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

Yesterday, it was my joy to share about multiple intelligences with students in a graduate education program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.

Friday and Saturday, I’ll be teaching 1000 men and women who work with young children in church settings about multiple intelligences .

Next Wednesday, I’ll talk with soldiers transitioning from the Army to civilian life. And, guess what? I’ll be teaching them about multiple intelligences.

What is it about multiple intelligences that makes it so universally relevant?

  • “Smart” is a power word and it always will be. Every child wants to be smart. So does every teen. Every adult also wants to believe they’re smart or still smart. (We are!)
  • Learning and studying with all 8 smarts makes learning easier and more enjoyable. Everyone finds that appealing!
  • Understanding that children often misbehave through their smart strengths puts a unique and refreshing spin on why they do what they do and how to improve their behavior. For example, body smart and nature smart children don’t want outdoor playtime to end, music-smart children hum even though it bothers others, logic-smart children ask “why?” way more often than we’d like, and word-smart children always have something more they’d like to say. This understanding is a main reason the early educators at this weekend’s convention will enjoy the message.
  • Learning about multiple intelligences is always encouraging. And, who doesn’t want and need a dose of encouragement every once in awhile? One reason it’s an encouraging message for adults is it can remind us of childhood strengths and experiences that caused real joy. Looking back can help us move forward with hope. We may decide to spend some time doing what we enjoyed doing as children – painting, playing the piano, writing poetry, and going to history museums – to add zest to our lives.
  • Children, teens, and adults want to believe they were created on purpose to do good works. Multiple intelligences helps them identify what their purposes and good works might be. We can discover what volunteer opportunities will be most fulfilling and what careers will be a good fit. We can even learn to relate to people in healthier ways and that would be a very good work. (I will blog about these topics in the next several weeks, but if you’ve never read my book, it’s full of insights about these details.)

Understanding we have eight ways of being smart helps us better accept weaknesses. This is definitely one thing that happens with the soldiers. They may have suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting in the loss of one or more intelligence. Learning they have many other smarts they can learn to rely on helps them not obsess on their losses. I’ve seen their spirits rise before my eyes as I teach.

Did I include the reason(s) you find multiple intelligences worth learning about? Let me know.