• Monday, April 22, 2024
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How ‘intentional parenting’ can improve academic brilliance in students

How ‘intentional parenting’ can improve academic brilliance in students

Oluwatobiloba, not her real name, was supposedly a dullard in her primary school years. Her parents being teachers resolved not to give up on her and engaged a home teacher to coach her and develop her brilliance.

After some months, Tobi began to pick up and soon she was one of the brightest students in her class.

By the time she gained admission into the university, she was already a top-notch in science subjects among her peers. Tobi graduated with first class and gained a scholarship for her master’s degree where she also excelled and won another scholarship for her Ph.D.

Similarly, Yemisi was considered a dullard in her early school years which prompted her father to mandate her to repeat a class. And this singular action from her father brought the needed positive turnaround in her academic journey.

According to her, “Seeing my classmates in a higher class then drove me mad and I had to put in more effort as my father was determined to make me repeat again should I fail again.”

When Ben Carson, a renowned pediatric neurosurgeon was a boy, many people did not believe in him because he was poor and was getting bad grades in school. In fact, he was the butt of teasing by his white classmates. Worse still, Ben believed that he was just not smart enough.

Fortunately for him, his mother believed in him, and insisted that he was smart. She cut off the television set and made him and his brother hit the books, books that she herself could scarcely read.

That was the magic as young Ben’s school work began to catch up with that of his classmates, and then began to surpass that of his classmates, his own view of himself and of the world around him.

Brilliance can be developed and transferable given the right environment

Consequently, his view of himself and life began to change, he began to think that he wanted to become a doctor.

Ben once said; “The shock of being in a school, whose standards were higher than I was able to meet at first, took place in an all-black school in Harlem, so that there was none of the additional complications that such an experience can have for a black youngster in a predominantly white school.”

Ben Carson in his book, ‘Gifted Hands’ explained that children do not necessarily need parents with Ph.D.s to make the most of education, though one can be fortunate enough to have such parents.

“The kinds of things that statisticians can measure, such as family income or parents’ education, are not the crucial things. The family’s attitude toward education and toward life can make all the difference,” he noted.

Experts believe that brilliance is expansible, that is to say, brilliance is natural. It is a skill that can be acquired just like every other skill such as singing, dancing and playing football among others.

Shola Thomas, a senior lecturer, the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos emphasised that for the singular reason that a child is not able to absorb lectures quickly does not necessarily qualify him or her as a dullard.

Additionally, the university lecturer pointed out that some students do not learn fast, while in some other cases, it could be that the child in question does not like the subject. Students by nature like certain subjects, and do not like some others; which means they need much more time to understand what is being taught.

She said that most students struggle when they are pressured by parents or guardians by comparing them with others which should not ordinarily be the case.

Moreover, she stressed that sometimes the problem could be the teacher’s inability to transfer knowledge in an impactful manner.

“Students are meant to acquire knowledge according to the curriculum given per time, and the way and manner this is done speaks volume,” she said.

Oluwatoyin Ajilore, a Ph.D. scholarship student at Tufts University, Boston in USA revealed that to her failure is part of success in life, and that this view applies to education as well.

She stressed that one of the ways to success is to fail, which according to her helps one discover what would not work

“Failure is part of success. Sometimes one needs to go down to go up. You can’t jump it. Success is a balance of wholesomeness,” she said.

Experts believe that success in life is not automatic, and that brilliance can be developed and transferable given the right environment.

Ngozi Kunle-Dairo, an educational psychology expert explained that in educational psychology it is believed that “nature” and “nurture” affects how a child grows.

“We believe that a child inherits certain traits from his or her parents but not withstanding the environment in which a child grows and what that child is exposed to over time is also key to the development of that child,” she said.

Elizabeth Ohaka, an early childhood educationist could not agree less with the thought that intelligence is both hereditary and environmental dependent.

“Yes, with a loving environment, right teaching methodologies and interaction, intelligence can be improved,” she said.

Nurture encompasses all environmental factors that shape who a child becomes, such as his or her early childhood experiences, his upbringing, social relationships, and the surrounding culture.

Research has shown that nutrition plays a very important role in the development of a child’s intelligence. Children who consume proper nutrition have higher intelligence quotient (IQ) scores than malnourished children.

Afolabi Adebayo, a medical doctor affirms that nutrition is very helpful in improving a child’s intelligence.

“Growing children need good and balanced diet development of their brain. More importantly food rich in proteins, for example eggs and fish, glucose, nuts and vitamins, especially vitamin B6, B12, iron and folate. Vegetables and apples are important,” he said.

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According to research, the developing human brain requires all essential nutrients to form and to maintain its structure. Infant and child cognitive development is dependent on adequate nutrition.

Children who do not receive sufficient nutrition are at high risk of exhibiting impaired cognitive skills.

Study of over reveals people fed a healthier diet from an early age have a higher IQ. Children who were breastfed and later given plenty of fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods had IQs up to two points higher at age eight.

Intelligence ordinarily could be said to mean one’s capability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. This, many argue, is not a cast in stone trait but a changeable, flexible ability to learn and stimulate one’s brain and that it can be improved upon over time.

And to achieve this, they maintain that the key is to practice lifestyle habits that support and protect a person’s brain. This school of thought believes that the concept of intelligence hinges functionally on acquirement, processing and storage of information.

Hence, a highly intelligent individual could on some occasions perform poorly on an intelligence test for a variety of reasons, such as anxiety or preoccupation.

According to Englbrecht, “Individuals have only a few traits that are determined by genes alone like eye colour, hair colour and blood groups, but the traits such as height, weight and physical conditions are greatly affected by the environment.”