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10 Ideas to Help Kids Understand That Honesty is the Best Policy

June 12, 2012 in Interpersonal Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence

(Adapted from a piece on fulltimenanny.com. Used with permission.)

One of the greatest challenges that both parents and teachers face is helping kids to learn the value and importance of honesty. Children learn to fudge the truth at a shockingly early age, and the habit can be difficult to break if not acknowledged immediately. Here are ten ways to make sure that your little one doesn’t make dishonesty a practice.

  1. Practice What You Preach – Teaching your children not to lie is likely to be a challenge if they overhear you saying things that they know to be untrue to others. It’s important to practice what you preach, especially when it comes to impressing upon kids the importance of being honest. They can pick up habits at an alarmingly fast rate, so make sure they’re good ones.
  2. Create an Atmosphere of Acceptance – Kids often lie out of fear that the truth will cause them to be ostracized. Creating a “no-judgment” zone in your house or classroom can help kids to feel safe enough to tell you the truth, even when the truth is something that you don’t want to hear.
  3. Talk About Outright Lies Versus Those of Omission – Small children may not understand the difference between actively telling a lie and simply opting not to say all that they know. Explain that both options are dishonest, and help them understand why it’s important to be honest in the first place.
  4. Reward Honesty – When a child tells the truth, it’s important to reward or at least acknowledge that truth. For instance, lessening a punishment because she told the truth can be akin to “time off for good behavior.”
  5. Avoid Situations That Can Lead to a Lie – Instead of setting a child up to be dishonest by asking if they did something, ask them why they did it. Saying “I know that you spilled your milk, now let’s clean it up,” is much more effective than asking, “Did you spill your milk?” This accusatory tone makes kids defensive, and they may lie reflexively just to avoid getting into trouble.
  6. Be Careful With “White” Lies – Instead of telling a child that their disgusting cough syrup doesn’t taste that bad, explain that it’s unpleasant but will make them feel better. A child will know the second that they take the first dose of that medicine that it tastes horrible, and may not understand why you would lie about it when they aren’t allowed to lie about things themselves.
  7. No Name-Calling – Never call a child a “liar” or other derogatory names. This only makes them feel like you don’t trust them to ever tell the truth, and that there’s no interest in doing so if you aren’t going to believe them anyway.
  8. Leave the Past Where it Belongs – When gently confronting a child about a situation in which they’ve been untruthful, avoid the urge to bring up past incidences of dishonesty. They’ll only feel as if their past mistakes can never be forgotten, and that you don’t believe that they can ever tell the truth.
  9. Don’t Make Threats – Don’t threaten a child with vague statements like, “if I found out that you’ve been lying, you’ll be sorry!” In this situation, they’ll only feel as if they must protect their lie in order to avoid a mysterious punishment, rather than feel secure enough to admit to being dishonest and making an apology.
  10. Be Patient – Kids who have trouble with telling the truth won’t change their stripes overnight, and it will require patience and effort on your part as well as theirs. Understand that there will almost certainly be missteps along the way, but your child is still learning the intricacies of telling the truth.

Kids can be further confused when they’re reprimanded for being “brutally honest,” so it’s a good idea to explain that telling the truth is a delicate balance of not making hurtful observations about others, even if they’re true, while also not saying things that are dishonest. Talking to them about only saying positive things about another person’s appearance or habits can help to prevent embarrassing statements made by kids that are trying to learn the difference.

Many thanks to Hannah Anderson for allowing us to repost this terrific article from fulltimenanny.com!

by kidzmet

Autobiographical Cube

August 31, 2011 in Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence, Linguistic (Verbal) Intelligence, Logical/Mathematical Intelligence, Musical Intelligence, Naturistic Intelligence, Visual/Spatial Intelligence

Inspired by an activity in Multiple Intelligences in the Elementary Classroom: A Teachers Toolkit by Susan Baum, Julie Viens and Barbara Slatin.

Take a square box (or die) and put 4 of your child’s FAVORITE multiple intelligences on the sides and two of your child’s LEAST favorite MIs.

Have your child roll the “dice”. Whatever side they land on, they have to talk about one of the ways they MOST enjoy flexing that mind muscle.

Next, you roll the dice. Now talk about the way YOU most enjoy flexing that mind muscle.

Invite other family members to join the game.

Do you find similarities? Differences? Based on your child’s responses, can you think of new activities or pursuits to which you’d like to introduce them?

Have each participant roll the dice at least 10 times. At the end, each participant should have revealed at least 10 ways they feel they are SMART. Note them on a piece of paper you keep handy. If discouragement crops up at any time during the school year for your child, remind them of all the ways you randomly discovered they were smart during this exercise…and how the other participants’ “smarts” differed from theirs.

