Of all the aspects of your baby’s development, his intellectual growth is often considered as the most important, as it serve to underlie the other aspects. Hence, it is also one that has many parents concerned. In this article, we will take a deeper look at this and how you as a parent can guide your child’s intellectual development.
The 3 types of intelligence
When you hear the word “intelligence” the first thing that you will likely think about is IQ. However, as a variety of studies have revealed in recent years, a person actually has several different types of intelligence at work for him. For infants, there are:
Math and problem-solving
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand other people’s feelings. According to studies made by the University of Georgia’s Department of Child and Family Development, a child’s emotional capacity can help predict 80 percent of what his eventual career path will be during adulthood. A well-developed emotional intelligence also helps in the child forming his own moral standards later in life. This type of intelligence starts to manifest from birth to 18 months.
While you might not realize it, the development of your baby’s speech capabilities actually begins from the moment he is born, as he is able to learn any language. Hence, he will be able to pick up grammar and sentence construction when frequently exposed to spoken communication. However, as he gets older, his speech development gets limited to the particular language that he is constantly exposed to. His development here will continue until age 10.
3. Math and problem-solving
While this is the type of intelligence that is most commonly associated with the word, it is actually the last one to start developing, manifesting only once your baby reaches his first year. It is also interesting to note that recent studies have revealed that a baby’s math skills are somewhat connected with his musical skills, both developing at the same time. Thus, it is essential that you hone your child’s intellect early.
Developing your baby’s intelligence
When it comes to developing your baby’s intelligence, how you interact with him is going to be one of the important keys. Hence, it is important for you to bond with him as much as possible. Also, make sure that you hold him frequently in your arms, as it nurtures a sense of safety in him which will help him better absorb the various stimuli around him.
Here, physical contact plays a big role in stimulating your child’s brain and senses. Touch him and let him touch you so that he can feel the texture of your skin. Another good way of using physical contact is by giving your baby an infant massage, which has the added benefit of getting him relaxed.
As your faced is one of the first things that your baby will recognize, giving him plenty of “face time” will also help in developing his senses. It is also here where you can help him develop his emotional development by showing him a variety of different expressions. However, you would also watch out for instances where he might be over-stimulated already, such as when he starts turning his head away from you.
On the other hand, letting your baby explore his surrounding as much as possible is also essential for his growing brain. As such, don’t confine him to things like strollers, car seats, and cradles, as these limits his movement. Instead, let him stay in a fairly open area, such as on the floor, so that he freely move to follow the various stimuli that interest him.
What about toys?
As you might already know, playing is an essential activity that develops your baby’s intelligence. And you will likely see a lot of advertisements for toys and games that will supposedly make your kid smarter. But don’t cave into those.
Instead, opt to give toys that can be played with in a variety of ways. For instance, something as innocuous as a back can be an engaging plaything for him as he can come up with plenty of ideas of what it could be, such as a house or a car. This, in turn, will lay the foundation for higher thinking that he will gain later on.