Traditionally, Indian society is made to believe that academic performance is the only parameter determining a child’s potential. Like a million parent’s out there, you probably want your child to be an all-rounder when he’s older; acing in science, math and eventually engineering. But before he starts going to school and enters this never-ending race to succeed in academics, there is one thing that you should know – your child is smart in spite of his grades and physical fitness.
There are other kinds of ‘smarts’ – eight, in fact, and your child can be any one (or more) of these eight! These smarts are strong traits that he has inherited, something he is naturally good at! It is important to look for signs that hint the type of smart your child is, at an early age, because when you start looking at and developing these traits at a young age, you will know your child’s natural potential, and you will then realise that excellence goes way beyond his score in math and physics. This read is all about discovering your child’s dominant ‘smarts’, and we’re not bluffing; there’s a theory to prove it all!
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Put forth by Dr Howard Gardner, professor of education at the Harvard University in 1983; this theory elucidates the different kinds of intelligence (smarts). Dr Gardner suggests that the scope of mapping a child’s intelligence by merely testing his I.Q. is limited. While academic performance is important, equal importance must be given to a child’s inclination towards other fields, like art, architecture, music, nature, design, dance, therapy, enterprise, etc. This theory dismisses the traditional method of linking intelligence to I.Q. and throws light on other aspects that should be considered while accounting for a child’s potential. Hence, we’d like to introduce to you the Multiple Intelligence theory, which proves that your child can be any one or more of these eight kinds of smarts!
The Eight Smarts
Believing in Dr Gardner’s theory and following his footsteps, educators all over the world have started incorporating the Multiple Intelligence theory in their education system. Wondering about these ‘8 Smarts’ and how to figure out your child’s kind? Read on!
1. Body Smart (Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence)
Children who possess bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are generally good at sports and other physical activities. They move around a lot, and their body movements are well-coordinated. If your child is naturally inclined towards physical play, and can effectively use his muscles to control his body movements, then by default, he falls under this category of smart. Observe his traits closely to get a better idea. Is he too fidgety? Is he always on his toes? Is it impossible for him to sit in one place for long hours? Tiny details like these will tell you that your child is body smart. Virat Kohli is an excellent example of a person who possesses high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
2. Picture Smart (Spatial Intelligence)
Also known as spatial intelligence, picture smart refers to how well your child can visualise objects, places or even dreams. Spatially gifted children possess in-depth knowledge about art, craft, patterns, dimensions & have strong visual memories. They incline towards an artistic expression of their thoughts and actions on a daily basis. For instance, if your child pays attention to detail, and is capable of recalling small aspects of day-to-day activities, then he has high spatial intelligence, thus, picture smart. Children who possess this intelligence turn out to be artists, architects or ace in similar fields. They can easily sketch down their thoughts. Leonardo da Vinci fits perfectly in this space.
3. Logic Smart (Logical-mathematical Intelligence)
Logic smart refers to the ability to work with numbers and reason well. Mathematical intelligence and problem-solving skills are a significant part of logic smart. If your child is observant, can think out of the box, reason well, recall and explain memories in a sequence, then take the hint – he is logic smart. Children gifted with this intelligence are curious and often ask a lot of questions. Cracking numbers, graphs and charts is a piece of cake for them. The most successful mathematicians and scientists fall under this category. Einstein, no doubt, possessed high logical & mathematical intelligence.
4. Music Smart (Musical Intelligence)
Enjoying music is not even close to possessing musical intelligence! Those children who have a high inclination towards composing music, singing and creating rhythm are naturally music smart. They have a better understanding of tune and melody. If your child has a beautiful voice, he can pick up a rhythm, can differentiate between kinds of pitches, and is inclined towards learning an instrument, then no doubt, he is music smart. It’s important to understand that musical intelligence is a broad concept, and not all children possess every trait mentioned. Who better than A.R. Rahman to give you the picture!
5. Word Smart (Linguistic Intelligence)
Also known as linguistic intelligence, word smart children are generally good with language. If your child’s handwriting is naturally flawless, he enjoys reading, understands grammar, and can spell long words with ease; then he is word smart. Word smart children enjoy word games like scrabble, crossword puzzles and word jumbles. They are excellent communicators; basically good with words. They have a rich vocabulary and tend to remember new words. The art of storytelling is a gift they possess. Gulzar is one famous personality in this category.
6. Self Smart (Intrapersonal Intelligence)
Intrapersonal intelligence should not be confused with being selfish, self-centred or an introvert! It refers to one’s ability to enjoy their own company. If your child can be alone without being bored or afraid, then he is self-smart. Possession of this smart comes along with skills like responsibility, self-awareness and independence. Self-smart people are fully aware of their strengths and limitations. If your child is confident enough to do what is right, in spite of being told otherwise, then he belongs to this group. Those who possess strong intra-personal intelligence are confident about what they do. They listen to all but do what seems right to them – the ideal trait of an entrepreneur. Bill Gates is a great example!
7. People Smart (Interpersonal Intelligence)
People smart children are those who are pretty good at interacting with others. They are the ‘happy-go-lucky’ kind. They have like a million friends, and genuinely enjoy the company of each! If your child enjoys spending time with his friends and loves to have people over, he possesses strong interpersonal intelligence. People smarts often gel up with the crowd, and they understand how to deal with different situations. They seem calm and relaxed around other people. They are empathetic, sympathetic, compassionate and kind friends to have! Who better than Oprah Winfrey to fit this group!
8. Nature Smart (Naturalist Intelligence)
If your child is naturally interested in gardening, feeding animals and birds, having a pet, and observing plants and trees, then he is a naturalist. Those who belong to this group are nature observers and lovers. They are keen when it comes to learning about all natural things, including mountains and aquatic animals. They also lean towards conservation of nature’s wealth. Nature smarts enjoy strolling in green parks, sitting by the river, staring at the clouds and everything that keeps them away from concrete jungles. Salim Abdul Ali is an excellent example of a personality belonging to this group!
The FirstCry Intellikit
Even though these smarts are something every child is born with, they can be enhanced, if tapped into at an early age. The Firstcry Intellikit is an age-appropriate, expert-designed learning program that ties in perfectly with the Multiple Intelligence theory. It is a learning program that will help you understand and develop the eight smarts in your child at an early age. With a set of engaging activities, worksheets and storybooks, the Intellikit ensures that your child develops all the right skills through fun and play. Give your child the chance to be eight kinds of smarts with the Intellikit! For more details, look at http://www.firstcry.com/intellikit
Now that you know about the 8 smarts, go ahead and figure out which one (or more) of these apply strongly to your child. Observe what your child is naturally good at, and look for ways to help him get better at it! Appreciate and encourage his talents at an early age, so that you don’t have to worry about his future!