Every Wednesday, I’ll post about multiple intelligences so we can better understand children and why they do what they do.
As I wrote about last Wednesday, all of us are born with the capacity to develop eight intelligences. Our Creator generously creates us with each, but relies on parents and others to awaken each part of the brain in children. The summer is perfect for this. The earlier they’re awakened, the better. It’s more likely that they’ll become strengths.
Creating “crystallizing experiences” to spark the birth of intelligences is a privilege. Last Wednesday, I explained four ways to do this: create new experiences, attend cultural events, go exploring, and engage in discussions.
Let’s look at four more:
Play creatively alone and with others. Largely because of digital technology, today’s children play differently than we used to. Because creative play especially awakens different intelligences, it’s important that parents, grandparents, and early educators create opportunities for children to play creatively. This can involve blank paper and crayons, dress-up clothes and other props, outdoor and indoor games, things to build with, and any number of things you think of. Play engages curiosity, discovery, and imagination. Play awakens interest and ability.
Watch less television, fewer videos, and discuss what you watch. Although there are some developmentally appropriate shows and videos, there is much that no one should view, much less impressionable children. What they do view has greater value when it’s discussed with adults. This facilitates vocabulary growth, understandings of story development, and knowledge related to the shows. Another reason for watching less television is that it frees up time for more valuable activities. Watching less TV, fewer videos, and discussing what is watched awakens interest and ability.
Read together. Reading will never get old and will always be significantly important to children’s intellectual development. It’s also one of the best ways to bond with children. Turn off electronic toys and just read and discuss a variety of books and other materials representing many topics. For instance, although reading children’s books is most valuable, reading together from the Internet when looking for information is also very appropriate. Reading awakens interest and ability.
Slow down and quiet down. Our culture has become very quick-paced and loud. But, the brain needs quiet, peace, and time to reflect deeply and personally about new understandings. This is especially essential to the awakening and development for children’s self smart. Building quiet time into each day is good for everyone in the family. Slowing down and quieting down awakens interest and ability.
Which of these awakening strategies can you use today or tomorrow? Watch for the effect it has on your children. Then, celebrate growth!
[A version of this post was first published on February 29, 2012.]