Everyone Is Unique: Understanding the link between Intelligence and Bad Grades
By Karl M. McDonald
Contrary to popular belief, a child’s Intelligent Quotient (or IQ) does not merely depend on his/her ability to grasp the lessons taught at school, memorizing and effectively assimilating information imparted.
Rather, it is evaluated based on the cognitive ability at various levels. What it means is that every child is unique. While some might be good at studies and academically oriented, others might display exceptional physical dexterity in sports or dancing and others still in music. What needs to be done is provide a framework that support and encourages the aptitude and development of that which one is good in. And for that what is needed is a correct analysis of the child’s abilities and competencies.
Everyone develops at his/her own pace and react differently to different learning tactics and methodology. Give your child the time to recognize what it is he wants and whether they are aural learners, visual learners, tactile learners or a one who prefers writing. Many parents try to channel their child’s academic path; forcibly trying to implement their wishes through their child often to the determinant and frustration of the children themselves.
Parents often complain that their children are not trying hard enough. Have you ever considered the fact that they might not be able to clearly comprehend or assimilate the facts that are being presented to them? Besides neurological disorders being primary causes, genetic traits for differing IQs have also been pointed out. Children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) can be highly resistant or aversive to any information imparted to them forcibly.
They may appear unable or reluctant to assimilate the knowledge. But that does not mean they are any less intelligent than other children in their age range. In fact, it has been found that in most cases, these children possess a higher IQ than normal children, albeit in diverse fields. They often tend to do well in tests that do not need verbal ability, like mathematics, paintings or music.
Types of Intelligence
Intelligence is strongly but mistakenly associated with scholarly and academic performance. This is a very inaccurate perception. Intelligence exists in many forms hence, why many IQ tests fall short and draw criticism. This is also the reason why a child who performs poorly in school should not be labeled as slow or intellectually challenged. Here are some of the many forms intelligence can take:
Practical and pragmatic intelligence: a person’s skill at solving day to problems and making day to day living easier and more efficient.
Interpersonal intelligence: people have exceptional interpersonal skills, finding it easy to relate to people and highly liked by people they interact with. People with this kind of intelligence are apt at both verbal and non-verbal cues and language.
Linguistic intelligence: people may display considerable mastery at languages, expressing themselves through words, understanding cues and the finer innuendos of languages.
Moreover, intelligence has its own thorny aspects: as much as many Westerner’s would shun from the idea, Bin laden and the attacks on September the 11th as well as Hitler’s holocaust were evil plots orchestrated by very intelligent people.
The Genetics of Intelligence
The notion of intelligence being genetically determined is a highly controversial and debated field. Do our genes make our intelligence?
Genetic studies and sibling DNA tests have shown that monozygotic (identical) twins have IQs which are close to each, even if they are raised in different environments than either that of dizygotic (fraternal) twins or adopted children. However, studies have not been in any way fully validated and the nature versus nurture debate is all the more relevant.
The environment in fact plays an equally, if not more, important role. Children raised in abusive environments are more likely to have a lower IQ than ones raised in a more stable one. Abusive and unstable childhood antagonize the learning process. It is clear why people from lower socio-economic strata have lower IQs and exhibit lower intelligence. In the developed world, general mental abilities, (or let us use the term intelligence for the sake of convenience and simplicity) has steadily increased as educational opportunities, health and life expectancy increases.
Finally, it needs to be said that no matter what, every child is different from everyone else in the world. Each needs specialized care to grow up. Give them time to realize what they want, on their own and remember to nurture and encourage that which they like and are good at, whether this be drawing, sewing, cooking or mathematics. A parent should never force their unfulfilled aspirations on the child. Overall, be with them to support their decisions. You would like and have liked to be appreciated for your efforts. So would your child.
Karl M. McDonald is a free lance writer specializing in the field of genetics and DNA testing. Articles by the author can be found on many blogs and info sites,. Karl M McDonald currently lives in West Sussex, UK with his wife, kids and 2 dogs.