So, I have to start by saying this: my son is the smartest kid in the world. He has been the smartest kid in the world since he was born. Does every mom feel like that? If so, they are wrong…because MY son is definitely the smartest kid in the world!
Okay, if I haven’t lost you already, let’s get serious. I do, however, have a pretty smart two year old. He is a polite, good listener with a kind heart who loves to show off!
Here are a couple things that my husband and I did that attributed to our son’s genius.
No Baby Talk
My husband is a high school English teacher and one of the funniest people I have ever known in my life. He’s got that quick dry sarcastic sense of humor coupled with a calm, monotone voice. If you’re not listening carefully, you’re gonna miss it and probably be (lovingly) insulted by him, too. I was anxious to see how he was going to respond to our son when he was born. I couldn’t imagine him going all “goo-goo gaa-gaa” on me, but then again, people always surprise me. Sure enough, he didn’t get babied up. In fact, he spoke to our son like…an adult. I have to admit, my motherly instincts kicked in as soon as I saw our son and I immediately had to put his perfect little toes in my mouth while still “boo-boo-boo”ing him. Not my husband, though. He talked to him like a human being which got me to thinking…
Surely, there is nothing developmentally stimulating about the “bubby gubby doos” that I think every woman wants to say while pinching a pair of chunky little baby cheeks. Speaking to our boy in direct, full sentences enabled him to bypass the “gabba gabba” cute stage and go right into trying to communicate.
My husband started reading to our son while he was still in the womb. I remember feeling him kicking like crazy when he would hear his daddy’s voice. After he was born, I would read my books out loud to him when he was itty bitty. Nothing that he could understand of course, but the sound of my voice would put him to sleep. We started reading children’s books to him probably after about three months. We knew that he couldn’t understand a word that we were saying, but my husband and I have such a passion for literature, that we wanted to be sure to do everything in our power to pass that along to him.
It seems to have worked! At 2 years old, our boy loves reading! We let him pick out 2-4 books before naptime and bedtime. He sits in our laps, quietly following along, like he’s just taking it all in. I’m telling you…genius.
8 months old One year old Two years old
Baby Sign Language
We LOVE baby sign language! We’ve started teaching our son signs at 4 months old and it’s still something we work on with him. It has helped expand his vocabulary and his ability to communicate, preventing outbursts and tantrums. Check out my Baby Sign Language post to learn all about it!
NO Sponge Bob!
Everybody knows what kind of junk is on TV nowadays. I’ll be completely honest…I used to have a strong relationship with “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”, and my weakness was a full Sunday of nothing but “Snapped”. Creating a human and realizing that I am in control of developing the person that he will be for the rest of his life really opened my eyes to what I would let his perfect, tiny little brain consume.
Our solution: get rid of the junk! Yes, we cancelled our cable. And what an immediate relief it gave to both my husband and I! We stocked up on Baby Einstein’s and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD’s. Sesame Street is on Netflix, too, as well as several other educational shows for little ones.
Your baby understands more than you think!
I will never again think “he’s too young to understand” after an exceptionally dirty diaper incident where he accidentally put his foot in the nasty dipe in mid-change. Out of reflex and impulse, the words that flowed from my mouth were never meant to be repeated, but alas they were! Because I didn’t overreact and pretended like I didn’t hear anything, luckily that was the end of it. But it made me think. All he does all day long is listen and watch what his dad and I do. We are the role models for him, so we need to practice what we preach. We say “no TV”, then we can’t watch TV when he leaves the room. We say “no sugar”, then we, in turn, shouldn’t eat a bunch of junk food in front of him.
What kinds of things did you do while you’re baby was young that helped make them into a genius baby?