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How to Develop Mental Agility in Children?

7 December 2021

Every parent wants their child to be the “best”. As parents we feel successful when we can see our child excel. Each child is unique. Each one has his own set of strengths and weaknesses.  Some are good with math problems while others are good with football. The mental development of a child is crucial from the age of 1.5 years to 8 years. This is the phase in which their brains are developing fast and the right environment, nourishment and nurturance are critical for them to develop mental agility. Mental agility plays an important role in laying the foundation for a child to learn different skills.

What is mental agility? Mental agility is a form of development which refers to the child’s ability to gain meaning and knowledge from experience and information. It helps children to learn, process and absorb information quickly. This helps them to adapt to new circumstances faster and ensures an upward growth graph.

There are many ways in which mental agility can be developed and enhanced. How can we increase the mental agility in our children? Parents play the most crucial role in facilitating mental agility in children.

Encourage self-motivation: Allow your child to find his interest. Instead of forcing them to do all the “most wanted” activities which the other kids might be doing. Have an open discussion with them to see what they are good at and what they enjoy the most.  If they would like to explore different activities. Appreciate when they try new activities. This allows them to find motivation from within.

Quit Comfort zone: We love our comfort zones. But growth doesn’t take place in a comfort zone. In order for us to grow we need to get out of our comfort zone.  Give your children opportunities to step out of their comfort zones, this will allow them to grow and instill self-confidence in them. Try things they are afraid of, or they think they may fail at, you will be surprised to see the results. Do it with them if you have to.

Make room for mistakes: Perfection is a myth. If we want our child to succeed, we need to give them room to make mistakes, this helps them to understand how they can do things differently and better. It facilitates learning and mental processing.

Mental exercise: The best way to stimulate the young minds is with a mental work-out. Just like a physical workout helps us feel better. Mental work out improves our mental processes. Games on memory, words, numbers, expressions can help a child improve their mental processing.

Read together: Reading is the best way to gain, comprehend and process information. It is the most effective way to enhance your mental processes. Read as a family. Play word games and board games together.

Nutrition and Sleep: Food is a very important ingredient in the mental and physical growth and development of children. Research suggests a nutritious diet accelerates mental agility. As parents we need to make sure our children are getting all the essential nutrients. Sleep is important. Rest reimburses the mind. Good sleep is a must.

Mindful meditation: Mediation improves self -awareness. It makes the mind calm and provides clarity. Teaching your child mindful meditation techniques can go a long way to help them with their concentration. Mediation is also an important tool used for children to cope with anxiety and attention concerns.

Use Creativity: Creative activities are stimulated by the right side of the brain. Be creative and have fun. Go for outdoor picnics, do treks, do paint together, do craft activities, do a cooking class together as a family, do singing classes, dance, learn new musical instruments. Creativity is a great tool to stimulate our mind and our senses. Experiences are the best teachers.

Unconditional Self – acceptance: Teach your child to accept themselves unconditionally. It is not on the basis of the grades they get, or the activities they do well. They need to accept and love themselves for who they are. We need to encourage their differences. Instead of pushing them to conform to/ape their peers. Emphasis on what makes them stand apart from others.  They need to believe in themselves to excel. Make them feel proud of who they are!

Children are like clay moulds. As parents, rarely do we realise that even the small things we do and say make a big impact on their impressionable minds. As parents we need to provide them guidance and nurturance to find their “calling”.  Different experiences which children get exposed to is a platform for them to learn. Encouragement and support must be like their daily supplements. We need to give them on a daily basis no matter if they experience success or failure. A well- balanced family environment makes healthy and happy young minds! Be the best parent you can be!

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