We’ve all seen them at one time or another, these AlphaKids: the ones who talk in a way that makes them seem a few years older than their peers, those who walk onto the playground and somehow have other kids trailing them and following their lead a few minutes later, or those who seem at home even among adults who keep asking themselves the question “How did this kid get so smart?” These are the kids that will go on to be natural leaders in school, within their group of friends, and even in the workplace. Even before they step foot in a classroom, you can tell their future is bright, and the reality is if you only start supporting them after age 5, it may actually already be too late.
The AlphaKids’ ability to size up a room, a situation, or even people, and deciding on the appropriate response or approach actually has a lot to do with how fast their brains work, as observing their surroundings and determining how to respond happens in milliseconds. This is why it’s not just how much the child knows that is important, but how fast they can access that information and figure out how to react. This makes brain connections, which develop the most between the ages of three and five, extremely important.
Enter myelination, a process in which the brain produces myelin, a fatty substance that wraps around nerves and makes information travel to and from the brain faster. Majority of myelination and the rest of the brain’s development happens in early childhood, and it’s a little-known fact that by age five, 90% of the brain has already developed. That’s why raising a fast thinker is something that parents should be purposive about, and to get started, here are some tips to maximize what some experts call the golden window of opportunity.
Tips to Maximize the Golden Window of Opportunity
1. Teach your child to read early by reading often and by reading yourself
Reading has many benefits, including priming your child to love learning. Research shows that reading early in life has a positive impact on your child’s achievement in later years, including cultivating intelligence and academic success2. Reading, however, is a skill that has to be taught, and you cannot just give a child books and expect them to pick them up. You have to sit with them (daily, if possible), do the voices and sound effects needed to make it interesting to them. You also have to show them that you are reading yourself, to establish that it is a fun and worthwhile activity and not a chore that you are forcing on them.
2. Let them figure things out on their own
When your child gets frustrated by a puzzle, don’t offer your help. Instead, encourage them to try again. These little challenges help build your child’s confidence and perseverance—two traits that can help them succeed later in life. The same goes for social interaction. If caught in a disagreement with a sibling or playmate, avoid stepping in and laying down the law; explain the principles of fairness or taking turns, but let them talk and figure it out among themselves. This goes a long way towards helping them navigate disagreements and prepares them for constructive discussions with their teachers and classmates later on.
3. Limit screen time and control what’s on the screen
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, entertainment screen time should be two hours a day3. It’s important that the kids are aware of the limit and that it is strictly enforced. And even within their allowed screen time, not all content is good. Some shows are simply not worth the time, whether for kids or for adults. Look for content that teaches them what you want them to learn, and when that timer stops, direct them towards toys or activities that further their learning and encourage them to process what they have discovered.
4. Nourish your child’s brain with α-Lipids
DHA has been the celebrated nutrient for brain development for many years; however, it may no longer be enough. This is where α-Lipids (Alpha-Lipids) come in. α-Lipids are the latest breakthrough in brain development; they contain the five major phospholipids, critical nutrients for myelination and brain development. Phospholipids are also known as “intelligent fats,” and studies have shown that young children’s brains rely on these fats to form brain connections and transmit brain messages up to 100 times faster.
Raise an AlphaKid with Promil Gold Four
These tips, together with a daily glass of pediatrician-recommended Promil Gold Four—the only growing-up milk with breakthrough, brain-boosting α-Lipids (Alpha-Lipids) – should help get you started on this journey of raising a fast thinker. With other essential nutrients for brain development, including DHA, AA, Choline, Lutein, Zinc, and Iron, Promil Gold Four helps your child amaze and astonish, with others asking: “How did that child do that?”