Q. Is there anything I can do to improve my son’s mental ability?

A. Generally, yes. Here are several suggestions for you to consider:

  • Learn about brain lead, extroversion/introversion, and sensory preference. This can enable you to help him be successful in the tasks that match his innate giftedness and can give you ideas for gently providing him with learning experiences that can build whole-brained competencies.
  • Make an effort to converse with him to help build his vocabulary.
  • Read stories to him; listen to him read aloud to you.
  • Limit his TV watching to less than one hour a day.
  • Provide him with music lessons. Studies have shown that children who study music have increased spatial-temporal reasoning ability.
  • Spend time playing with him. Play is the work of children.
  • Introduce him to individuals who are different from you to expand his horizons.
  • Take field trips, travel, research a topic, plant a small garden, etc.
  • Encourage him to explore; the brain thrives on variety and new experiences.
  • Admit your own mistakes and help him to accept his, understanding that there’s a big difference between making a mistake and being a mistake.
  • Be generous in your praise of his efforts and his accomplishments.