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Fostering Intelligence in Kids

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 1 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Intelligence Kids Children Parents

Virtually every parent wants to help his or her children achieve the best, healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. But, how can this successfully be done? In particular, how can parents foster intelligence in their children, allowing them to be smart thinkers who can handle life's ups and downs while also obtaining success in their career and personal life?

You Can Make a Difference

The questions are big ones and the answers are many, but there are indeed practical things you can do to help foster intelligence in your kids. You should, however, begin with the right parenting skills at a very early age – ideally from day one – to ensure that your kids get a consistent, positive start to improved mental functioning.

Recognising a Child's Natural Intelligence

One of the most important ways in which you can foster intelligence in your child is by recognising your child's natural aptitude and strengths. You need to have a keen understanding of what interests your child has as well as the types of games and toys your child enjoys the most. These interests can point to a specific kind of intelligence your child has and you, as a parent, can encourage improvement here while also exposing your child to other forms of intelligence and learning.

Book Smarts and Other Kinds of Intelligence

In our modern system of school, book smarts tend to lead the way. While these kinds of 'academic' smarts are still important, equally important is that other qualities and kinds of intelligence are fostered and strengthened.

Your child should receive exposure to many kinds of people and experiences to help him or her develop numerous kinds of intelligence while allowing your child to excel in the kind that is most natural. Each child has special gifts and abilities that you can encourage as a parent.

Verbal Intelligence

Verbal intelligence involves a good ability to speak, listen and engage with people. Children with strong verbal intelligence might be known for sharing engaging and interesting stories or for using language and voice well. To improve this kind of intelligence, a parent can play word games or consider putting their child on a course to learn a new language.

Visual Types of Intelligence

This kind of intelligence involves writing, drawing and the ability to do puzzles and have a good sense of space and direction. Keeping your child busy with artwork, puzzles, books and even exposure to graphic arts can help foster intelligence.

Maths and Logic Intelligence

If your child shows maths intelligence, this will likely be displayed through the ability to problem-solve as well as to think in a very sequential, logical way. As a parent, you can help by playing games that use numbers and logical ability.

Physical Intelligence

Children with physical intelligence may excel at dance or sports. They may also have good bodily coordination. Try encouraging this kind of intelligence by enrolling your child in dance classes or partaking in sports games with your child.

Music and Creative Intelligence

Children who are musically intelligent often do well in areas such as singing or playing a musical instrument. You can enrol your child in a class to learn an instrument or perhaps offer them singing lessons. Even putting some music on at home can be a good and simple way to foster musical intelligence.

Relational Intelligence

Relational intelligence refers to a child who relates well to others. He or she may have advanced empathy for those around them and your child might also be good at resolving conflict. In essence, a person with this kind of intelligence is a 'people person.' As a parent, you can help by enrolling your child in social clubs and activities. Since children with relational intelligence can do well as leaders, you can foster leadership by encouraging your child to make good choices and help others follow suit.

Insightful Intelligence

A child who has insightful intelligence has the ability to understand his or her own strengths, weaknesses and skills. This is a kind of reflective intelligence. You can encourage your child by suggesting that he or she writes in a daily journal. Another helpful suggestion is to encourage careful thought before your child acts or makes decisions.

Start Now

No matter whether your child is young or a teenager, resolve now to take positive steps to fostering your child's intelligence. Focus on all aspects and encourage your child while offering helpful feedback where needed. We all have our strengths but you can make a difference in your child's intelligence.

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