Parents can nurture a child’s intelligence. Studies that suggest the right surroundings, when paired with certain learning tools, make any child smarter. In fact, you may already be encouraging your child to engage in activities that nurture his or her brain power. Take a moment to review your child’s activity over the past week.
Video games enhance motor skills, spatiality, strategic thinking, decision making, problem solving. “Americans bought about 248 million games last year, enough for two in every household, according to a study by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.”
Puzzles, board games like chess, checkers, or number games help children think though options and discern strategies. However, the more challenging aspects of assimilating a LEGO’S set nurture’s a child’s intelligence in spatial development, and is recommended for both boys and girls.
“Being able to reason about space, and how to manipulate objects in space, is a critical part of everyday life, helping us to navigate a busy street, put together a piece of “some assembly required” furniture, even load the dishwasher. And these skills are especially important for success in particular academic and professional domains, including science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).”
If you have your child participate in thinking games like puzzles, chess, checkers and word or number problem games, then you’re already heading in the right direction.
Brain Boosting That Starts in Infancy Continues Through Childhood
However, to give your child an even greater brain boost means having a parenting style that focuses on the positive and an the qualities of heart. A heart-wise parenting environment makes it easier for your child to learn and grow in intelligence. Starting with your baby or toddler, the quality of loving care and nurturing you provide are crucial for optimal intelligence, says Robert G. Voigt, M.D., a developmental pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota.
Early sensory input from the parents or caregivers stimulates specific brain-nerve centers.
Movement supports the areas in reptilian brain: the vestibular cerebellar system contributes to a child’s development of spatial orientation, the sense of balance, and directionality.
The connection of smell connections are first to mother through breastfeeding, and with any caregiver through snuggling, walking, rocking, cuddling, and playing.
And more important is touching, massaging, snuggling and such stimulate the nerve endings, cells and receptors connect and grow, setting up the bonding connections.
To further nurture a child’s intelligence, Dr. Phil suggests helping your child, though your example, develop a powerful inner talk that motivates the child. Two previous articles on Positive Self-Talk have been published earlier in this blog.
Nurturing Environments Stimulate the Hippocampus
You know that being positive can help children deal with stress and makes life seem a little easier. Now take that nurturing positive support into your parenting role. The result of nurturing parenting in positive environments create a startling difference in the child’s hippocampus. This tiny section inside the brain, however, has a very big job to do.
It’s located on both sides of the brain and is an important factor in the development of a child’s intelligence. How large or small a child’s hippocampus is has a direct relation to how well his home life is and that’s where you, as the parent can really make a big difference in your child’s life.
Giving a child a home environment where there’s plenty of love is crucial to how your child will develop his intelligence. When a child has an abundance of love and positive parenting, he feels free to explore his world and learn new things.
Not only does he feel safe enough to explore, but he recognizes that it’s encouraged by you. Studies performed at the Washington University School of Medicine show that to nurture a child’s intelligence, the child needs to experience a loving, positive parenting environment. Those that do have a hippocampus that’s greater in size than children who don’t have this benefit.
Other studies conducted on the link between nurturing and the hippocampus found that children are more caring and more emotionally giving than children who didn’t have the benefit of this type of parenting.
The reason that the hippocampus is so important is because this is the part of the brain that lets children expand their intelligence level. The hippocampus allows the child to learn and retains what the child has learned.
If you were the sensitive child in your family, or if you had especially challenging experiences in childhood, then you understand completely what sensitive children are going through today. You would make an excellent Family Coach if you like to support others. Some ACPI family coaches have a unique sense of family dynamics because of growing up as sensitive child.
Your temperament and experience are strong reasons that you could be the family coach helping other sensitive children.
Of the four core temperaments, two temperament types include the trait of sensitivity to the environment: the Nurturer/Supporter and the Observant Thinker.
The Supporter Is A Sensitive Child
The Nurturer-Supporter are heart-oriented children and natural helpers.
Supporter children see most people as nice and could have a blind spot in that regard. As children of heart, they give people the benefit of the doubt. As a sensitive child, they don’t understand the bullying child. Yet, the bully might choose the sensitive child as a target.
Another temperament trait is empathy. So the empathic child is easily overwhelmed by emotional negativity, spankings, anger and the hurt that others feel.
Environments that nurture this sensitive-child are calmer emotionally, and support family qualities of togetherness, playfulness, closeness, compassion, conversation, or sharing. The Family Coach can mentor, suggest, and plan these activities for the family.
