Counsellor’s Diary

Are there hidden intelligence in our children??

Frequently Asked Questions & Worries of Parents. Dr R Remya helps to put your minds at rest.

My son is very smart, still assessment results remain poor at school‼
If a child is academically poor does it mean he or she is not intelligent?

No, this is absolutely not true. Most schools and culture focus most of their attention on linguistic and logical mathematical intelligence, which form the basics of academics. However, we should also give due respect to individuals who are gifted with other intelligence like the artists, architects, musicians, naturalists, designers, dancers, therapists, and others who enrich the world with their services. Unfortunately many children who have these gifts don’t receive much reinforcement at home or in school.

At what age a child’s intelligence can be assessed?

Intelligence is an umbrella term used to describe properties of mind including capacities for abstract thought, planning and problem solving, language and performance ability. Most intelligence test cannot be administered to very small children. However, the assessment of social and emotional maturity acts as a pointer to the overall development quotient. Social quotient can be assessed at even 7-8 months of age.

Should a child be graded in terms of academics alone?

Intelligence is not just standing first in class or performing well in academics. Human Intelligence has 9 phases as the picture given above depicts. It spreads around linguistic, mathematical, intra-personal, interpersonal, musical, existential, naturalistic, bodily and visual-spatial intelligence in the child.

How can parents discover the unique talents of their children? Talents do not always show because they are not given a chance to reveal themselves.

Observation of temperamental characteristics gives direction for building talents effectively. A careful observation on how the child reacts to learning opportunities...their communication through eyes, the quality of their voice, their body language, their gestures and mannerism, their smiles, their enthusiastic activities like jumping up and down, listlessness...you can learn what the child prefers and have positive feeling.

How do we improve up on the weak points of our little tots?

By magnifying the strong points in a child we can negate their weak points. By appreciating their abilities/positive behaviours/promptness/interpersonal skills etc. we can build positive feelings and self-esteem in them. This can be navigated to guide them through difficult situations. This in turn gives them courage using their talents for tackling their weaker points. Helping them to discover what they are good at promotes healthy self-esteem and is essential to their future success

What all can we do as parents?

  • Build confidence - Enjoy time with your children messing about and talking. Conversation with your child develops his self-awareness and strong relationship with you.
  • Nurture creativity - Say yes to mess! Allow freedom to play, experiment and take risk. Go for walks outside, listen to music together, go to theatre, play on the beach.....improve his life experience, cherish moments of togetherness.
  • Develop concentration - Create peaceful times for yourself and your kid. Talk gently, sing and read to them when you are in bed. Read aloud, let your child hear you read, before he starts to read himself. Make sure that he gets plenty of sleep.
  • Strengthen language - Read to your child daily for pleasure, read symbols and boards while you travel together, make up stories together, make time to converse and engage in prewriting skills that give fine motor exercises like craft works, cutting and threading together.
  • Explore communication skills - revisit his ideas and so develop self-awareness. Make him explain what he had made or drawn. Children learn to pick up language and body language skills from his listeners and thereby develop strong interaction skills. Develop confidence in sharing his ideas.
When you talk and listen to your child you discover what a marvellous time childhood is. Make your child feel valued and safe, build a bank of precious memories, and set the foundation for a very strong relationship.
However, it is important to remember that environment plays an important role in promoting behaviour. Few things are purely genetic and innate in individuals. Enrichment does have a significant role to play. Thus we can alter our children’s brain functionality by offering them more opportunities to excel at their inborn talents and skills.