“I CAN is 100 times more important than IQ”
Book Smarts Aren’t the Only Way to Measure Intelligence
One of the major flaws in our public education system today (at least in my humble opinion) is the focus on standardized test scores. A child’s level of intelligence is NOT determined by how well or how poorly they score on a test. This form of traditional testing only reflects one form of intelligence. If you don’t make the grade on these tests, you will very likely be labeled as possessing only substandard intelligence compared to the rest of the world.
We all know what these kinds of labels can do to a young child (or adult for that matter) and how destructive they can be to self-esteem. A person who does poorly in school may be a complete genius in building things with their hands. A person who failed every class through school might just have an emotional intelligence that is off the charts and is able to connect with and help other people in a very powerful way.
I’m not saying that there is no place for standardized tests, and I understand the school system’s need to place some measure on performance. What I am saying is there are other ways to not just measure intelligence, but to build intelligence (and self-esteem).
I’m also not saying that you have to go out and single-handedly reform the entire education system. What I am saying is that there are simple ways for you to provide these opportunities for your child to strengthen their own intelligence and self-esteem in the comfort of your own home and with very little effort on your part.
So How is I CAN More Important Than IQ?
Well, if your child happens to fit in to society’s way of measuring intelligence, they will likely do quite well throughout their school years. If they don’t fit in to that standard, they will likely struggle.
All testing aside, the most important thing to instill in a child is the deep internal belief and knowing that they CAN do anything they put their minds to.
It’s true! For example, the Wright Brothers were determined to fly…they held to that belief so firmly that they finally achieved what others thought was impossible. There are countless stories of people who were written off by society that continued to persevere because they had that deep belief of I CAN. And you know what? They did!
How Do You Teach the I CAN? The Fourth Step of Building Your Child’s Self-Esteem:
This is one of the most important steps in building self-esteem in your child. Learning by experience and seeing results first-hand is one of hte most powerful ways to teach lessons that will last a lifetime. Have you ever heard the phrase tell me, show me, let me try?
So how do you do give your kids these learning opportunities? Provide opportunities to be responsible and make decisions.
Decision making is a vital skill that is not taught in schools. Consequently, we grow up not knowing how to make decisions for ourselves and become paralyzed as adults when a decision comes up. And responsibility…we live in a society of victim mentality. No one wants to take responsibility for their actions and it is creating massive chaos in the world around us.
60 Second Parenting Tip: How to Teach Decision Making and Responsibility
There are so many ways to teach your child decision making and responsibility in every day life. Here are just a few suggestions:
Let your child pick out their own clothes – Don’t worry if they are mismatched. The world won’t stop turning if little Susie is wearing a pink sock and a yellow sock with her princess shirt, camouflage pants, and go-go boots. They are learning what they like and how to choose. Make your child responsible for picking up after themselves – In our house, every night before bed (well almost every night) we pick up the toys my boys have played with during the day. If they choose not to help pick up, they don’t get to play with their toys the next day. A very young child can be taught this skill and when they are responsible for their things, they generally take greater care of them. Have your child help you plan and cook dinner for the family – this is a great way to teach them how to cook (and it doesn’t have to be gourmet, either). Talk to them about different meals, ask them what they like and let them pick a few of their favorites to prepare for the family. Another bonus is that when your kids help you cook dinner, they are MUCH more likely to eat what they cooked. They have a sense of involvement. This can also be done from a very young age. My 2 and 4-year-olds love to help me add ingredients and open cans etc. Just make sure and use your common sense and keep teach them about hot stoves and pans and sharp knives etc. Ask them what they think – When your child comes to you with a decision they are facing, it’s so easy to put on the Experienced Parent Hat and bury them in what we think they should do. Instead of immediately swooping in with a solution, ask them what they think they should do. Prompt them along when necessary and point out different options, but resist the temptation to lay down the law. Being able to come to a conclusion on their own is a very important process that will benefit them in all aspects of life. Besides, you aren’t always going to be there with them when they have a decision to make … whether they should try smoking or drugs, whether they should agree to have sex. You want your child to be confident in their ability to make decisions long before these situations present themselves. Left or Right? – This is a fun game if you are out for a walk or out for a drive with your kids. Take turns choosing whether you will turn left or right or continue going straight. Your child will love the sense of power in choosing which direction to go and it will help show them that decisions determine where you end up in life.
These are just a few examples. I hope you are getting the feel for how easy and fun it can be to teach these important lessons to your child in your normal daily activities. I’d love to hear your insights or experiences in implementing these strategies.
Until next time…happy parenting.
There are so many ways to teach your child decision making and responsibility every day.