Don’t put a television in his room. Researchers have found that this can impede his intellectual and academic development.
Closely monitor his usage of the computer, cell phone and the music he is listening to. Make sure all media content is age appropriate. Remember that age appropriate in your house does not mean the same thing in his friends’ homes. Chat with him regularly about what he does with his friends, and aim for a non judgemental tone to encourage him to share information. While you can’t guarantee that he won’t be exposed to inappropriate content, you can help him develop the tools to deal with it.
Talk to him as much as possible, beginning in the womb. Studies show that the more words children hear by their third birthday, the greater their chances for academic success. Put down that phone and talk to your kid, Mom and Dad!
Involve him in music and arts programs in addition to sports.
Feed him a healthy breakfast every morning.
Make sure he gets a good night’s sleep every night. Putting him to bed with computers and phones within reach will give him cause to stay up later. Researchers have determined that reading a lighted screen at night in bed makes it more difficult for the brain to shut down and get good rest.
Particularly as he moves into adolescence, help him find an outside activity he loves that will help him to learn discipline and how to self regulate his behavior. Finding one’s passions is a key objective in life, and the sooner he is encouraged to find things he likes outside of school which require his focused attention, the better prepared he will be to pursue his passions later in life.
Do as much as you can to instill a love a reading. Read aloud to him and as he gets older read the same books so that you can discuss them with him. It is critical to continue encouraging your son’s reading and discussing what you both are reading even if he does not develop a love of reading (despite your best efforts).
Keep him engaged and stimulated during the summer, signing him up for camps and fun summer programs.
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