23 June 2017

Boost your potential


Prenthood is for many the most enjoyable, exciting and fulfilling time of their lives. Children provide years of joy and delight and we view them as the most precious of all our possessions on earth. At the same time - and because of this -parenthood is one of the most difficult and challenging jobs in the world.

The various soundbites on parenting by government, educational and charitable agencies often make it sound quite easy. In reality, parenting can be a maze of upsets and problems. Ultimately we want to raise healthy happy children who will become hardworking, sociable, happy adults yet this requires enormous energy and dedication on behalf of the parent. It is a tremendous and not surprisingly daunting task to undertake. Many parents feel that asking for help and guidance is a sign that they are unable to cope with the strains of parenthood. The truth, however, is that there is no shame in seeking assistance.

Above all, parenthood is a wonderfully rewarding experience. The highs definitely outweigh the lows. There is nothing more heart-rending than seeing your baby knowingly respond to its name for the first time, or that momentous occasion when it takes its first tiny yet unsteady step. But we all look to the future and view it somewhat pessimistically as a labyrinth of trials and tribulations. Quite reasonably we want our children to be equipped to handle the intellectual and physical demands of adult life. Undoubtedly life is competitive and a case of 'the best man wins'. We know that parental intervention can have a significant impact on how successful our children will become. In order to maximise the potential for success it is important that parents recognise and actively participate in all aspects of their child's development and growth in all stages of childhood and adolescence. Boosting your child's potential is necessary for healthy intellectual and physical development.

Intellectual stimulation is vital because children possess an innate desire to learn and acquire new knowledge; this is why they are so alert to new surroundings and activities. Furthermore they are able to understand far more that they can actually articulate to their parent and so find it difficult to express their desire for additional stimulation. It is essential for the intellectual advancement of the child that the mental ability to grasp new ideas and concepts is actively encouraged. Research suggests that if a child does not get enough opportunity to learn in an intellectual sense, it may seek self-expression through some kind of anti-social behaviour.

The current government is placing great emphasis on the drive to raise educational standards and is encouraging parents to become actively involved in this programme. The government is also supported by the independent charity, The National Children's Bureau. Research by the NCB has established a prime requirement for a dramatic improvement in the provision of children's education. As a parent one of the best ways to boost your child's intellectual potential is by forging strong links between learning at home and learning at school. It is vital that parents support their child's educational and emotional development every step of the way.

Generally research has greatly improved our understanding of child development but for this to be accessible to the parent it must be translated into clear and down-to-earth language. This is the problem with so many parenting guide books, the text is far too technical. In addition, expert insight and information needs to be easily retrievable from the contents and index pages for the book to be of any real practical use. No less importantly, the advice given needs to be comprehensive and thematic, covering all aspects of child development so that it can deliver practical 'hands-on' and emotional advice. Wanting to help your child succeed and develop into a well-rounded person is not something to be embarrassed about. More importantly it is a sign of your devotion and an indication of your unconditional love. Using advice and guidance presented in a lively but inform-ative manner allows you to arm yourself with an invaluable wealth of knowledge that really can be used in daily life.

Dr David Cowell BSc, MPhil, PhD, DipPsych is a leading expert and innovator in the field of education and has published leading research into child behaviour problems. He is co-author alongside Erwin Brecher of the recently published book, Boost Your Child's Potential which is available now for 9.50 in the UK including p&p from Panacea Press Limited. Orders for five copies or more are offered at 5.50 each in the UK including p&p. Pancea Press can be contacted at 86 Northgate, Prince Albert Road, London, NW8 7EJ. Tel: 020 7722 8464. Fax: 020 7586 8187.

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