjoy what u do.i believe in helping and standing up for them when they need me and leaving rest to what god decides.
 
Name: Nepali Gurung
Country: Other

your motive for taking steps towards your child's cognitive enhancement should not be materialistic in nature i.e. to impress the world, your friends, or your neighbours (by becoming rich and famous) but to help your child live a happy and well balanced life on this planet. in other words, your child should be taught the lessons of patience, tolerance, forgiveness, compassion, loving kindness and respect for all the living creatures and the environment and so forth.
 
Name: VANI
Country: USA

infant and child stimulation is an important aspect of growth of the child. reading to them, playing with them, encouraging peer group play helps in the development of language, speech and social skills. building and boosting their confidence helps them to become better learners. encouraging learning through play is probably most stimulating and it encourges them to learn without pressure. also enhancing their curiosity by exposing them to sights and sounds and different envrironment helps in development of the complete child.
 
Name: melissa
Country: usa

what do babies look like when they are coming out of the mother
 
Name: Panjavernam
Country: malaysia

i think other than stressing on education to make a child to be intelligent, is not only sufficient in this kind of world. as a parents, we should shower our love and attention and teach our children to live happily and taught them patience,understanding, kindness, tolerance and the most of all is to be loved and to love.
 
Name: amilia
Country: macedonia

does music enhances intelligence of the baby.
 
Name: Thomas Breitsameter
Country: germany

i think other than stressing on education to make a child to be intelligent, is not only sufficient in this kind of world. we should shower our love and attention and teach our children to live happily and taught them patience,understanding, kindness, tolerance and the most of all is to be loved and to love.
 
Name: amma
Country: india

i am 4 months pregnant, what kind of books or things i need do to and how i can imporve intelligence of the baby right from the 1st trimester? appreciate your help and feedback. thankq
 
Name: Bina
Country: India

children nowadays are forced into a multitude of classes by their parents who do not stop to think for a moment if they have an aptitude for it. there is no point in a dance class if the child has two left feet.
 
Name: Corina Papouis
Country: United Kingdom

children should be allowed to be children. we forget that as human beings we obey the nature v nurture rule, so, whatever we do, we are likely to bring them up based on their genes and their experiences.
 
Name: Suchitra Srinivas
Country: usa

i believe that enhancing a child's ability to comprehend as an essential factor in stimulating its intelligence. memorizing abcds at a tender age, even before stepping into school or going to scores of classes just not count for child's intelligence. a long standing and rewarding intelligence is in the child's ability to comprehend what ever it sees, hears and encounters. this can come in children who are blessed with a world that would not curb their innocent curiosity to explore things. i feel parents should ensure such an environment of fun learning as a basic stimulant of intelligence.
 
Name: rashmi
Country: India

i sincerely believe that childern are the best gift and creation of god. i find my world moving around my two daugthers dalaisha and tarynea sine the time they were born. they are our joy and delight. both my husband and i want our childern to grow as confident, respectful as compared to attention seekers and a bubble. we talk to them all the time, which helps them communicate and express themselves openly. we never talk of what we have in terms of cars or money extra but rather what is good friend,honestly and so on and so forth. regards rashmi
 
Name: rashmi
Country: India

i sincerely believe that childern are the best gift and creation of god. i find my world moving around my two daugthers dalaisha and tarynea sine the time they were born. they are our joy and delight. both my husband and i want our childern to grow as confident, respectful as compared to attention seekers and a bubble. we talk to them all the time, which helps them communicate and express themselves openly. we never talk of what we have in terms of cars or money extra but rather what is good friend,honestly and so on and so forth. regards rashmi
 
Name: Lavanya
Country: India

where do you draw the line and when do you know that your child is ready to for multitasking.
 
Name: Archana dev
Country: India

i really enjoyed reading this article where more parents are involved to bring up their children in more appropriate standard of living in this extremely competitive world. nowdays more parents do not know how to bringup their children. now i also got some ideas. really good job of this website. everything is there in this world. but what we want, has to be decided by us and put in action. thought ,action, then result.
 
Name: Vanishree
Country: India

i feel each of the new born has a speacial quality. eg, i have seen my 2 year old fascinated to music and dance.i have a feeling also that he is little above average child.so i am not going to push him into anything, leave him the way he is, but yes since i see his keenness on everything, i make it a point to educate him in all that he is keen on. once he is abt 5-6 yrs, old he is mature enought to tell me what he likes and dislikes, and i will have the path open for him accordingly. i strongly feel he'll do a good job in fine arts, but no compulsion
 
Name: hamsapriya
Country: India

before even talking about intelligence , every parent should be aware that there are 7 types of intelligences and every child born possesses one of them . also it is important to understand that intelligence can be enhanced in th e formative years of 0 to 5 , when the child is with the parents alone . even at her worst moment the mother is the best teacher . maria montessori, the renowned educationist and glen doman , renowned child psychologist have clearly stated that the environment plays a major role in ht edevelopment o fthe intelligences


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