Can Parents Influence Their Child’s IQ?

Parent reading a book to her child


Intelligence-boosting goods are big business: toys, books, DVDs, software, games, and instructional programs designed to turn your son or daughter into an intellectual prodigy.

A number of these products include asserts –explicit or implicit–that their effectiveness is backed by scientific proof. Are they?

Occasionally. As an example, scientific research indicates that:

  • Playing cubes can help children develop many different cognitive abilities
  • Instructional applications that teach critical thinking abilities improve IQ
  • A few board games enhance preschool math abilities
  • Several video games improve cognitive abilities and working memory


But most “brainy” goods are inefficient. As I notice in this site article, controlled experimentation has failed to demonstrate that babies learn how to study from media-based instructional applications (Neuman et al 2014). And the evidence indicates that very young kids do not learn to speak by viewing TV. Rather, infants learn language by listening to and interacting with all reside human beings (Kuhl 2005).

Then there are truths and folk beliefs, such as the thought that praising children for their intellect will increase self-esteem and boost their academic performance.

An impressive collection of experiments indicates that the reverse is accurate. Praising children for being clever will make them behave dumb.

Much more interesting–to me is that the discovery that our beliefs about intellect will hamper the learning procedure. Individuals that are convinced that intelligence is a fixed, unchanging attribute are not as inclined to learn from their errors and not as inclined to be successful in college.

Additionally, experiments indicate your child’s comprehension of societal stereotypes about intellect and accomplishment (e.g. “women have more powerful language skills,” or even “Asian children are mathematics prodigies”) may undermine his academic performance.

Here I introduce my direct about this “good bets”–Educate info regarding how parents can nurture their kids’ intelligence. I’ll be adding more posts with time.

Exercise and intellect

It is both surprising and intriguing: Cardiovascular exercise stimulates brain development and enriches our capacity to understand. Studies also indicate that exercise helps children focus attention in college. But there is a catch: To reap full benefits, exercise has to be voluntary. Just click here for the entire story.


Free play promotes improved understanding, memory, along with the expansion of their cerebral cortex. Additionally, it enriches the maturation of speech, cognitive intellect, counterfactual reasoning, and mathematical abilities. To find out more, read this article regarding the cognitive advantages of drama.

Working memory: The newest IQ?

New research suggests that working memory ability –that psychological notepad we use to believe ideas and resolve issues –is a much better predictor of school achievement than IQ. Read more about functioning memory along with also the signs which you’re able to enhance with instruction.


There is also good evidence that gesturing with your palms enhances your ability to recall and understand. Cognitive psychologist Susan Goldin-Meadow along with her colleagues have conducted a set of experiments demonstrating that children are more inclined to remember events, words, and even mathematics courses when they appeared with their hands on.

For those details, read this article about the science of expressions.

Parental sensitivity, attachment security, and intellect

Scientists have noticed a correlation between child IQ scores (you can try one for your child) and scores standing. As an example, 1 study of 36 middle-class moms and their three-year-olds discovered that securely attached kids scored 12 points higher compared to the Stanford-Binet intelligence evaluation compared to insecurely attached children (Crandell and Hobson 1999).

What is responsible for this significance? It is likely that smarter children have a simpler time forming secure attachments. For example, smarter children are probably better at distributing their parents’ behavior and choosing the most suitable answer (Waters and Valenzuela 1999).

However, there’s also evidence indicating that reactive parenting–that boosts safe attachments–leads to greater IQ.

In experiments with households at high risk for poor child results, researchers randomly assigned some moms to get instruction in receptive parenting methods. The babies of trained moms showed a higher increase in cognitive abilities than did the babies of management mothers (Landry et al 2003; 2006).

The outcomes are more consistent with recent research that features the cognitive benefits of breastfed infants to sensitive, receptive parenting (Gibbs and Forste 2014).


ALSO READ: The Experiences Children Go Through When Their Parent Remarries


Mindsets for collapse: Beliefs that hold back your child

Does your child think that intelligence is a feature that is fixed?

Fascinating experiments suggest what we think about intellect can impede our capacity to understand.

