We always consider our kids’ physical and mental health, but what about their intellectual health? This crucial part of our children’s well-being can often go unrecognized, but not anymore.
Here is our guide to intellectual health for kids:
Intellectual Health Is a Love for Learning
Above all else, intellectual health is determined by a love of learning. All too often, kids can get the wrong idea that learning is a chore or something they have to do rather than get to do. There will always be certain subjects in school that your child finds less interesting than others. Luckily, there are ways to introduce learning into everything (kind of like putting broccoli in mac and cheese!).
For example, if your child is less interested in math than the arts, try to reframe certain math concepts through a more artistic lens. Explaining how math can be quite beautiful could help your child see a new perspective on an issue they once considered black and white.
Learning should always increase a child’s sense of wonder about the world rather than diminish it. This feeling of wonder will hopefully follow them throughout their lives, keeping them curious. By establishing healthy habits revolving around intellectual health early in life, we can ensure our kids hold onto this curiosity.
Intellectual Health Is Not Just Measured by Academic Success
Since intellectual health is so closely tied to learning, there can be a misconception that it is purely based on academic success. In reality, there are as many types of intelligence as there are children in the world.
Some kids might excel at standardized testing, while others might be wonderfully gifted in other ways. The methods we use to quantify “intelligence” are not always correct, and they are incredibly limited.
Just because a child gets near-perfect grades does not mean that they genuinely enjoy what they are doing. If they feel too much pressure to be perfect, they could be turned off from the joys of learning entirely.
This malaise is an indicator of exceptionally poor intellectual health. Meanwhile, a child who is always eager to learn probably has excellent intellectual health, even if their grades might be a bit more inconsistent.
Instead of these limited methods, we should measure intellectual health through passion, curiosity, and excitement. A child who asks a lot of questions is likely to have strong intellectual health.
Be sure to engage with your child when they ask questions. Answer them to the best of your ability, and be honest if you do not know the correct answer to something.
Who knows? Maybe you and your little one could even find out the answer together, building better intellectual health while also building your bond together.
Learning Does Not Just Happen in the Classroom
Although we typically think of school as the place where our kids do all of their learning, that is not the case. Kids are little sponges, ready to soak up information and knowledge wherever they go.
A child with strong intellectual health is likely to consider their surroundings and try to engage with them; this will look different for each individual child.
For some kids, this could mean asking questions. For others, this could be drawing a picture or writing a poem. None of these engagement methods is any better than another; they are just a sign of how your child sees the world.
A great deal of learning happens outside of the classroom. For instance, social experiences have a significant bearing on your child’s intellectual health. We can learn so much from other people. It’s best to instill that lesson into our kids sooner rather than later.
Open-Mindedness Is a Core Tenet of Intellectual Health
Speaking of learning from others, open-mindedness is one of the most essential lessons we can teach our kids. If our children are closed off to new ideas, then they are automatically limiting themselves in terms of how much they can grow. We should teach our kids that there are always multiple points of view on a situation.
This goes a long way in improving our children’s intellectual health, and it also helps to teach them the importance of empathy. Children learn empathy by witnessing it in those around them. It is up to us as parents to set a worthy example for our kids by giving people the benefit of the doubt and listening to a diverse range of opinions.
Intellectual Health Is Not the Same as Mental Health
Especially nowadays, mental health is emphasized more and more, a necessary and overdue development.
While they might seem similar, intellectual health and mental health are not the same things. It can be easy to confuse the two, as they both revolve around a specific type of well-being. Despite their differences, intellectual health can certainly play a substantial role in mental health for kids and adults of any age.
Intellectual health is all about fostering creativity, curiosity, and a lifelong love of learning, which all play key roles in our overall sense of fulfillment. When we lose our curiosity and sense of wonder about the world, it is remarkably easy to become jaded and bitter. This is not something any of us want for our kids, and it should not be something we want for ourselves either.
Intellectual Health Teaches Kids To Overcome Obstacles
With a strong sense of intellectual health, children will begin to see obstacles as opportunities. As their confidence grows, so will the understanding that they are capable of achieving whatever they set their mind to. They just have to work hard, be dedicated, and keep an open mind.
In this way, intellectual health also accomplishes a lot in terms of teaching our kids to manage their feelings through emotional regulation. Emotional regulation is the ability to soothe distressing emotions and return to a neutral headspace.
Emotional regulation can be difficult for kids to implement, as their feelings are often quite big and dramatic. Over time, kids can learn that there are multiple ways to see any given situation.
By reframing circumstances that they viewed as negative into something more positive, situations become much less overwhelming. Suddenly, what once seemed unmanageable is now capable of being conquered. At last, an obstacle has become an opportunity.
On their journey to being more in tune with their emotions, kids could use the help of ZenPatch Mood Calming Stickers. These patches create an aura of tranquility that is just what you and your child need to reassess situations. The ZenPatch is infused with Atlas Cedarwood, Sweet Orange, Lavender, and Mandarin for eight hours of calm.
What Are Habits for Boosting Intellectual Health?
Teaching intellectual health is not just a matter of changing one’s frame of mind. We can nurture intellectual health with a series of concrete steps.
Such steps can center around anything from focusing on a child’s physical, spiritual, and mental health. After all, each of these must work in tandem for your child to thrive.
Getting a Good Night’s Rest
Our first habit for intellectual health is more physical, but it has far-reaching effects that can affect anything from focus to memory.
Without a proper night’s sleep, kids can have significant trouble absorbing information. Even if that information is on a subject they usually take an interest in, a child’s grogginess will often take precedence.
Depending on their age, kids can need anywhere from nine to twelve hours of sleep per night. This is enough for them to grow while also recharging from the previous day’s events.
To ensure that your child gets enough sleep naturally, The Natural Patch Co. has you covered. SleepyPatch Sleep Promoting Stickers use a blend of soothing essential oils to lull your child into a peaceful sleep.
The best part? Once you’re done reading that last bedtime story, these stickers work on adults too. So go ahead and add this to the list of times that you can model healthy, happy behaviors for your little one.
Working on Time Management Skills
The ability to form productive time management skills is perhaps one of the most important lessons we can teach our kids. Time management affects every aspect of our lives.
Kids will need to budget their time to finish their homework, play, and do chores. When they get older, these same skills will come in handy when juggling work and other activities.
To help your child really make the most out of study time, try the FocusPatch Focus Enhancing Stickers. This energizing blend will help those of all ages concentrate so that they can work as hard as they play.
Never Stop Growing
With strong intellectual health, kids will come to understand that their potential for growth is limitless. Even when their physical growth spurts stop, their mental ones can continue for a lifetime.
5 Tips for Cultivating Empathy — Making Caring Common | Harvard University
The Role of Emotion Regulation and Children’s Early Academic Success | National Institutes of Health
Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep? Here’s How To Tell | Cleveland Clinic
Math Is As Beautiful As Art | Popular Mechanics
Mental & Intellectual Health | Unionville-Chadds Ford School District