Every child ventures the world at their own pace. Some may demonstrate a speed progress in talking, some may show skill in physical activities, others may find it easy to adapt with new people and etc...we, as parents should not set limitation to a child achievement from one dimension only.. typical parents, especially Malaysian parents always direct their focus to academic achievement of a child. The child is said to be intelligent if he/she manage to collect a string of A's in exam...The child is good to them if he/she gets good grades in school or college...but how many parents discover other talent in the child beside the good performance from academic perspective? How many parents reward a child if he/she shows good courtesy to the elderly people? How many parents praise a child if he/she willingly shares her /his portion of meal treat with other siblings? Whether you notice it or not, we always measure the level of intelligence from one narrow perspective, the mental. We neglect the importance of being intelligent from emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical perspectives.
Howard Gardner, a professor in psychology has identified the following distinct types of intelligence in his Multiple Intelligences Theory ("MI Theory"). The seven intelligences included:
1. Linguistic Children with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.
2. Logical-Mathematical Children with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.
3. Bodily-Kinesthetic These kids process knowledge through bodily sensations. They are often athletic, dancers or good at crafts such as sewing or woodworking.
4. Spatial- These children think in images and pictures. They may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing, building with Leggos or daydreaming.
5. Musical- Musical children are always singing or drumming to themselves. They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss. These kids are often discriminating listeners.
6. Interpersonal- Children who are leaders among their peers, who are good at communicating and who seem to understand others' feelings and motives possess interpersonal intelligence.
7. Intrapersonal -These children may be shy. They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.
MI Theory teaches parents and educators to look for signs of innate precociousness in children and then to help develop them.
As parents, it is not fair to compare your children abilities with yours or with his/her other siblings'. Each child is special. Each child is highly potential in their own way. Our job is not to decide for the life of our children but to help them to become who they are supposed to be not what we think they should be!
Every year after the PMR result is released the usual popular problem faced by my students is - confuse to select the right package of subjects for their form 4. These students almost torn between conflicts of doing the things that they like or taking the subjects that their parents prefer. It is so common to hear statement such as 'i want to be a fashion designer but my mum wants me to be a doctor' or 'i hate add math, i want to be a businessman, why should i take science package?'
Which type of parents are you? Do you decide for your child's future? or you HELP them to choose what they want to become? I would like to suggest go and look for this book 'Frames of Mind' by Howard Gardner...digest the content and believe me, you will see magics in each child of yours...let them venture their potential an achieve the highest in life - the self-actualization on their on pace..