Your child is smart. Discover today how “smart” they are, and maybe a little bit more about yourself as well!Based on the book 8 Great Smarts by Kathy Koch.
“Don’t call him shy.”
“What am I supposed to call him? He’s shy around people. That’s what he is – there’s nothing wrong with that.”
“He’s not shy, he’s just…..”
This was a recent conversation I had with my husband.
As an extrovert, and outgoing person, my son sometimes baffles me. And there have even been times when I have been ashamed at his behavior around people. Though I would never say it out loud, internally, I cringe at the word introvert. Almost like it is a handicap of sorts.
Do you sometimes look at your kid and think, “Who are you? I thought you came out of me, so why are you nothing like me?”
They can be as different as night from day. But different is not wrong. Different is not stupid. Just because your child can’t talk to people well, it does not mean they are stupid. When your child does not do well at school, it does not mean they are not smart.
I did terrible all throughout elementary and middle school and was put in all the “dumb” classes. Until I moved to a smaller private school, I had no idea that I was smart. But all it takes is someone recognizing in you, that you ARE SMART, and that God created you SMART, and different, with a purpose!
Because God did not create humans to be stupid.
There is nothing more discouraging than being misunderstood, and thinking that you are stupid. I know that I have always considered myself to be average, and the word “stupid” is a general part of my vocabulary.
But based on this book, and Kathy’s understanding of how God created humans, it says that everyone is smart, and that there are 8 Smarts that every person possesses, of varying degrees.
- Word Smart. They think with: words. When excited, they: talk and might write. Children who are particularly smart in this area can argue, persuade, entertain, and/or instruct effectively through the spoken word. They’re often trivia experts. They tend to be masters of literacy: they read a lot, write clearly, listen intently, and/or speak well.
- Logic Smart. They think with: questions. When excited, they: ask more questions. Traits of logically inclined children include the ability to reason, sequence, categorize, and think in terms of cause-effect and comparison-contrast relationships.
- Picture Smart. They think with: their eyes and with pictures. When excited, they: add to their pictures (in their minds and on paper). Children who are picture smart are very sensitive to visual details. They have the ability to observe, transform, and re-create different aspects of the visual-spatial world.
- Music Smart. They think with: rhythms and melodies. When excited, they: make music. Musically gifted children are able to hear, appreciate, and/or produce rhythms and melodies. They often have a good ear, can sing in tune, keep time to music, and listen to different musical selections with some degree of discernment.
- Body Smart. They think with: movement and touch. When excited, they: move more. The evidence of body intelligence can be seen in large motor and/or small motor skills and interests. These children are talented in controlling their body movements and/or in handling objects skillfully. They may enjoy physical pursuits like walking, sports, dancing, acting, or camping and/or they may be skilled at activities like sewing, carpentry, or model-building.
- Nature Smart. They think with: patterns. When excited, they: go outside. Children who would rather be outdoors than indoors may be strong in this smart. They tend to love animals and are knowledgeable about them. They also are skilled at recognizing and classifying plants, minerals, and animals. The ability to recognize cultural artifacts like cars or sneakers may also depend on this smart.
- People Smart. They think with: other people. When excited, they: talk to people. Children with this intelligence are able to discern and then respond to the moods, intentions, and desires of others. Therefore, they tend to be leaders. They have the ability (for good or bad) to get inside another person and view the world from that individual’s perspective.
- Self Smart. They think with: deep reflection. When excited, they: spend time alone thinking. Children strong in this smart can use their self-understanding to enrich and guide their lives. They tend to enjoy quiet times of deep soul-searching. They also need peace, space, and privacy. They are fiercely independent, highly goal-directed, and intensely self-disciplined.
What struck me the most about this, was that I have been perceiving my child wrong. I have even been parenting my child wrong. Because I have not seen who he truly is. I have been focusing on his faults, and missing his strengths, and teaching him according to his smarts!
But YOU can be that person that awakes and nurtures your child’s smarts NOW. And lets them know, “Hey, that thing that makes you different? Well guess what, that means you are SMART.”
- Start compiling a list of observations of your child(ren)
After reading down the list, you may know immediately what your childs greatest strengths are, but if not, start writing down your childs likes, dislikes, frustrations, etc. and then start comparing them to this list above.
2. Start adapting your parenting towards these strengths.
After writing down my list, and picking some of the top strengths I thought my son had, I started testing it through my parenting. My son is very high justice. When he has been wronged by a friend or his sister, he can’t hear a word I have said until I have acknowledged that he was wronged. Before, I usually pushed through it and tried to force him to listen to me, and disciplined him when he ignored me.
But this time, learning that a “high justice” mind is evidence of “logic smart”, I addressed the issue. I acknowledged that injustice was indeed served to him. And immeditately he calmed down. It was amazing to see. He stopped crying. He got a very focused look on his face, and looked almost relieved. “Mom heard me.”
And because he knew I heard him, he was willing to listen.
3. Start “awakening” your child(ren)s strengths
Here’s an excerpt from Kathy’s podcast with Jim Daly that I just loved and gave me so much hope:
Kathy: Those of us who are word-smart, we can get in trouble by talking. I’m an example of a kid who was a “Chatty-Cathy” as a child and now people pay me to talk. (Laughter) You know, it’s an amazing thing. And … and you know what, you guys? If I would’ve been raised, “Be quiet; be quiet; be quiet; would you go find something to do; I am so sick of your talking,” I wouldn’t be here today on the radio with you.
Kathy: My parents were amazing and they chose to listen to me. And when I was about 9, they enrolled me in Children’s Theater. They said, “Go talk there a while.”
Kathy: You know, that’s a true story.
Jim: Smart though.
Kathy: Yeah, very smart, because it again, used one of my intelligences.
Kathy: They didn’t know that at the time.
Jim: Well, they planted you in a garden that you could flourish in.
Kathy: Bingo, exactly, exactly. And then when I was in high school, I became a part of the forensics team and I earned ribbons giving speeches and what do I do now as a living? I give speeches. I’m an author. So, we are the ones who can either tease and gossip and name-call or edify, encourage and teach the truth.
Kathy: We do need to be really careful of how we respond. My dream for parents is that they would just help children develop the character qualities that are necessary, so that we use our intelligences for good and not evil.
I obviously needed to learn how to listen and give my brother a chance to speak. And I needed to know that I was teachable and could benefit from what other people had to say. It wasn’t all about me.
I could seriously write about this all day. But I am going to provide you parts 1 and 2 of this podcast for you to listen yourself, and provide the 8 Smarts List for you to download, along with a PDF from Kathy Koch with Eight Ways to Awaken Children’s Smarts, Eight Ways to Paralyze Children’s Smarts, and Eight Ways to Strengthen Children’s Smarts.
I can’t wait to hear what you discover, and how you can change lives with this information!
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Other posts include: We Are the #WhateverMoms, Clotheslining: Brighten Your Day By Doing Laundry, Ways to Exercise as a Busy Mom , Exorcising your belief that you can’t Exercise, Parenting When Everything Goes Wrong – Free Parenting Assessment!, 7 Ways to Stop Being an Angry Mom (free cheat sheet attached!), 7 Ways to Date your Kids
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