Have you unlocked your child’s potential to become a superstar of his or her age group?
If you have not done so, then you could be missing out on a lot in your child’s development. Recent research has been focusing more on the development of young children, suggesting that many of them could be baby geniuses. At the University of Washington in the US, scientists have been using brain-imaging technology to reveal the “first-in-the-world images of a real baby’s brain” in action. They show stunning possibilities related to language learning and reading.
The speed with which babies produce brain cells or neurons to make sense of and discover an entire new world puts the brainiest grown-ups to shame. But how can parents unlock these abilities to raise their children as geniuses?
Raising Superstars is one of the world’s first baby prodigy frameworks that is designed to help parents to recognise their babies and toddlers’ abilities to the age of two years old. Based in India, it has already helped parents across the world to help their children become the best version of themselves
“When babies are born, they are helpless. But they have the desire to become independent. They want to imitate their parents’ activities by talking, walking, running and doing all kinds of activities,” Raghav Himatsingka, founder of Raising Superstars, said in an interview with Al-Ahram Weekly.
The inventor of the prodigy framework and prodigy baby system, Himatsingka says that spending five minutes a day with your baby teaching him, helping him, and developing his abilities can help him to do all manner of things that you take for granted as an adult.
Raising Superstars today consists of a world class team of early childhood educators, researchers, and engineers led by Himatsingka and his wife Shraddha. Upon starting their own journey as parents to a baby son, they realised the importance of knowing and acknowledging their baby’s abilities and needs.
Having read and studied more than 75 books and watched many videos and films to uncover learning acceleration techniques, Himatsingka established his own company. What started out as a simple initiative has now turned into a fully-fledged venture that serves parents and educators across the world in more than 150 countries.
The framework is based on steps and techniques that parents can adopt to raise a healthy, happy child. One of these is dancing with your baby and toddler to make them more aware of their body and movements. “When a child dances, they learn about how their body can move, sliding, jumping, twisting, bobbing and bending,” Himatsingka said.
Contrary to the belief that you should not praise your children regarding everything they do, Himatsingka says that all babies love attention, especially from their parents. So, praise, cheer and compliment them for all of the new things they’re learning.
One common mistake people often make as parents is saying “no” to a child, he says. “You are not allowed to do this, to play with this, to talk like this, or to hold this and touch this. Imagine if you are not allowed to do this or that – you would soon be feeling sad and unaccepted,” he said.
The superstar technique is all about replacing the “no” with an alternative so that it won’t shatter the baby’s or toddler’s confidence.
Parents should also be aware of the simple ways that babies develop their motor, speech, intellectual and even playing skills. Some parents have adopted superstar stairs at home to improve their child’s mobility, for example. Some babies have become skilful in tacking athletic rings. Some have adopted strength work. Others have enjoyed painting. Others still have tried to work on their communication skills.
If your child is messy, for example, you should be happy as it means he is exploring the five senses of tasting, touching, smelling, and so on. “It is part of the growing-up process. It helps them to discover and explore the world and will bring out their smartness as well,” Himatsingka said.
Though parenting may seem to be easy, it can be difficult to achieve all your children’s needs through the application of a single framework. However, some parents in Egypt actually adopt this framework without even knowing it and aim to unlock their children’s abilities and skills.
As the mother of twin girls, Bassant Attiya says that each child has her own talents and needs. Even if a child is born with special needs, he is a genius in his own right, she says.
“Do not lose hope in your child because of late development or even the lack of development. Each child is a miracle on its own,” Attiya, head of the Media Department at the College of Language and Communication in Cairo, said.
Attiya had a different dilemma when dealing with twins because people are always comparing them. But she realised after a while that she should deal with them separately, trying to release herself from any comparison that might cause worry and confusion.
One of the problems in our society is people comparing themselves with others, she said. “Generations compare themselves with others. People can also compare one child’s development with that of another,” she said.
“Such societal comparisons must be dealt with, and parents should be aware that times change and so do comparisons.”
Attiya decided to unlock her twin girls’ potentials by letting them explore their own abilities in different activities. “I am always trying to make them explore their own potential and know what they prefer. We must allow children to discover their different abilities in many areas, not only in sports but also in communications and in cultural, social, artistic, religious and other fields,” she added.
Sarah Yehia, a PhD holder in linguistics, says that parents nowadays need more time to spend with their children. “I remember when my mother used to read to me, with there always being a moral behind the story,” she said.
“My mother used to walk with me instead of driving, for example, in order that we could talk with each other. We would open up all kinds of conversations.”
“If I had time, I would love to go camping with my children. This is one of the many activities. I wish I could make the time for before my children grow too old,” she said.
But do children know how to unlock their own abilities?
“I have two ways of knowing whether I am good at something. First, there is seeing how much I have improved. Second, there is listening to others’ opinions and their thoughts so that I can know how I can improve,” 10-year-old Yara Moataz told the Weekly.
She loves reading, journaling, drawing, and doing crafts. If she had the whole year in her hands, she would discover new ways to draw and improve in drawing. She would also read as many books and watch as many films as possible to reflect upon her opinions.
“I would like the government to establish a magazine for kids so that we can write, share, and read our thoughts together,” Yara said. “We should also have something for drawing, handcrafting and journaling.”
*A version of this article appears in print in the 22 September, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.