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How to Harness the Potential for Gifted Children

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From birth to age five the brain of children develops at an exponential rate. When harnessed properly, this exponential development of the brain can allow children to become gifted individuals, especially in the classroom setting. While the rapid pace at which the brain of children develops can often be overwhelming for parents and caregivers, it does not have to be. To help your child become gifted, all that is necessary is basic knowledge of how the brain works. This basic knowledge allows parents and caregivers alike the ability to stimulate healthy brain growth that promotes valuable development that will last a lifetime.

 

In her book Boosting Brain Power, Jill Stamm, PhD, explores how basic knowledge of brain development and 52 easy-to-implement strategies can be utilized to help your child reach her greatest potential.

 

The thought of learning how the brain develops can understandably be overwhelming — the brain is filled with numerous structures that have complicated names (not to mention the description of what these structures do is often cluttered with language that can often be uncommon to people that have not studied the brain previously). What if you did not need to know all of the complicated details of the brain to understand the brain development of children? Well, that is exactly the case.

 

When diving into the world of brain development in children all that is necessary to have a solid foundation is that the brain develops in four simultaneous, dynamic ways:

  • Back to front
  • Inside to outside
  • Bottom to top
  • Right to left

In addition to knowing how the brain develops it is important to know the three primary areas of development:

  • The brain stem
  • The limbic system
  • The neocortex

With this knowledge, the process of learning the basics of brain development is quite simple.

 

Once knowledge on brain development is acquired the implementation of Stamm’s strategies is quite simple.

 

Below are some strategies from Stamm’s book, Boosting Brain Power, that can help your child thrive throughout life.

 

Use it or Lose it

Brain connections grow based on experience, but when they first develop they are unstable. It is important to have your child repeat what he has just learned to strengthen the connections that have been formed. Through repetition the circuits and networks that have formed within the brain will grow stronger — without repetition they will eventually be lost. To stimulate the connections that have been made, repetition does not always have to be physical; repetition through prompting a child to recall what happened can be just as effective as physical repetition.

Use Emotions to Help Children Pay Better Attention

Just like adults, children direct their attention to things they feel are important, and the easiest way to gain the attention of a child is to engage his emotions. Engaging the emotions of a child does not mean you have to be intense (super happy, super sad, etc.), rather learning environments should be exciting. A learning environment that is exciting will allow children to develop an expectation that wonderful, interesting things are going to happen.

Comment on a Child’s Effort Rather than on How Smart a Child is

When a child is constantly told how smart she is (even when accomplishments are minor), she may develop resistance to trying new things. This resistance is created because the child fears she may fail at the first try. By focusing on the effort the child is putting into the situation you are demonstrating that the importance does not reside in innate ability, but rather the process of learning and growth.

 

For more information on how to harness your child’s potential check out Boosting Brain Power.



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