Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's 8 kinds of Multiple intelligences

Last month, a group of parents bloggers were invited to the seminar "8 kinds of Smart: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple intelligences" presented by Dr Thomas Armstrong, as well as have an informal discussion with him over high tea at a restaurant, Table Manners. The seminar was organised by S26 and held at the SmartKids Asia

From Left to Right: Cherieladie, Dr ArmstrongMummyEd, Kids " R" Simple, ItchyFingers, Me, SingaporeMomBlogs and Edunloaded

I am really thankful to be one of the bloggers to attend and I must say that the seminar is very informative and insightful! Dr. Armstrong explained to us how each child is born into this world as a natural genius. He described to us the twelve qualities of the natural genius in children, then he cited the neurological, developmental, and behavioral foundations of genius in kids. After that, he explained how the natural genius shuts down through influences in the home, the school, and the broader culture. Finally, he provided us with practical strategies that parents or educators can use to help reawaken a child's natural genius in the classroom or the home.

The start of the talk

Dr Armstrong closing the talk, many parents were busy taking notes on paper, phones and even cameras!

Having learnt something useful and meaningful myself, :) I would like to share with you more, in gist of what i learnt today:

Dr Armstrong shared (and i also strongly believe in) that every child is born a genius. There are twelve qualities of Genius and they are: 

- Curiosity
- Playfulness
- Imagination
- Creative
- Wonder
- Wisdom
- Inventive
- Vitality
- Sensitivity (the way a child can see and hear more than adults)
- Flexibility
- Humor
- Joy

However, the genius shuts down over time due to influences at home, school and media. For example:

- home : dysfunctional family (single parent, estranged from parents etc), disadvantaged family (no resources to stimulate the child), fast track family (forcing the child to advance too soon before he is ready, the child is stressed and does not have a good foundation) and lastly a rigid ideology family ( which caused the child to hate and fear of others)

- school: testing and grading suppressed genius, made them be afraid of failing, easy labeling of child etc 

- media: mind numbing violence in games and videos,  trivial content on the internet and television,  insipid language almost everywhere and stereotypical images. 

Though there are many factors that can influence and shut down the genius, the good news is that, Dr Armstrong shared the strategies that we can take to awaken the genius in our children! 

1) We can (re)awaken the genius in ourselves first by for example, we start to pick up reading again then expect the child to read

2) Provide the child with simple experiences that initiate one of the twelve qualities, for example, giving the child a compass as gift to kickstart his wonder, inquisitiveness and wisdom. 

3) To see genius in many colours, that is the eight different types of intelligence identified by Dr Armstrong:

* Linguistic intelligence ("word smart") 
* Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart") 
* Spatial intelligence ("picture smart") 
* Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart") 
* Musical intelligence ("music smart") 
* Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart") 
* Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart") 
* Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")

4) Lastly, we can help to provide a genial climate to allow the child to learn and develop happily without any stress. We can do this by giving the child freedom to choose and freedom from judgement, opportunities for open ended exploration, honouring the child's experience, believing in his genius and most importantly, providing him with the optimal nutrient.

Image from S26 website: https://www.wyethnutrition.com.sg/know-how/news-archive/multi-dimensional-learning

References for above image:

8. Based on AVA reference – A guide to Food Labeling and Advertisement – Oct 2013. 
9. Alves-Rodrigues A, Shao A. The science behind lutein. Toxicol Lett. 2004;150:57-83. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2003.10.031.]

During the informal discussion with Dr Armstrong over high tea at Table Manners

How can i resist?! We all took turns to take an individual photo with Dr Armstrong. I would like to thank Rise & Shine for the invitation to attend this enlightening talk. I have also learnt a lot more during the Questions and Answers time with Dr Armstrong. I particular like how he shared that many of us are quick to judge special needs children as having a disability, but these children are actually very gifted in many areas! Instead of focusing on the weakness of the child, we should observe and help the child to magnify his strengths!

Dr Armstrong and Me with sleeping genius, Kyne.

About Dr Thomas Armstrong
Dr Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D, specialises in Multiple Intelligence and is the Executive Director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development. He is an award winning author and speaker for the past 40 years, with over 900 keynotes, workshops and lectures, presented in 23 countries over the past 27 years. You can read his biography here.

To find out more on how S26 can fill the nutrients gaps to help nourish a child's (especially picky eaters') potential, visit https://www.wyethnutrition.com.sg

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored blog post by Rise & Shine. We are compensated for the time taken to attend the event however, all opinions are my own, unless otherwise stated. The event was brought to us by S26. 

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing what was learnt. :) Found it interesting and I also liked that Dr Armstrong chose to magnify on children's strengths rather than weaknesses! This post has certainly reinforced my need to be patient with my son, to allow him to learn at his own pace. Thanks again!

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