multiple intelligences

Which Intelligences Does Your Child Have?

As we all know, each child is unique and uniquely talented. It is our job as parents to figure out how to make them shine and thrive. Last week, I wrote about How to Determine Your Child’s Learning Style.

I had mentioned certain intelligences for certain learning styles but I wanted to go into more depth about what those intelligences look like so you can more easily see them in your child.

  1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”) – Granola/Hippy Geek

Designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations).

This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef.

It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like.

If your kids loves being outside and interacting with nature, your child may fall into this category.

  1. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”) – Band Geek

Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone.

This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners.

Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligences may share common thinking processes.

Kids with this kind of intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves. They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.

  1. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart) – Math Geek

Logical mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations.

It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns.

Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives. Kids with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games, and experiments.

They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games, and experiments.

4. Existential Intelligence – ‘Deep’ Geek

Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

If the things your kid says are so deep, they make you say “hmmmm,” your kid might fall into this category. Think Willow and Jaden Smith (Will and Jada Smith’s kids).

  1. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”) – Popular Geek

Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others.

It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives.

Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.

Kids with this kind of intelligence are leaders among their peers (considered bossy), are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.

  1. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”) – Jock Geek

Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union.

Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence. Active kids who can run for hours upon hours may fall into this category.

  1. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart) – Book/Writing Geek

Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings.

Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language.

Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers.

Kids with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories, or doing crossword puzzles. They also generally have big vocabularies and love talking!

  1. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”) – Empathy Geek

Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directioning one’s life.

Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers.

These kids may be quiet (not necessarily shy). They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

  1. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”) – Art Geek

Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions.

Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination.

Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence. Kids with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.


So tell me something…

Which kind of intelligences do you see in your children?

What did you observe that made you come to this conclusion?