Learning should be looked at holistically, not just one specific area

I grew up being told that if I do not do well in mathematics or science I will not succeed in life. Despite my best intentions I see that I am doing the same with my own child, forgetting that each child is special in their own way, and it is important to identify, nurture and encourage our children that they can be anything they want to be.

For example, who would write books, paint artworks and create music if we are all doctors or scientists? Each and every child has their own special gifts, talents and abilities, and it is the duty of the parent to grow and nurture them.

In the book ‘Child Development’ and ‘Psychology: The Study of Mind and Behavior’, Howard Gardner, a psychologist, identified eight different types of intelligence.

Listed below are the 8 types of intelligence according to Gardner:

1. Linguistic intelligence – people who possess this type of intelligence are very sensitive to the sounds, rhythms, and meanings of words

2. Logical-mathematical intelligence – these individuals can detect logical or numerical patterns with ease, try to use logical reasoning to solve any problem, and will probably grasp mathematical and scientific concepts quite easily

3. Visuospatial intelligence – Children who are good at remembering pictures, faces, and fine details possess visuospatial intelligence

4. Musical intelligence – Musicians, choral directors, and conductors possess the ability to perceive pitch and melody and are able to express themselves musically

5. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence – People who are able to gracefully control their bodies, such as dancers and athletes, or people who are skilled with their hands, such as carpenters, mechanics, and even surgeons, possess bodily-kinesthetic intelligence

6. Naturalist intelligence – Individuals who possess naturalist intelligence are passionate about nature

7. Interpersonal intelligence – The ability to relate well to others is the key aspect of interpersonal intelligence

8. Intrapersonal intelligence – People who possess intrapersonal intelligence understand themselves – their own feelings, strengths, weaknesses, morals, and values

As parents, it is our duty to encourage and grow our children’s interests, creativity, and abilities, recognising the gifts and individual intelligence they possess and supporting them as best we can to fulfill their inherent potential.