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

Invest in the process that leads your children to the product you hope they achieve.

That was the theme of last Wednesday’s blog about parents developing their children’s music smart abilities. I loved writing that post because I was able to honor my parents.

The same philosophy can be applied to the interests and abilities of picture-smart children. Friends of mine have enrolled their children in special group art classes because their daughters enjoy art and seem to have definite abilities. Now both girls (ages 11 and 10) have created a line of products they’re selling to friends. What a great way to birth their entrepreneurial spirits!

Whether you enroll children in special opportunities or not, talk with them about the art projects they bring home and the coloring and creating they do at home. Have them explain things to you and even demonstrate processes when they can.

You can even take children’s doodling seriously. You should! I know someone who used to doodle when he was young who has turned his multi-colored, elaborate doodles into art he creates for his joy, to glorify God, and to occasionally sell.

If the process of creating and growing is ignored, the product won’t be what it could have been.

In the world of other academics like math, spelling, science, history, and foreign language, think in terms of supporting children’s curiosity about topics and daily homework and not just their tests. If you only ask if they’ve studied for tests and you only complain about their grades, progress will be limited. (This would be like attending concerts and art shows and never asking about or paying attention to practice.)

Engaging children in conversations about what they’re learning helps. When you point out how what they’re learning is related to everyday life and their future goals, you are helping them. Asking about homework, and not just glancing at it, matters. If children have been resistant to sharing, try again. Insist that they share.

Talk more about what they’re learning than how they’re doing. That’s one of the keys to awakening and strengthening intelligences. These conversations give you the right to talk about grades.

Invest in the process that leads your children to the product you hope they achieve.