Research shows that children who are read to when very young are more likely to develop a lifelong interest in reading, do well in school and succeed in adult life.  Studies show that reading to children when they are aged 0 to 3 helps them realize their potential during a crucial period in their development.

Praise your kid’s effort, not his inborn intelligence. Kids who are praised for their intelligence tend to do easy tasks and avoid challenges that might endanger his self-image of being smart. Your kid needs to challenge himself, and thus experience failure every now and then. Not experiencing failure means he has not set his goal high enough, and he will not be able to achieve anything worthwhile.

Parental involvement is an important factor for your kid’s success in school. Also, more important than attending parent-teacher conferences is showing up at ball games and music recitals.

Self-discipline and willpower are more important than IQ at predicting who will be successful in life. Also, intelligence is not everything. Intelligence without morals and empathy could lead to a disastrous future.

When a child plays, he is not just having fun, he is developing his brain. Choose toys that exercise your child’s imagination, or where he can learn a variety of skills from.

Taking music lessons or playing a musical instrument could make your child’s mind sharper and may benefit your child’s brain later in life, even if he does not continue learning music in his adulthood.

Limit your child’s TV watching as it affects his ability to develop important life skills. Some TV though, is good, but it has to be selective.

Math is a very important skill to master. Unfortunately, some parents tend to communicate to their kids that math is hard. Avoid unconsciously impressing on your child that he should fear math. Instead, train your child to think that math is fun.

Explaining decisions to kids, and not just using direct verbal commands, and letting them talk back, at least for just a bit, helps develop your child’s minds, “inviting more complex thought and language development” as they do so.

Raising your kid to be bilingual may enhance his cognitive ability. Studies show that bilingual experience helps kids acquire other new languages throughout their lives. Bilinguals have also found to have flexible and focused brains as the executive control of their brains become adept at juggling languages that are constantly competing for attention.

If you let your young child use a smartphone or tablet, play and interact with him using educational apps. Playing too much interactive media by himself may affect his development of insights, empathy, way of knowing themselves, and connecting with relationships.

According to the book “Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children”, missing an hour of sleep turns a sixth grader’s brain into a fourth grader. There is also a correlation between grades and average amount of sleep.

Feeding children lots of fatty, sugary and processed foods may lower their IQ, while a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients appears to boost it, British researchers say.