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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Make Smarter Children March 7, 2006 6:31 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family
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Today MSN has an article by Martha Brockenbrough titled Two Ways to Make a Kid Smarter. My pet peeve is the horrible eating habits my children exhibit and her first point in the article is "The body portion: Feed your child’s brain."

…more protein, which kept them alert, energetic, and less prone to anemia, an iron deficiency that dulls thinking skills…if they’re not eating a lot of fish, or taking fish-oil supplements, then there might be an opportunity for some gains. Foods rich in omega-3 fats–such as salmon, fresh tuna, herring, and sardine–contain something called eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, do three things:

  1. boosts blood flow to the brain
  2. helps make hormones that boost brain function
  3. helps boost the immune system by acting as an anti-inflammatory agent

The study on which this article is based showed results all parents would enjoy.

kids who took fish-oil supplements, which contain omega-3, showed huge improvements in spelling, IQ, and reading. Even their behavior got better.

Her second point is "The mind portion"

The second reason their IQs soared was that their parents put more emphasis on schooling and were more literate themselves.

As parents we must encourage school and help our children see school positively. We need to save our complaints about the teachers, the administration, and the failing education system for times when there are no small ears listening. We also need to continue to improve ourselves as adults. Make time in our hectic schedules to read (take a book into the bathroom, wake up 10 minutes early and read a chapter) and do a brain booster everyday. Our improvement does not have to be a solo activity. Play games with our children (chess, memory, chutes and ladders) and grow their minds as well as yours.

especially when there is leisure time to read or do other brain-boosting activities. Also, people who work jobs that challenge their minds get smarter.

Take time to engage your children.

You need to make sure your little ones are engaging in conversations, practicing making observations, and organizing information in their minds, or they won’t be ready to get the most out of school.

And socialize them.

Kids also need to know how to get along with others–everything from sharing toys to taking turns.

In a stressful day, I find nothing more relaxing than to take a few minute to get down on the floor with Evan and stack blocks for him to knock over, to read a book to Amy or figure out together how to build a bristle block house, to build a model engine with Noah, fight with Sarah, or play chess with Tommy. Oh. Yeah. Maybe I haven’t quite figured out how to interact with a 12 year old girl. These activities, minus the joke about fighting, are wonderfully relaxing, take very little time from our day, and mean so much to the children.

Read the full article.

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1. Reality Me » Exercise + Food = Strong Mind - March 8, 2006

[…] BoingBoing points to another study showing exercise and proper eating being very beneficial to our brains. This complements the information in Make Smarter Children. […]