Every Wednesday, I’ll post about multiple intelligences so we can better understand children and why they do what they do.

Word smart. Logic smart. Picture smart. Music smart. Body smart. Nature smart. People smart. Self smart. All adults and all children have all eight smarts.

Having a smart and using the smart are two different things.

How can we help children and teens use their smarts?

Affirm children when they do use them. Children may not even know they’re doing well because they used one of their smarts. Complimenting their specific use encourages and empowers children. It can change their identity from “I can’t do this” to “I’m music smart and I can do this!”

Compliments for some of the intelligences might sound like this. (We’ll cover others over the next two weeks in our multiple Intelligences posts.)

  • Word smart: “You enjoy using new words when telling and writing stories because you’re word smart. I’m glad because it makes your presentations and essays more interesting to read.”
  • Word smart: “Remembering vocabulary definitions is easy for you because you’re word smart and you think naturally with words. I’ve noticed you helping some of your classmates. That’s another way you’re using your word-smart abilities and I appreciate it.”
  • Logic smart: “You learned how to count by fives so quickly because you’re very logic smart and you figured out how it made sense. I’m glad you’re smart in this way.”
  • Logic smart: “You made sensible predictions when discussing our science experiment. That’s because you’re logic smart and think well with questions.”
  • Picture smart: “You wrote with vivid adjectives and active verbs because of your picture-smart strengths. I bet you could see the action in your mind as you wrote. Your words helped me visualize your story and enjoy it more. Great job!”
  • Picture smart: “I’m glad you enjoy art class so much. Your work is always well thought through and detailed because you’re picture smart. You think with your eyes.”

Look for children being smart this week and tell them! You can also ask them how they believe they’ve used their word-smart, logic-smart, and picture-smart strengths. Affirm them for those choices, too. Your compliments will positively affect much!

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