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What's Going On In There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life
- By Lise Eliot, Ph.D

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How Parents Could Influence The EQ and IQ of Their Children


Harvard's visiting faculty member, Daniel Goleman, the author of the highly renowned EQ book, has pointed out that the best place for children to learn EQ is at home. The direction and values of life are formed at home. The way they speak and act are very much influenced by their parents. Even though gene plays the nature part; it is the parental teaching that determines their future.

We all know that parents bear a great responsibility in upbringing of their children. Experiences gained from educationalist again and again proved that parents are the one who would decide how successful are their children when they reach their adulthood. How a parent behaves in his/her daily live subconsciously play a vital role in molding the behavior of the children. In addition, the home education system adopted by the parents and the level of support given to their children will directly affect their children's behavior development and problem-solving ability. A self-confident child usually comes from the family filled with encouragement and praising rather than scolding and punishment. Likewise, helpful children mostly learn to behave the similar way from their parents.

The research from F.E. Williams, a well-known American educationalist, shows that whether the creativity of the children will continue to develop depends upon the attitude of their parents. His research divided the children into 3 groups namely: lucky group, failure group and conforming group.

He discovered that, the lucky group where the children are constantly showered with encouragement from their parents tend to grow up with self-esteem and able to do what they are best in the latter part of their live. On the other hand, the failure and conforming groups, due to being afraid of punishment, their creative opportunities and experiences have been negated and destroyed. As a result, these groups of children grow up to be pessimistic, passive and nearly lost all their creativity power. The research concluded that the pressure and forces exerted by the parents upon their children, regardless the intention, are the main reasons to their miserable future.

If we look around us, it is not difficult to find parents who want their children to perform well in the school in order to bring them glory. They may force their children to fulfill what they have not achieved when they were young. Consequently, the children may suffer from behavioral deficiency, or grow up with frustration and regret of not living accordingly to their own will.

Originally, children do not understand the significance of report card. However, once they suffer the consequences of punishment due to failure to live up to their parents' expectation, they will modify or hide their report cards or even lie to their parents. Children who used to be kind will eventually start to behave violently as they have learnt the violent behavior from their parents. Children who grow up with everything managed by their parents would not live to be independent and could not understand the importance of responsibility. When parents judge the value of a man with the benchmark of money, their children will unknowingly grow up to value everything in life with money.

In addition to the EQ of the children that could be influenced by their parents, the role of parents could affect their children's intelligence (or, more precisely IQ) too. Genes may create the blueprint, however it is the environment created by the parents that could stunt a child's sensory, motor, emotional, and linguistic developments. The neural networks growing inside each child's head requires a steady stream of vigorous interactions and stimulation with other people, objects, places, and events in the world. Parents are responsible to create such an enrichment environment. How important is this could be proved from a French "cross-fostering" study, published in 1989. These researchers
combed through adoption records to find four distinct groups of children (Dr. Lisa Elliot, page 428):


1.  Children born to low-socioeconomic status (SES) parents, who were  adopted by other low-SES parents.

2.  Low-SES children adopted by high-SES parents

3. High-SES children adopted by high-SES parents

4. High-SES children adopted by low-SES parents (a very rare group), but the one that makes this study so powerful.

Results of their study are as below:

IQ At Age 16

   

Low-SES adoptive parents

 

High-SES adoptive parents
 

Low-SES biological parents

 

92 104
 

High-SES biological parents

 

108 120


Therefore, as a parent while we are educating our children, we have to constantly upgrade ourselves and continue to reflect and learn. For without a mature parent, there will be no correct education at home. Due to improper education methods, children will experience hardship and failure in many aspects of life. The future of the children relies on how good their parents nurture them. As a parent, don't you think you have to be serious about it?

Reference:
Lise Eliot, Ph.D (1999). "What's going on in there? How the brain and mind develop in the first five years of life", Penguin Press:UK



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