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

How do Olympians become Olympians?

Practice, practice, practice, …

But, it starts way before that. A parent, teacher, and/or coach saw something special in these athletes.

It may have been skill. Natural. Easy. Complete. Quick to learn.

It may have been interest. Wanting to practice. Asking to swim all the time. Turning every line on pavement into a balance beam. Jumping over everything rather than calmly stepping over things or picking them up and putting them away.

It may have been attitude. Optimistic. Hopeful. Team-player.

It may have been character. Diligence. Perseverance. Respect. Patience. Teachability.

It may have been emotion. Joyful. Fulfilled. Peaceful. Exhilarated.

It was probably all five.

What about you and your children? Looking for these same five things is how you can notice natural intelligences at even a young age. If three or four are present, you’ll strengthen the smart and/or your children’s willingness to develop and use the smart when helping them develop the one or two that are missing.

This doesn’t just work for body-smart Olympians. It works for your picture-smart budding illustrator. Do you see talent and interest, but she’s too hard on herself, expecting quicker perfection? Work on that attitude.

What about your nature-smart boy who is fascinated by worms on the driveway after it rains and weeds that grow faster than the flowers you planted together? Is his skill the weakest of the five? Read to him from selected library books, explore some appropriate websites, and build up his nature-smart vocabulary with regular visits to the zoo, area gardens, and park.

You can see the same type of natural abilities in your children as parents, coaches, and/or teachers saw in the Olympians. You have to look for them. Call them out.

Look for ability, interest, attitude, character, and emotion in all eight: word, logic, picture, music, body, nature, people, and self. What do you hope to see?