[A repeat from March 18, 2018] Most individuals have varied levels of competence with different skill sets. I have reasonable eye/hand coordination which allows me to play a passable game of golf. And perform magic. I play the guitar, speak Spanish and express myself with some clarity. But don’t ask me for directions. And do not ask me about algebra. I have the mathematical I.Q. of a chipmunk (I’m sure I’m insulting some very nice chipmunks).
Howard Gardner in his classic book Frames of Mind spoke of seven basic intelligences that all people share: linguistic; musical; logical/mathematical; spatial; bodily/kinesthetic; interpersonal; and intrapersonal. While everyone has a modicum of each of these seven intelligences, some folks are more heavily endowed with one or more of these capabilities (a la Mozart, Michael Jordan or Einstein). It thus becomes important for parents to recognize – and nurture – the natural abilities of children rather than skew development with subjective expectation. “My boy will play football” “My daughter will be a lawyer.” “My child will go to [XYZ] college.” It’s one thing to encourage a natural athlete to study physics or a math whiz to take speech classes. But it is quite another to discourage a young person’s natural gifts. Or skills. In such cases, it seems that everyone loses . . . . .