How to Support the Nurturing Sensitive Child
Cite the talents of being a sensitive child, which could be in creative areas of music or art, or in the heart-oriented talents of intuition, writing, and being involved in school plays, or personal activities that encourage self-expression like writing in a journal.
Encourage the strength of the trait sensitivity in honoring the child’s knowing. A sensitive child of nurturing temperament has a unique ability to “read” people. The knowing is an empathic sense of their feeling, interests, or even how best to communicate with another.
Personal connectedness is a way to help a supporter child feel safe. Whether a child feels most connected to one parent, a sibling, a family friend, or a teacher, the intent of the mentor or connection os to be there for the child and help process the overwhelm of negative environments. A Family Coach can serve this role. Moreover, the connection serves as a safety net to encourage a child to understand the blind spots that he or she may encounter as a sensitive child.
Our passion skills set is best recalled from enjoyable childhood moments. Do you remember moments in your childhood that felt freeing and fun? One that I remember was bike riding on a Saturday afternoon. The freedom to explore and wind around different neighborhoods cleared my mind and rejuvenated my body. The passion skills set of exploring neighborhoods and enjoying the outdoors is now my walking daily to clear my head and get a fresh perspective on business or a project.
Such childhood memories that we’re passionate about aren’t really the most practical things to do when we grow up and become “responsible.” So we often put off when more pressing “responsible” concerns arise like taking the kids to extracurricular activities.
Truths About Passion Skills Set
If your passion feels obscure or far away, you may not think that the practical skills are worth exploring. However they are, and if you identify with even one of these three reasons, then do explore how to make your passion skills set practical.
Fifty percent of our motivation to pursue a passion stems from our core temperament(s). From temperaments comes what we value, and our innate drive keeps pushing us toward using our strengths and putting talents to use. If you don’t use your innate talents, you don’t lose them. Quite the contrary happens. They rise up and get in your face!
Thus you cannot squash your passion. It keeps nudging you, reminding you, trying to motivate you to a course of action.
You will always feel out of sync when not aligned with values and using passion skills set. The best examples I can provide are the men and women who have pursued the careers of their parents or went for what they “thought” was the right thing, only to be disappointed later.
The solution to staying motivated is to bring your passion skills set into practical living and practical projects. It is possible to find the practical skills behind your passion. My passion has always been writing, and eventually in my adult years, I followed these steps to embrace my passion. If I didn’t, it hounded me.
Writing Short Stories
Let’ start with the more common one. There are many secret writers, who love to create poetry or prose, but we all know that most authors don’t end up on the best seller list. In fact, most writers never make a dime from their writings. They write and narrate because they are feel the calling to do so. They enjoy writing because it motivates them and makes them happy. They are using their core strengths, which is a natural thing to do. The are building a skill set and making it better each time
The Creative Magic Sparks
When someone is following a normal talent or motivation or nudge, a spark of magic happens, and the door of creativity opens. Ideas pour into the writer’s mind. A strange character for the novel introduces herself. The ending of the story took a new turn and recreated a new ending.
Like the old writer’s joke says: How can I start writing?
Answer: Sit down and start start writing. In the literal sense, when you practice your passion, even for fun and just for yourself, you are honing the creative skills.
Here are more steps to discover these skills.
Take an objective look at what you do as a writer.
When you sit down to write something, take a moment and jot down all of the things that you’re doing or are about to do. For example:
Create a story
Organize the idea
Research/describe the setting of the story
Commit to a project from start to finish
Research the job descriptions of writer. Do a web search for “writer job description.” This will give you some great insight into the skills built through writing.
Make a list of the skills you find in a few of the job
Go through the list and pull out skills that you feel apply best to you and add them to the first
Research writers’ websites and look at the services they provide to give you some insight into skills you hadn’t considered. Add them to your list.
Now you ave created a real-life practical skills list for a passion that motivates your path. If you decide to take the next steps, they are mix, mingle, and learn.
Writers are often solitary souls who need a writer’s group for support. Join one or start one.
Go to writing events and talk to other writers who love what they do as much as you do. There are conferences, festivals and networking events for a wide variety of topics.
Find local writing events by doing a web search. Not only will you learn about the skills that you have developed, you might meet some cool new writing friends to support you in following your passion..
You can use these same steps to find passion skills sets in any area, and start using them to follow the natural course of your motivating strengths.
