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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Quiz: Is Your Child an Independent Thinker?

By Dr. Elisa Medhus

1. If my child found a couple of bucks on the classroom floor, he would:

a. Dutifully play the part of class officer and turn it in to the teacher, because the thought of making someone go hungry for lack of lunch money would be too painful for him to endure.
b. Make sure no one's looking and grab it with a wicked grin on him face, while thinking about all the goodies he can buy at the Stop N Go on the way home.
c. Take the money and give it to the class leader as a suck-up ploy.

2. If my child takes up a new skill, whether it's basketball or origami, and she fails miserably for the first few attempts, she would:

a. Grin and bear it, but keep trying until she gets it right.
b. Hide in some dark room with no one around and practice until she gets it right.
c. Lose interest and find some other, easier skill.

3. When something goes wrong in his life, my child:

a. Finds someone to blame.
b. Finds a solution.
c. Blames someone, then tries to find a solution.

4. My child whines:

a. More times than she takes a breath. In other words, for everything.
b. Only when she's too pooped to pop.
c. When she wants something, like my attention.

5. My child lies:

a. Incessantly.
b. About as much as the next kid.
c. Almost never.

6. My child admits to his mistakes:

a. When he knows there's no way out.
b. When he needs help to correct it.
c. Most of the time. He is comfortable with mistakes.

7. My child is comfortable following her hunches:

a. Hunches, what hunches?!
b. Sometimes
c. Always

8. When it comes to buying the latest fashions, my child:

a. Is there with his hand out, asking me for my credit card.
b. Catches on after the trend has been around for a few weeks.
c. Couldn't care less.

9. My child is:

a. One of the popular kids.
b. One of the outcasts.
c. Not in any particular group.

10. When it comes to belonging to a group, my child:

a. Frets endlessly if she's not with the in crowd.
b. Worries just a tad about being one of the popular kids.
c. Doesn't give a hoot about what group she's in.

11. My child is honest with himself:

a. All the time.
b. Seldom
c. Never

12. Among her peers, my child is:

a. The leader.
b. The follower.
c. The stick-in-the-mud.

13. My child needs my approval:

a. Desperately.
b. Never
c. Sometimes.

14. My child is __________concerned about his looks:

a. Very
b. Not
c. Sort of

15. My child ______________ losing:

a. Doesn't mind
b. Detests
c. Sometimes wigs out about

16. When confronted with a tough task, my child:

a. Doesn't even attempt it.
b. Tries it in the privacy of her own little hiding place or room where no one can watch her mess up.
c. Tries it without blinking an eye.

17. My child is ____________ shy:

a. Sort of
b. Very
c. Not

18. My child believes in luck:

a. No way
b. Oh, yeah!
c. Sometimes

19. My child takes responsibility for her actions:

a. Sometimes
b. Only when she is painted into a corner
c. Always

20. When scolded or criticized, my child:

a. Curls up in the fetal position and sucks his thumb, whimpering.
b. Apologizes for his wrongdoing and tries to make amends.
c. Cries and begs for forgiveness.

21. My child blames _____________ for her bad grades:

a. Her teacher
b. Herself
c. Rotten luck, forces of nature, acts of God or other factors beyond her control

Add up the number of A, B, and C answers, then click here to get your score.

Read Dr. Elisa Medhus's article on "Families That Think - Creating the Proper Family Environment So Our Kids Can Think for Themselves


Dr. Elisa Medhus, mother of five and author of the provocative new book Raising Children Who Think for Themselves, has thirteen years of experience dealing with the biggest problems families face. Her new book gives parents concrete, common-sense tools for getting through to their kids, with seven effective strategies for raising independently-minded children.

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