As dads, it’s important for us to keep our minds sharp. Having to deal with questions from our kids such as – Why is the sky blue? What is the meaning of life? or Who would win a fight between the Incredible Hulk and Superman? – forces us to keep our brains functioning at high levels. Add in a few doses of 7th grade math homework and advances in technology and you’re in for a serious mental workout.
While it’s important to improve our brain functions for the sake of our kids, it is equally important for our personal health and well-being. Age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s can start forming as early as your 40s. To counteract curious kids and health issues, you must exercise your mind on a regular basis.
If you want to boost your brain power and be a smarter dad, here are 7 things you can do right now.
7 Ways to Be a Smarter Dad 1 of 8
Train Your Brain 2 of 8
Just as you train your body to remain physically fit, you have to train your brain to keep in shape mentally. Read books and magazines, do challenging puzzles, solve math problems (middle school algebra is a good place to start), and work on your memory. Websites such as Lumosity offer personalized brain training programs. I like to challenge myself by building new Lego creations with my son.
Learn something new 3 of 8
When I turned 40, I decided to take guitar lessons. Learning this instrument has been challenging and interesting because I have no natural musical talent. These lessons force me to stop relying on my logic so much and allow my creative side to surface. Learning new things helps you to think differently. You can take a coding class, salsa lessons, or learn a foreign language. Find something that you're interested in and dive in.
Do something you’re bad at 4 of 8
I'm a terrible ice skater. I spend more time on my butt than on the skates. However, I keep doing it because my kids enjoy it. I know that I will never have the speed and power of Wayne Gretzky or the grace of Brian Boitano; however, I learn something new each time I lace up my skates. Doing things that are difficult for you will not only make your brain work harder, but it will also help you to confront your fears and insecurities.
Take a break 5 of 8
Stress can affect memory, learning and other brain functions. To keep your brain functioning at optimal levels, you need to take regular breaks to recharge. Although a trip to Hawaii will do trick, you don't have to do anything that elaborate. All it takes is a few minutes of quiet meditation, a good night's sleep, or a relaxing massage.
View the world from your child’s perspective 6 of 8
My children force to keep my mind sharp. They seem to be much more savvy than I was at their ages. But I love to see the world through their eyes. Their perspectives often make me view the world in different ways. They have a tendency to make the most difficult problems seem simple. I encourage dads to view the world from their children's point-of-point. You will gain incredible insight that will help to be more creative and carefree.
Seek the wisdom of elders 7 of 8
I try to spend time with older men as much as I can. Their wisdom helps me to sort through my contemporary problems. Talking to more seasoned dads has helped me to become a better parent and a better husband. Their experiences teach me more than I could ever learn from a book.
Be more observant 8 of 8
Too many of us spend our lives with blinders on. It's important for all of us to pay closer attention to the world around us. Listen more closely when your children talk to. Savor your meals instead of devouring them. Stop walking through town with your face buried in your phone. Pay attention to the beauty that surrounds you. You will be rewarded with more acute senses, better relationships, and a sharper mind.