Farah is someone who I will term as “street smart”. Somehow, she knows what to do and how to play the game – whether that game was to deal with cliques in classrooms, how to get the dream job or how to make herself known to people that really matters. She makes sure that her activities would make a significant contribution to her ultimate goal. Though she doesn’t have the highest grades, she is able to adapt to any environment due to her common sense.
What is Practical Intelligence
Practical intelligence refers to the ability to know what’s required and to go ahead and do it right. When a child has practical intelligence, he/she will take their abilities and skills to apply them to everyday tasks and problems of life. He/she will also be able to jump over obstacles that may obstruct their path to success. Due to her common sense, he/she is able to adapt to any environment and do well. In school, this child is likely to compare and evaluate – whether that’s an author’s style in literature or application of psychology concepts.
How can We encourage Practical Intelligence?
Encourage Your Child to Interact with People
Part-time jobs and service projects are great starting points for your child to be involved in when they are older. They have to learn to be cooperative and interdependent with the staff beyond their job scope and deal with them. They will also pick up skills from these jobs that may benefit them in the future.
Encourage Interest in Psychology
When you child has an interest in psychology, they will naturally read up more to learn on how to interact with people. This allows them to process, internalise and practice these concepts on people in the real world to learn what works and what doesn’t. This will, in turn, improve their social skills and ultimately, emotional quotient.
Assign Responsibility to Your Child
When your child is assigned chores in at home, they will develop responsibility, adaptability and skill of doing things over time. In the end, your child will thank you that they are not helpless when they are living away from you.
Model Negotiating Skills to Your Child on how to Resolve Conflicts
When children face an issue settling a quarrel among themselves, help them find their own solution and backing off when you think they are ready. For example, if they are quarrelling over some toys, encourage them to work out a plan. You can advise them by working with timers or working together to build something. Do this once or twice. When a quarrel ensue once more, ask them to plan and work it out among themselves without your guidance.
Help Your Child Work Independently
When your child has an assignment that needs to be completed, create a systematic checklist of what needs to be done so that it can submitted on time. Get a calendar and divide the tasks so that it seems doable. Brainstorm with them on the types of ideas required but encourage him/her to work independently once you get them started.