Remind him or her to not ask IF they are smart…but HOW they are smart.

Extra Credit: Make TWO autobiographical die. Roll them simultaneously. How does your child like to use these intelligences in concert? (E.g. logical & linguistic intelligence together in whodunit puzzles…creating new lyrics for music blends linguistic & musical intelligences…creating art from natural elements…etc.)

by kidzmet

Kidzmet’s Make it Your Mission Series for Kids

August 29, 2011 in Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence, Linguistic (Verbal) Intelligence, Logical/Mathematical Intelligence, Musical Intelligence, Naturistic Intelligence, Personal Mission Statement, Visual/Spatial Intelligence

I think we’ve all be inspired by movies like “Pay It Forward”, but many times don’t think that we can have that kind of large scale impact on our country or world. The reality is that when you combine passion with perseverance,  we are capable of much more than we ever dreamed.

And the same goes for our kids. Over the course of the past month on Kidzmet, we set out to offer kids a step-by-step guide to honing in on a personal mission statement and how to begin sharing that mission and infectious enthusiasm with their communities, countries and even our world.

When kids start to reveal new findings rather than report on what’s already been discovered…

When they start to self-direct learning based on their own personal passions…

When they start to realize that it’s not a *single* type of intelligence that’s needed to be successful in pretty much any career you can think of, but a *puree* of several—if not all—of the multiple intelligences used in concert with each other…

That’s when learning truly has the potential to become fun and exciting for kids.

Want to help ignite Fires in the Minds of your kids–or Light Up Your Child’s Mind? We hope this series will help you do just that.

Part 1 :: Talk about what a “mission statement” is with your child and brainstorm a personal mission statement for them.

Part 2 :: Find people who do work that’s similar to what your child said his or her mission was in the last exercise and reach out to them.

Part 3 :: Plan a date, time and place to have a gathering to talk to other “like minded people” in your community about your personal mission.

Part 4 :: At your gathering, talk with others about how you can work together to affect change in this regard.

Part 5 :: Attend a trade show or conference with some of your fellow advocates and/or a parent that is in alignment with your mission.

Part 6 :: Analyze your results. How effective was each strategy? What techniques do you want to replicate as you continue your efforts? What new techniques would you like to try?

by kidzmet

Let’s Commune About Nature

August 27, 2011 in Interpersonal Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence, Linguistic (Verbal) Intelligence, Naturistic Intelligence, Uncategorized, Visual/Spatial Intelligence

If you haven’t already discovered Wordle, this activity will give you a fun introduction to this creative tool as well as a creative way to get your Kidzmet Kids talking about all the natural phenomena that are affecting our loved ones…as well as the fabulous ones we all just experienced over the summer.

Come up with a list of all the different natural phenomena you can think of…both pleasant and more concerning and how thinking about those occurrences make you feel. Input the list of phenomena into Wordle and then choose color, font and text direction to mash them all up in a Wordle. 

When you’re done, please post your Wordle(s) in the comments below so that we can all commune ABOUT nature together.

by kidzmet

Just Dreamy

August 25, 2011 in Intrapersonal Intelligence, Linguistic (Verbal) Intelligence

No matter whether you believe that dreams can help you solve problems, give insights into what’s to come into your life, or simply are strange jumbles of emotions and images from your day…they do offer an interesting look at your unconscious and can be great fodder for analysis or creative writing.

We all dream every night…about once every 90 minutes or so. And even if you’re lucky enough to remember your dreams immediately upon waking, most times the details quickly fade and don’t get stored in an accessible memory bank.

Instead of having your child attempt to wake up enough to write down their dreams first thing in the morning or by the light of the moon, give them a voice recorder to save their recollections immediately upon waking.

It doesn’t matter whether you use an old cassette recorder (or mini-cassette recorder), a smartphone (there really ARE apps for that!), or a snazzy newfangled device like the LiveScribe Echo Smartpen…just getting kids in the habit of recording the way their brain processes information while asleep can improve their intrapersonal awareness. Plus, there’s no more fun breakfast conversation than the crazy dreams each family member had the night before.

When you tuck your kids in at night (with a recorder on the bedside table or next to their bed on the floor), before you turn out the light talk to them about things they might want to record when they wake up:

  • key points of the plot
  • any dialogue from the dream
  • who was in it?
  • any moods/feelings
  • where did it take place?
  • did anything stand out as strange?
If they’re particularly interested in this exercise, try having the alarm in their room go off 7.5 hours after they fall asleep this weekend and see if it triggers a more vivid recollection.
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