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

Last week, I wrote about the reality that intelligences can be paralyzed and I mentioned that I’d write this week about how to strengthen each smart. This is important to do. Rarely, if ever, will a smart become a child’s natural strength simply by awakening it. Even if it’s never paralyzed, it’s wise to strategically interact in such a way that each smart is strengthened.

But, here’s my dilemma. I’d like to write about the Olympics and I forgot they’d be taking place when I committed to writing about strengthening the smarts. What if I can do both?

Yes, I think that’s possible. You know why? Because sometimes just talking about our smarts strengthens them. When parents and other adults point out how they use them and how they’re relevant in everyday life, smarts can be strengthened. This might be the motivation children need to choose to take their smarts seriously and to work to develop them. These conversations can also remind children what they have in common with their parents and that’s beneficial.

For instance, did you watch the opening ceremony? I know some people who loved it and others who didn’t. Logic-smart people watched trying to figure it out. They wondered what each segment represented and why certain things happened the way they did. Voicing these questions and opinions and even adding statements like, “I’m using my logic smart, but maybe that’s not a good idea right now. I think I’ll enjoy it more if I just watch.” will help children.

I think some who enjoyed it are probably very picture smart and body smart and they were simply intrigued by the actions, colors, and designs. For instance, they watched the towers rising and didn’t necessarily need to know how it was happening or what they represented. They simply just liked them.

What about the country’s outfits? Picture-smart people enjoyed them and might have commented on unique features, designs, and colors. Logic-smart people probably wondered why they were designed the way they were. When these various comments are verbalized and maybe even assigned to smarts, children will see everyday uses for their own.

If you were watching and listening with your music smart, I predict you enjoyed the show. I thought the music was spectacular. A friend commented on Facebook that he would like to buy the soundtrack and I immediately concurred. I think, separate from the show, I’ll still enjoy the music. But, I wonder because the actors’ actions were such an integral part of the experience. Enjoying music is often not just a music-smart task, but also a picture-smart one. Logic can be relevant, too, as can body smart if you almost feel yourself participating as the actors and dancers did.

Talking out loud about the music and your opinions about whether it enhanced the opening ceremony or not would benefit children. Again, you’re demonstrating a good use of this intelligence. Asking children to also form opinions takes it a step further. Having them use their word smart abilities to explain their opinions further strengthens the smart.

While you continue to watch coverage of the Olympics, become aware of when you’re using your smarts and why you are when you are. Then, appropriately discuss this with your children and ask them to do the same.

For example, how do you think athletes who are very self smart cope with all the people and noise? Do you think they’re more likely to choose sports that are more individualized, like shooting and marathon running, rather than the clear team sports like volleyball and basketball?

Do you think athletes who are nature smart are helped by what they see outside and even the patterns in the buildings or is it possible that they’re distracted by them? How might a nature-smart person cope with being in the pool building for long periods of time?

You get the idea. Here’s to smart viewing with your smarts!