The development of a child’s intellect depends largely on the level of development of its brain. Taking care of the child’s physical health, preventing illnesses, injuries and proper nutrition ensures the normal formation of his or her mental development. The child should be allowed to move around as much as possible so that he/she can come into contact with as many objects as possible and become familiar with as many features of the environment as possible. This enriches their experience and forms the basis for the development of the intellect. It is useful for parents to talk to them as much as possible, to discuss and talk to them, of course, in a simple and understandable way for the child at the appropriate age to stimulate the development of his or her speech and enable them to understand it more quickly certain concepts.
The child should be warned in a situation of the apparent irregularity of any nature in order to sharpen his or her ability to assess and observe. A child’s intelligence will be more likely to be sharpened if the child resides in a diverse environment as possible. If a child often comes into contact with other people, walks in different environments, hikes, picnics, trips, his or her intellectual horizon will expand faster than when living in the same, monotonous, non-stimulating environment. Intellectual activity is driven by the same biological rule, a rule that is found in all other functions – a dynamic environment that acts as a stimulus. If the child’s intellect is left to itself, and exposed to a small number of stimuli, or if they are uniform, then the child’s intellect falls behind. This is the case with intelligence, too. If parents do not allow a variety of environments in which the child resides, or are not socially active, if they are non-creative and lead a monotonous life and always move in the same environment, the intelligence of the child will be much more difficult to express in a meaningful way of the word.
When a child tries to solve a problem, the parent needs to encourage him or her to persevere and enable him or her to succeed. The success of one’s own endeavors increases a child’s self-esteem, thus motivating him/her to deal with increasingly difficult tasks day by day. This greatly contributes to the agility of mental development.
Parents can improve their understanding of the cause-and-effect relationship of things by providing the children with a rational explanation for every act in front of them, especially when it comes to prohibition. It is not enough to say, “Get your toys in order!”, it is necessary to explain the reason for this request, such as: “Collect the toys so as not to be damaged, not to get dirty, not to lose”. When we want to get our child to wash their hands before eating, it is necessary to explain why: “Dirty hands also contaminate food, and dirty food causes diseases in the body, so wash your hands so you do not get sick.”
When parents warn a child of an act they have taken, it is helpful not to give them all the details of why they have been warned. It is better to just give them the basics and allow the child to think only to come to a conclusion. E.g. when we want the child to put on warm clothes when he/she gets out of the house, we will say, “It’s cold outside.” We will let them remember what the consequences of that knowledge are and how they should act in that situation.
If the child struggles to solve a problem and cannot find a way out, the parents are there to help, but without giving detailed instructions. It is better to just suggest a solution. For an intelligent child, this will be enough to move the thinking away from the dead-end and find a final solution to the problem itself. A mentally healthy child will not allow the parent to solve the problem for him or her but will refuse the help as soon as he/she receives the direction that indicates the problem.
The smooth development of intelligence contributes greatly to the healthy emotional life of the child. If a child senses emotional warmth from their parents, they will feel safe and develop their mental functions without interruption. When a child has confidence in the people around it, he or she will reach out to many of them and enrich their social experience. An independent and self-confident child experiences emotionally much more than a withdrawn and passive child and therefore has a richer range of knowledge and concepts. A child who is free from fear lets his/her thoughts flow freely, thereby being more accommodating and agile in reasoning and drawing conclusions. The less he/she is burdened with negative emotions, such as feelings of insecurity, envy, fear, depression, and the like, the less emotions will affect the fluidity of his thoughts. Pleasant feelings in the child’s psyche, such as cheerful mood, optimism, self-esteem, and confidence in the environment, make it as realistic and objective as possible in their thinking as much as the level of their mental development allows. On the contrary, the intense feeling of discomfort makes the child excessively subjective and completely unrealistic in making conclusions.
Emotional blockage, timidity, depression, and other impediments to affective life that impede and inhibit a child’s mental activity, and at the same time prevent proper intellectual development. Such a child master the skills with more difficulties, it is distracted when learning, his/her attention is unconsciously focused on his/her own emotional problems and can hardly direct the attention to the events around him/her. An emotionally injured child has a harder time interpreting the material learned and only seemingly looks like a or pseudo-obese child.
This kind of impairment in the intellectual development of children caused by unhealthy affective lives should differ from actual brain damage such as physical brain injury. Permanent damage to brain tissue inevitably causes defects in a person’s intellectual capacity.
In principle, intelligence can be damaged in two ways:
- Brain tissue never fully matures, so even intellectual functions do not develop to the end; it is mental retardation, primary dementia or oligophrenia.
- The brain did develop properly, but it became ill due to infection, degeneration, circulatory disorders, tumors and other pathological changes in it; then the already developed intellectual abilities are lost; it is secondary dementia or dementia.
The difference between primary and secondary dementia, between oligophrenia and dementia, was convincingly expressed by the old French psychiatrist:
A demented man is deprived of the good he once had: he is a rich man who has become impoverished. Oligophrenic man has always lived in poverty and misery.Jean-Étienne Dominique Esquirol
or as White and Jelliffe said:
An oligophrenic lacks something, and a demented person suffers from a disorder of what he possesses.Smith Ely Jelliffe, William Alanson White