Can you really make your child smarter?

Some believe that there are certain abilities within every child at birth. These abilities include mathematic calculation, photographic memory, and speed-reading. So what can you do to nurture these abilities? There aren't any quick, simple ways to turn your child into a genius, but your actions as parents do have a big influence on your children's intellectual capacity.

This influence comes in two principal forms: through direct actions and the examples you set. In the direct action department, kids respond well to parental interest in their activities and such interest gives the children confidence to continue exploring. But leave your kids a measure of freedom — it's best to be an active, but not interfering, guide, as children build most of their smarts when allowed to discover things on their own.


As for example-setting, by the age of 5 children believe unconsciously that many of their parents attributes are their own; for instance, a girl whose mother is afraid of storms is likely to assume that she, too, is afraid of storms. Children whose parents show an interest in words and books are likely to believe they have a similar interest, and a genuine interest often grows out of this belief. Although these effects can be powerful, children tend to honor what their parents do rather than what they say. If you pay lip service to being curious and asking lots of questions but don't do it yourself, there likely will be little effect on your children.

See the next page for sources and more information on how to make your kid smarter. We make no claims to their ability to actually do so, and provide this list for information purposes only.


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