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the pull of what you really love.” Steve Mitten
If you’re like most people, you might not have figured out what you’re supposed to do with your life. What is your purpose? What is a life purpose anyway?
What Is Purpose?
For our uses, we’re going to define the purpose of your life as something that you love to do that also has a great impact on the world. It’s that sweet spot where you’re having a great time and doing something wonderful for as many people as possible.
There are several ways you can attempt to discover the purpose of your life:
Describe your ideal day. Project yourself several years into the future and imagine that your life is essentially perfect. What would your life look like? Are you working? What type of work are you doing? What do you do all day?
Who is in your life? Now that you know what the end looks like, what can you do today to take the first step in that direction?
Try austerity. Go camping in a remote place. Leave the food at home, but bring plenty of water. Limit your sleep and just sit with yourself. When you’re miserable, bored, lonely, and tired, sometimes the answers become obvious.
Volunteer. Find an organization in your community that interests you. Doing something worthwhile can be a good way to discover your purpose. Even if you come up short, at least you’ll have done something important.
Assume you can do the impossible. When anything is possible, what would you do? Take action to bring your dreams to life.
Write. Perhaps the most effective way to discover your life’s purpose is to spend an hour writing. At the top of your paper write, “My life’s purpose.” Now spend the next 60 minutes writing whatever pops into your mind. When you find something that stirs strong positive feelings within you, you’re probably on the right track.
Investigate a new hobby. We all have at least one activity we’ve been putting off until a more convenient time. Doing something new exposes you to new ideas and thoughts. Now is the time to jump in and get started. You might be surprised what you discover.
Do something that terrifies you. Skydiving? Public speaking? You might find your life’s purpose during the process of conquering this fear. This can be challenging and it might take some time, but get started today.
Spend a day being totally inspired. From the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, attempt to spend every moment inspired. The right books, music, and movies can help you maintain an inspired mental state. You’ll believe you can do anything. What would you do?
Ask yourself what you would do if you had $10 million. How would you spend your time? What would your life look like? Can you figure out a way to make a living doing one of the activities you would be willing to do for free if you had the time?
Keep trying the above tips until you’ve found something that really excites you. When you find your life purpose, there will be no doubt. Avoid spending all of your life thinking and planning. Get busy living. Finding your life’s purpose will make life exciting and meaningful!
Empathic children feel their way through the world, and they have acute mental or emotional sensibilities. Mostly, they want to be responsive to other people’s feelings. Yet, at times, their sensitivity threshold is low. They are often told, “You are too sensitive,” rather than receiving support for this unique skill of emotional intelligence.
Can Children Learn Empathy?
Babies absorb the mental and emotional energy of the people around them. They don’t filter anything; they simply receive. As a child ages, this empathic tendency may increase into a beautiful gift of connection and sensitivity. Or, a child’s empathy could get out of control. Some children pick up the emotions, energy, or thoughts of others to the degree that it becomes overwhelming. The overwhelm causes disconnect and interrupts the development of their social and emotional life.
Because these children do not know how to set personal boundaries (or that they need to), they do not realize when they are in another person’s mental or emotional space, nor how invasive this can be. An empath is sensitive to the thoughts, emotions, highs and lows, and illnesses they sense around them. Empaths may get hunches, see mental pictures, or have a gut feeling that supplies hidden information about people and situations. They more sensitive children may also get a physical sensation in their body that lets them know where another person is afflicted or suffering.
Can Children Learn To Be Empathic?
For the majority of empathic children, they live their lives feeling connected to other people and simply “knowing” about about a person at a deep level. Not all children are empathic, as their core temperament make be action-oriented, and not feeling-oriented. That begs the question, can children learn empathy? Dr. Biglan believes so….
“…If children are able to notice and describe their own emotions and also able to take the perspective of another child, they may then be able to experience the emotions that another child is feeling. Suppose that Ryan sees Kaitlin is upset and learns that her mother didn’t put the treat in her lunch that she had expected: Ryan may then understand and even experience some of the emotion that Kaitlin is feeling.
“These experiences form the foundation for empathy—the ability to perceive and experience what another person is thinking or feeling. But by themselves, they do not guarantee the loving kindness that we need to build in our society. A child who perceived that another was upset about her lunch might use that as an occasion to tease the other child. To build the compassionate and caring society, we need to promote, teach, and richly reinforce such loving kindness.
