In collaboration with Nestlé Start Healthy Stay Healthy.
In a world where exams, tests, deadlines are the norm, it only seems fair that a lot of parents want their kids to be quick learners. However, with such a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, the school-going phase can be stressful for both the parent and the child. Even with the best intentions, school can then become more about keeping up rather than excelling.
But, what if we told you that raising a quick learner didn’t have to be stressful? What if there were ways in which you could gradually and almost naturally hone the ability to grasp information quickly in your child?
Before we look at how you can help your child become a quick learner, let’s understand how children learn during their early years.
How Children Learn
Babies are born ready to learn, and their brains keep developing through use over time. So what your child really needs from day 1 is a stimulating environment and the right nutrition with many different ways to learn and play. He also requires plenty of chances to put into practice what he’s learning.
Babies and young kids learn best when they have engaging, warm, and responsive relationships with their primary caregivers. So you as a parent have a vital role to play in helping your little one learn through these early formative years. Remember, you are your child’s first teacher, and your child will keep learning from you at every opportunity as he gets older.
Most of the time spent interacting and playing with you and other people enables your child to learn life skills – like thinking, communicating, problem-solving, and interacting with other people.
How to Make Your Child a Quick Learner
1. Make it fun.
If you think your child might have trouble learning, introducing them to games and activities on the subject might be a good way to stimulate their minds and also help them develop an interest in the subject. You might need to observe your child’s learning habits for a while to understand when to step in.
Some children might be afraid to ask for help. If you think your child is holding back, gently teach him that asking for help doesn’t make him unintelligent. Moreover, it’s important to ask for help when he is stuck so that he can overcome the problem at hand and move forward. The more your child understands this concept, the better he will become with getting clarity on a task he is unsure of in the future, making him more efficient.
2. Take special care of your child’s nutrition.
Your child’s nutritional status can directly affect his mental capacity. Good nutrition improves cognition and mental concentration, perception, intuition, and reasoning. Having a balanced diet also helps your child stay prepared and ready to learn. Ensure that your child is getting age-appropriate nutrition from a young age, especially in the first few years of his life, as that’s when a major chunk of brain development takes place.
Another aspect to consider is brainpower fuelled by the right nutrition.
Think about this – you know that energy slump on your binge-eating days? Eating food that’s processed or does not contain adequate nutrients can cause a loss of energy or focus. The problem surfaces when these treat foods aren’t the occasional treat but more of an everyday habit. This is when the learning consequences can get seriously affected.
Research says that a diet high in saturated fats can seriously impair memory and learning. The link between brainpower and diet is the production of glucose and sugar. A diet higher in glucose can cause major energy slumps, directly impacting your child’s energy levels and ability to retain information.
3. Remain focused.
It’s a known fact that better focus leads to more structured learning. Keep your child’s learning environment a distraction-free zone. Developing focus on tasks at a young age is a skill that sets the tone for your child’s future.
4. Exercise regularly.
Exercise keeps one not only physically but mentally active, as many research studies have shown. In a study published in The Journal of School Health in 2015, the authors noted that getting kids to exercise enhanced their learning outcomes.
By encouraging your child to take part in regular physical exercise, you can help him become a more active and quick learner.
5. Take breaks.
Even for us adults, it’s not easy to work on something for hours on end, nor is it recommended. So even though it might seem unreasonable to you, taking breaks can help your little one learn faster. When you notice that your child is having trouble focusing after a while, teach him that it is okay to take short breaks. A break can help his mind relax and regroup to finish the task at hand. A tired mind is rarely productive.
By putting these above tips into practice, your child can become a quicker and better learner. But, if he hits a roadblock or is unable to understand a certain subject matter, ensure you yourself understand what the issue is and bring in expert help if needed. Whatever you do, do not force him to learn faster but instead encourage him to help him fall in love with learning.
In case of any questions or clarifications regarding your baby’s nutrition or development, do get in touch with your paediatrician.