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


Identifying Hidden Talents in Children - Part II

By Andrew Loh

Children, who hide their talents and skills, can never do it for long. They are bound to explode them if given an opportunity. Parents have an immense responsibility to unlock children's hidden potential. Here are some more useful tips to unlock hidden potential in their children.

An inclination to solve puzzles and riddles

Some children are absolutely brilliant in solving any type of puzzles, riddles, Sudoku, jigsaws and incomplete mystery stories. They are not only quick in solving them, and they are also very quick and never use a trial and error approach; in other words, they are always on the right path while solving riddles and puzzles. Most children who are adept at this task are visual and spatial thinkers and they create images of most likely results and reproduce them to create a series of answers to the tasks at hand. They are also capable of creating a series of mini-images and later join them to create a whole picture.

How to boost and nurture them - Keep feeding them puzzles, Sudoku, riddles and mystery stories so that they will sharpen their analytical and deductive skills. Take children to a real-life maze so that they enter it and find their path out. A simple magnet will help them explore the nearby surrounding while a compass and map will raise their levels of curiosity while on a trekking trail.

Leading from the front

Have you seen some children taking charge of a situation and leading others while doing a classroom task? Alternatively, some children are born leaders and they make some of the best class leaders. They can excel in drama and play while their ability to help others is unsurpassed. Such children are more likely to be natural leader who can become the best mentors to those who find problems in life. They may become the best military leaders or turn out be record breakers in any type of sport events.

How to boost and nurture them - Put them in charge while you are taking them to a trail in the local trail. Be behind them to avoid danger happening to them. Enroll them to the local Scout or Guide association. Give them charge of some home projects like cleaning or arranging things in the house. Let them find their own options and chose an activity that best fits their abilities. See help and assistance from them if you want to solve some problems; this approach gives them the necessary confidence and will power to try out new leadership approaches. Let them be in charge of situation for some time everyday; this approach helps them learn how to be responsible and dutiful. Hear their views and opinions and ask why they want you to listen to them; this will help them explain their position in a clear and lucid manner.

Busy like an ant and agile like a deer!

Some children are so active and agile that they always like to be on the go, active and energetic come what may! They always like action, thrill and excitement! They want to be in the center of action! These are the so called bodily-kinesthetic learners who learn by indulging in action, excitement and physical activity. Action and motion suits them the best while learning. These children have immense hidden talent and skill for sports, music and dancing.

How to boost and nurture them - Physical learners best learn when you give them enough opportunities for physical activities. Make sure that you reserve some time everyday to allow them to become physical and active. Rotate time to allow them to study and pay in between two sessions of studies. Let them play music while learning through movements and physical activities. Some children are very good using their hands while doing some work like painting and drawing. See that you give them enough time everyday to learn while painting and drawing.

Children are children and they behave in their own way. Parents should not become a hindrance to their growth and mental development. As mentioned before, every child will have his or her own hidden potential, intelligence and skill. A parent's essential duty is to identify that specific talent, nurture and boost it until such a time when children become the masters in their chose field of expertise.

In fact, any hidden talent that your children possess within them relates to a specific Gardner's multiple intelligence type. The basic idea of multiple intelligences can be accessed through Howard Garner's legendary book titled “Frames of Mind” and this book helps you identify your children's hidden talents, skills and intelligence. Just take your time to find it out and you will never regret it!

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Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
By Howard Gardner, Ph.D

The theory of multiple intelligences was proposed by Howard Gardner in this book as a model of intelligence that differentiates it into specific (primarily sensory) "modalities", rather than seeing it as dominated by a single general ability.

Gardner argues that there is a wide range of cognitive abilities, but that there are only very weak correlations among them. For example, the theory postulates that a child who learns to multiply easily is not necessarily more intelligent than a child who has more difficulty on this task. The child who takes more time to master multiplication may best learn to multiply through a different approach, may excel in a field outside mathematics, or may be looking at and understanding the multiplication process at a fundamentally deeper level.

Such a fundamental understanding can result in slowness and can hide a mathematical intelligence potentially higher than that of a child who quickly memorizes the multiplication table despite possessing a shallower understanding of the process of multiplication.


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