Posts tagged ‘IQ’

Early Music Training Permanently Enhances The Brain

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Piano Teacher with ChildOver the past decade, researchers around the world have uncovered compelling evidence that formal music training, particularly for very young children, permanently improves cognitive capabilities and increases IQ scores.  In 2006,  researchers at McMaster University in Canada studied 4 to 6 year-olds who participated in musical training using the Suzuki method over the course of a year.  According to the BBC, those with training “performed better [than the control group] on a memory test also designed to assess general intelligence skills such as literacy and maths ability.” Lead researcher Professor Laurel Trainor said, “It suggests that musical training is having an effect on how the brain gets wired (more…)

July 27, 2010 at 11:23 pm Leave a comment

Praising a Child as “Smart” Can Be Detrimental

Smart Girl With BooksWe’ve been told for years that praising our children is a good thing; that it builds self-esteem and confidence.  It’s almost instinctual to applaud a child as smart when they do something clever.  My four year-old just recited the fifty states in alphabetical order (thanks to his nanny’s fondness for the Fifty Nifty United States song) and then proceeded to identify more states than I can on his map puzzle.  So I had to bite my tongue not to say “you’re so smart!” or “your memory is amazing!”  I’m fighting my ingrained habits of praise because a growing body of research is showing that complementing innate talents such as intellect or athletic ability can have a number of negative consequences. (more…)

June 16, 2010 at 9:28 pm Leave a comment

Self-Control and the Link to Academic Success

Marshmallow TestAs parents, we want to do whatever we can to help our children succeed academically, and more importantly, in life.  In fact, there is one teachable skill that is a better predictor of academic performance than IQ.  That skill is self control, and specifically, the ability to redirect attention in order to delay gratification.  In a nut-shell: raw smarts matter, but so do preparation and focus.  Consider the kids who study on the night before a test rather than playing video games.

You may have heard of the “marshmallow test” that laid the foundation for research on delayed gratification.  Dr. Walter Mischel studied four year-olds at Stanford University (more…)

June 14, 2010 at 10:36 pm 2 comments

Pesticides and Brain Development in Children

Pesticide Warning in Lettuce Field

Update:  In April 2013, new studies showed that heavy use of RoundUp could be linked to a series of diseases and health problems, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers.

Children, particularly infants and toddlers, are uniquely vulnerable to toxins.  While in utero or as infants, their internal systems are less capable than adults of processing pesticides and other toxins.  As toddlers, they spend time crawling or otherwise wrastling on the floor, putting pretty much anything that fits into their mouths, and playing in the dirt (indeed, that can be great for their immune systems!).  However, this constant exploration of the world requires that we, as caregivers, be particularly diligent about limiting their exposure to harmful chemicals.

Preliminary studies published in the Journal of Pediatrics in May, 2010 showed that higher than average exposure to common agricultural pesticides is correlated with a significant increase (55% to 100%) in the incidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).   This research is consistent with (more…)

June 3, 2010 at 10:41 pm 1 comment


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