Individuals who think that intelligence is a stationary, steady attribute are more inclined to steer clear of challenges. They’re also less inclined to learn from their errors –and the gap ends up in bran scans. Read relating to this happening and the way it affects children.

Does your child think that “people like me” do not do well?

If this is that’s the case, her beliefs may be endangering her performance at college. Audio like politically correct propaganda? There’s really a great deal of strong experimental evidence demonstrating the occurrence of “stereotype threat.” Know more relating to this study and what you could do in order to counteract its consequences.

How compliments can endanger your child’s ability to learn

Praise can be a fantastic incentive. However, in addition, it can make children center on the wrong objectives. Research demonstrates that the erroneous sorts of compliments can really undermine motivation and leave children feeling helpless if they neglect. To learn more, visit this informative article concerning the perils of praising children for being clever.

Sleep and brains

Sleep and learning

There’s a persuasive body of evidence to indicate that we’re more inclined to keep that which we’ve learned-and more inclined to attain new insights–should we go to sleep soon after our research (Gais et al 2006; Wagner et al 2004).

Folks do not have to sleep soundly all night to the effect of work. Naps as brief as 60 minutes could possibly be equally as powerful, so long as they comprise slow-wave (non-REM) sleeping (Mednick et al 2003; Alger et al 2012).

The result was shown on children in addition to adults (Backhaus et al 2008; Kurdziel et al 2013). Therefore it appears to make sense for children to schedule their research prior to naps and bedtime.

Regrettably, institutionalized learning does not create space for study naps! It might seem that home-schoolers, along with other children with elastic academic programs, are at a distinct benefit.

Sleep and cognitive growth

Additionally, it is likely that chronic sleep limitation includes a lasting influence on cognitive performance.

In a study monitoring Canadian children from age 2.5 to 6 decades, researchers discovered that children who had been weak sleepers as toddlers performed poorly on neurodevelopmental evaluations when they’re 6 years old (Touchette et al 2007).

This is true for children whose sleep improved following age. The investigators assume that there could possibly be a “significant period” in early youth, once the consequences of sleep restriction are particularly detrimental (Touchette et al 2007).

Math, logic, and critical thinking

Stanislaus Dehaene is a cognitive scientist and specialist on the mathematical mind.

He asserts that lots of children have inadequate math skills since they’re discouraged from creating an intuitive sense of numbers.

To learn more, have a look at this article about amount sense.

Additionally, read this post about the manner that a few board games will help preschoolers develop their mathematics abilities.

And everything about logic? Experimental studies imply that explicit instruction in critical thinking–such as classes in basic logic, hypothesis testing, and scientific justification –can increase a child’s IQ.

Regrettably, such courses aren’t yet a frequent part of the majority of high school–let alone middle school curricula. Worse, I guess the press and other consequences are training our children to consider blinders on. To find out exactly what I mean, read this post about how critical thinking in children.

Spatial intelligence

Spatial abilities are critical for success in many different fields, which range from engineering and physics to design and the visual arts. Your child’s performance on cognitive activities includes a hereditary component, however, it is apparent that instructional experiences may also have a large effect.

Read about it from my overview, “Spatial wisdom in kids: Why coaching things.”

And for research-based pursuits that may improve your youngster’s spatial abilities, visit this report.

Free option

Children show larger motivation and function much better if they get to pick what they do (Iyengar and Lepper 1999).

Well–that is true for a few American children, anyhow. It ends up that the result is culture-specific. 1 study in comparison Anglo-American and Asian American children. Even though the Anglo-Americans favorite activities they had picked for themselves, the Mexican Americans revealed greater inspiration when their decisions were produced to these by trusted authority figures or peers (Iyengar and Lepper 1999).

The upshot? There could possibly be no more “one size fits all” method of classroom instruction. Some children may flourish when teachers offer them options. Others may find this strategy to be more disconcerting.

Toys and games which enhance cognitive abilities

Even though there’s evidence that activity video games enhance spatial abilities and might even assist dyslexic children to learn how to read, a few of the most essential developmental toys and games will be definitely the most conservative.

For example, research indicates that toy cubes may improve cognitive, mathematics, problem-solving, along verbal abilities. Find evidence-based info regarding cubes and other toys from such Parenting Science webpages.