Also known as “people smart“, learners who enjoy using their interpersonal multiple intelligence lens tend to be extroverts, characterized by their sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations, and their ability to cooperate in order to work as part of a group. These kids learn information best when working with others on the subject matter. When presented with a challenge in a weaker area of multiple intelligences, encourage your child to think about activities or ways that can link these weak areas to their preferredmultiple intelligences.
Parents and extracurricular mentors that “think” like your child can help them start to approach school in general from a collaborative tact. For instance, working with a group to plant a garden, then watch as some plants flourish and others perish, to how all of the plants—though they grow at different rates—continue through the plant lifecycle similarly (putting out strong enough roots to sustain itself prior to fruiting, which takes a lot of energy) and, how all of the plants seed in different ways (like humans) so that their species can be propogated elsewhere can help them better understand botany in a context that comes naturally to kids who enjoy using an interpersonal multiple intelligence lens.
Seek out activities that allow kids who want to flex their interpersonal multiple intelligences to develop their talents in a group setting. Take a look at some of the other multiple intelligences your child exhibits to give you clues about the appropriate direction for their extracurricular planning now that you’ve narrowed the focus a bit. If they also havekinesthetic multiple intelligence preferences, perhaps team sports or dance; if they have logical-mathematical intelligence strengths, try Academic Decathlon type clubs; if they have musical multiple intelligence strengths, try a marching band or orchestra; if they have artistic talent, perhaps a larger art class in their preferred medium or set design for a local stage production.
This being said, each person has the ability to develop all eight multiple intelligences so even if your child is strong in the interpersonal multiple intelligence realm, don’t fall into the trap of focusing all of your energies in one area and excluding the other multiple intelligences. Rather, use your child’s innate strengths (most likely more than solely interpersonal!) to approach challenges they may be having in weaker areas so that you can more effectively nurture a “whole” child.
Be sure to get a feel for how your child feels about a class you’ve selected for them by tuning into their spirit before and after class. They should have incredible energy, a positive attitude, a “present” focus (living in the moment), and a high level of self-esteem when talking about the class. If the class is not a good match for them, you’ll find more than just a resistance to go…your child will be irritable, make physical complaints or be asocial. They’ll drag their feet to go and be the first one out the door after the class is finished. If the teacher will allow it, it’s a great idea to audit the class with your child prior to enrolling—and pay attention to more than just what happens in the class…be aware of how your child is feeling and acting both before and after it.
Is Your Child People Smart?
By learning more about both learning and play behaviors of your children with regard to their multiple intelligence preferences, you will be better able to teach and parent in a way that celebrates and embraces your child’spersonality type, multiple intelligences andlearning style, as well as help teachers, tutors and mentors understand how to make your unique child’s seeds of potential blossom. Take our award-winning preference profile and unlock the keys to your child’s potential now!
Descriptions of each MI type have been excerpted from Wikipedia definitions.
Recommendations for difference in approach to subjects your child finds challenging in a traditional curriculum: Gardner, et. Al.,Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice. (2006). Basic Books.
Extracurricular recommendations have been extrapolated from Thomas Armstrong’s large body of work, specifically In Their Own Way. (2000). New York: Penguin Putnam.