“You might think that kind behavior that is praised or otherwise rewarded by adults doesn’t count as a genuine instance of compassion. But that is how these vital repertoires are built. Each time you appreciate a child’s kind behavior you have taken another step on the road to building the behaviors and values of compassion and caring.” Read MoreRead More
Care for Empathic Children
Take extra care with empathic children for health, immune system strength, and the ability to develop resilience. They must build to be able to stand up for themselves or know when to withdraw. All children need a champion, and empathic children need an especially caring one.
Tender loving touch is important throughout one’s entire life, especially for the empath. In the developing embryo, a layer of cells called the ectoderm produces the skin and the nervous system. In this concrete physiological connection, touch provides “food” to the nervous system for the human to experience.
Purposeful, empathic touch to regulate and support an empathic child’s physiology tells the nervous system to be resilient and calm.
The Academy for Coaching Parents developed a course called Coaching Intuitive Parents and Intuitive Children, based on Dr. Goode’s book, Raising Intuitive Children. The course developed as a result of floods of parenting requests after Raising Intuitive Children hit the market. Dr. Goode received personal phone calls asking for parenting help, and it appeared that the need for Parenting Coaches for this are of concern was great.
When my children were young, we had discussion about bullies at school or bombings they watched on the evening news with their Dad. Sometimes, the dinner table conversations became heated between the teenage son and his dad about bullies, war, and justice versus injustice. How are we supposed to talk about the local bully in the school and discuss more global topics of war, suffering, and bombings. In the role of family coach, I posed this question to several parents, and the topic clarified that kids want a safe place to express their feelings. The second point was that a parent’s opinion may come across more adamant than intended during a heated dinner discussion. We came up with the idea of a Communication Station. Both parents and kids love the idea and make good use of it.
Family Coach Tip 1: Listen keenly! When offering a parental opinion, just offer it without the need to convince your child they must think as you do.
Creating a communication station is a way to create a time and a place in your routine for children to communicate their concerns about war and terrorism.
How does it help?
This activity will help your children voice their concerns about war in a caring and comfortable environment. Children will have a regular opportu-nity to communicate and make decisions about how they will view the current world situation with your help, guidance, and support.
What do we do?
The purpose of this activity is to build a place and a time to discuss events and concerns related to the war and terrorism with your children on a regular basis. There are a couple of ways to do this. Choose the one that makes sense based on the needs of your family and your existing communication style. While some parents choose the few minutes before bed to have a heart-to-heart talk with their children, in this case it is best to choose a time well before bed to talk about war and terrorism issue This way children do not associate the time right before they go to sleep with a potentially upsetting discussion.
Family Coach Tip 2: Children reported to their parents that they had nightmares when discussing scary topics like war, bombing, and death before going to bed. My suggestions are to take a walk and talk at the sometime. The movement forward help parents and children release any pent up energy about the topics.
Try one of these suggestions:
Get a shoebox or a small container with a lid and a note pad and a pen.
Ask children to write down their questions about war and terrorism as they think of them and then designate a time to go through the ques- tions and discuss them together.
Hold an informal talk one or more times a week with children and let them voice their opinions about war and terrorism so you can
Field questions and concerns about war and terrorism as they come.
In response to any question about war and terrorism, it is always important to provide children with the following information:
We are safe now.
I will always be here to help you and protect you and so will other family members (dad, uncle, aunt, grandparents).
We live in an area and a country that is mostly
There are people around who protect us (military, police, fire department, paramedics, ).
Family Coach Tip 3: If you can listen to your children’s concerns, let them know they are safe, and help them be part of solutions whenever possible, you will have done a lot to help them be more relaxed and have better coping skills.
Just the act of providing a place where they can discuss their fears and concerns is an excellent reassurance. After your discussion, encourage kids to move on to something else that interests them. Children need to move into happy and pleasantly distracting activities after a discussion of their fears and concerns.
Continue to have weekly dialogues with children. Consider using this communication technique as one for any subject they want to discuss. Building communication is a life- long coping strategy that you help them acquire.
Family Coach is a facilitator of discovery, a motivator to action, and a model of communication.
A Family coach helps family members grow into successful experiences.
Extraordinary growth comes from outside the area called “you don’t know” – your blind spots. Imagine a big bubble just beyond your reach filled with a vast array of marvelous, new ideas. But, you are blind to it.
As if all parents were facing forward, busy in school or at the office, you are busy too. You might not think to look around or ask someone like a family coach who can help you find the answers.
