The Snowball Effect for Making Your Child Smarter

The snowball effect implies progressive learning. When it comes to intelligence, it's important to understand that there are different types and methods of acquiring (or developing) it.
The Snowball Effect for Making Your Child Smarter

Last update: 06 January, 2022

If you want your children to be smarter, you have to support them and provide them with the necessary tools to achieve it. To do this, you must take into account the snowball effect. Do you know what it is? Keep reading this article to find out all you need to know.

The metaphor of a snowball is used in developmental psychology to explain that if you take advantage of every opportunity to improve the child’s abilities, you’ll obtain higher performance, achieving optimal development.

Parents and teachers should take advantage of every opportunity for children to learn and grow; the first steps on the path of education are the most important.

To understand a little more about the snowball effect, let’s consider a snowball itself. At first glance, it’s just a bunch of snow packed into a ball. But as it rolls down a hill, it grows larger and larger. Perhaps before, you could hold it in the palm of your hand, but as it continues to roll, it becomes even bigger than you.

What we need to take away from this image is that each step that that little snowball takes is equivalent to each step of your child, and each step they take is new knowledge, a new experience.

When your child is young, you teach them little by little and they gain knowledge and understanding regarding different situations. They incorporate knowledge at home, then perhaps at daycare, and at school. The same is true in any other environment that they share and with any other person who interacts with them.

Every piece of knowledge that they acquire will make them grow, just as every step a snowball takes allows it to gather more snow and get bigger.

So how do I make my child smarter?

Intelligence isn’t just a matter of incorporating new knowledge. Knowledge makes us wiser, but intelligence is something that we must develop.

According to psychologist Feuerstein, the human body has the ability to change its functioning structure. This is because intelligence is an adaptive response. These changes can improve a person’s development by permanently achieving superior cognitive processes. According to the psychologist himself, the human being is endowed with a plastic, flexible mind that’s open to change. He’s endowed with potential and a natural propensity to learn.

A little boy with both thumbs up standing in front of a chalkboard full of words in different languages.

Furthermore, Feuerstein introduces the concept of mediated learning experiences (MLE), which occur when a person mediates between the world and a human being. The mediator can be the child’s parents or their teachers.

For mediation to be effective, certain parameters must be met:

  • Intentionality: The child must be aware of the changes that depend on their emotions and cognitive operations. They must realize when their motivation increases or decreases.
  • Mediation of meaning: Giving meaning to what the child is learning greatly improves the learning experience.
  • Principle of transcendence: The knowledge acquired must be applied. Transferring knowledge to other areas or experiences is very enriching.

What does this mean?

This means that we can guide our children on the path of learning. Parents and teachers bear the responsibility of carrying out this difficult and important task. We must mediate between the world and our children, give them our knowledge, broaden their vision, and show them the way.

How can we enrich a child’s experiences?

As we’ve already seen, each learning experience a child has can produce a change in their cognitive structure. As human beings, they’re flexible, open to change, and prone to learning. And we have the ability to guide them. If we act as mediators in every situation that arises, we can make the most of them.

A situation, whether positive or negative, can result in learning.

Some advice tips for using the snowball effect to make your child smarter:

A preteen boy sitting at the table with his father and grandfather.
  • Investigate if there are any problems.
  • Help them identify problems.
  • Help them search for the cause of the problem.
  • Let them see their part in the situation that’s been produced.
  • Look for solutions to problems that arise.
  • Transform negative situations into learning opportunities.
  • Help him learn from his mistakes.

And above all, always allow them to develop and grow, to be flexible, and to adapt to their environment. Remember that in the future, this will be a very important skill!

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