You see, few family coaches will just tell you what to do. In one sense, that rips off your self-discovery process, for yourself and all the family members. Rather, coaches listen, feel, and observe and ask to help you go to the inner bubble of personal knowing —THAT is your unknown, unseen wisdom waiting to rise to the top.
You wouldn’t let your child climb up on a bike he doesn’t know how to ride without helping him balance, pedal and practice until he has a feel for the bike and the rhythm and speed to do it by himself. You stay balanced with a family coach until you feel the thrill of success just like your child careens downhill on his bike with hands in the air, “Wheeeeee.” That is the thrill of accomplishment. How much success could a family coach help you achieve? How much overwhelm could a family coach help you dispel? How often do you wish someone would listen to you as deeply as you listen to your family.
A Family Coach supports grief expression with children and parents who receive devastating news. Perhaps the news os about loss, death, an illness, accident, divorce or even suicide. A Family Coach support grief expression for children who need coping skills or parents, when you are at a loss about how to help. Below are ten tips to help children with the healing process of grief, loss and trauma.
1- Take care of yourself. Allow yourself to grieve and work through your own emotions so that you are more effectively able to help your child. I often hear, “I need to be strong – I should not be crying or feel so much anger.” Recognizing and allowing yourself to accept and express your feelings will help to make you strong and will enable you to help others with their grief. Be careful though not to make your children feel that they need to “fix” you. Rather, call and share with your Family Coach or Parent Coach.
2- Allow, even encourage, your children to express their emotions. Provide your children with a safe and secure environment to release their feelings. Do not try to make their pain go away by telling them it will be okay or that they need to “get over it”. Their pain will lessen the more they are able to feel their feelings and know it is acceptable to do so. Validate your children’s feelings- let them know it is okay to feel sad, angry, hurt, etc. and acknowledge that they may feel this way. They will let you know if you are incorrect.
3- Provide creative outlets for your child to release their emotions. The following ideas provide wonderful opportunities for your child to express their feelings in a safe and non-threatening way. If you have no energy personally to help your children as deeply express their emotions, then ask the Family Coach to help children brainstorm their special way to express their tears, grief or feelings.
Participating with your child as much as possible is ideal!
4- Recognize there are many coping styles. Depending on your child’s overall temperament style, some children will cry, some will show anger, others will withdrawal, some may show regressive tendencies and some may express their grief through “acting out” behavior. It is important to help a child to release their feelings in a healthy and acceptable way. If a child is showing anger by hitting the family dog or kicking her brother, guide your child to replace this unacceptable behavior with a more acceptable outlet such as hitting “the angry pillow”. Although the behavior may be unacceptable, the emotion should always be accepted.
5- Comfort your child. Children need to feel loved more than ever during such difficult times. There is nothing like a good ol’ bear hug to help your child feel safe and secure. Physical touch such as holding your child, rubbing their back, or simply snuggling together can be very soothing, helping your child (as well as yourself) to relieve stress and anxiety.
6- Listen to your child. Give your child your full attention when they are talking to you. Many children will want to tell what happened many times over. It is important not to get frustrated with your child. This is one of many coping mechanisms and will help your child to process what has happened and will help them to deal with their pain. If your child does not want to talk, encourage the use of other expressive outlets as in step #3 and take part in the activity with your child. Reading fictional stories about loss or using age-appropriate television shows as a catalyst to discussion is often effective in stimulating conversation about what has happened.
7- Answer children’s questions honestly with age appropriate responses. The younger the child, it is best to answer with simple and limited responses. There is no reason to share details that could paint a grim picture of the tragic event. Your child will let you know if they are not satisfied with your response by asking more questions.
8- Maintain a normal schedule and routine as much as possible. Children’s stress levels decrease dramatically when they know what to expect. Continuing with a typical day of school, activities, play time with friends, meal and bed time is important to help a child feel secure and keep up a healthy balance of his emotions.
9- Create a support system. Let other caring adults like your Family Coach or Parent Coach that are close to your child know what is going on. Family members, friends and especially your child’s teacher can be very instrumental in providing the emotional support your child needs during such a difficult time. Asking for feedback will also help to reassure you as to how your child is doing when you are not able to present with her.
10-Allow time for the healing process. Not only does everyone grieve differently, but everyone also heals at their own pace. There is no magic in how long it should take a child to grieve. Some children will process their pain and emotions and be able to “move on” rather quickly while others may seem “stuck” in the moment taking a longer time to process the event and release their emotions.