Life skills for kids beyond IQ

July 18, 2019
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    While it is important to develop a child’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ), parents should also cultivate other life skills for kids, says Dr Khoo Kim Choo, founder and director of the Preschool for Multiple Intelligences.

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    The veteran educator adds: “A society needs individuals with different abilities and talents to function smoothly. A child who does not have a high IQ isn’t automatically a failure in life. What’s important is whether he can overcome difficult circumstances to achieve his dreams and goals.

    “Cultivating positive values such as honesty, respect and compassion also allows the child to grow up to become a self-confident and sensible adult.”

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    She admits it is worrying for an educator like herself to observe how many kids are demanding instant gratification for wants and needs.

    “Parents are more affluent now, but because they are busy at work and have less time with their child, they tend to give in to the latter’s tantrums. So, it’s not surprising that we are seeing a generation of self-centred kids.

    Therefore, it is imperative that correct values are imparted to them,” Dr Khoo says.

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    And there is only one way to achieve it: Parents must walk the talk. A child learns from the example set by his parents, so if you believe it’s important that your boy develops kindness, you have to demonstrate it first.

    You can reinforce the idea by telling him why it’s good to be kind, and affirm his behaviour when he carries out an act of kindness.

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    Finally, parents should learn to let go of unrealistic expectations. Says Dr Khoo: “IQ is not everything. There are bright people who end up on the wrong side of the law because they didn’t start out with the correct values. There are also those who were average in achievements but eventually succeeded in their own fields.”

    Here are the 5Qs and how you can nurture them in your child.

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  • Intelligence Quotient
    6 / 10 Intelligence Quotient

    IQ refers to a child’s cognitive capabilities, such as language and arithmetic, which are generally associated with academic achievement.

    What you can do Encourage your child to play strategy games like chess, which teaches him to look at problems from various angles and find different solutions to each problem. Instead of allowing him to spend Saturday afternoon watching TV or playing on the iPad, consider signing him up for music lessons, as studies have shown that music helps improve a child’s IQ.

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  • Emotional Quotient
    7 / 10 Emotional Quotient

    EQ refers to a child’s capability to identify, assess and manage his emotions and that of others. It’s only when a child learns to show respect and empathy for others that he will be able to establish meaningful relationships. Cultivating his EQ therefore allows him to use his IQ.

    What you can do Help your child discern the feelings behind his words and actions by encouraging him to talk about them. Accept and acknowledge how he is feeling: “It looks like you’re sad because your brother took your toy.” Listen, nod your head, but do not criticise him. Finally, ask him for possible ways to better deal with these negative emotions.

    (Also read: 4 ways to boost your child’s EQ)

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  • Imagination Quotient
    8 / 10 Imagination Quotient

    Best known as the other IQ, it refers to a child’s ability to think innovatively and creatively. Being creative encourages him to explore new ways of doing things and take risks. It has been cited by learning experts as a major factor that contributes to academic and future success.

    What you can do Question and challenge assumptions by asking questions such as: “If the sky were not blue, what colour do you think it would be? Why?” It helps your child develop new perspectives and enhances his imagination. Allow him to make mistakes and encourage him to try different solutions. Inspire his creative expressions through art, music and storybooks. 

    (Also read: 5 fun play ideas that your kids will love – and don’t involve the iPad)

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  • Adversity Quotient
    9 / 10 Adversity Quotient

    AQ – also referred to as the Resilience Quotient – is a child’s resilience and ability to bounce back from setbacks to achieve success.

    What you can do Instead of solving every problem for your child, ask him: “How would you like to handle this? How can I help?”. Help him develop better self-esteem by realising that he can improve situations by himself.

    (Also read: 10 ways to raise an independent child)

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  • Curiosity Quotient
    10 / 10 Curiosity Quotient

    CQ refers to a child’s curiosity, and indicates his ability to question and ponder over topics and issues. This motivates and facilitates his learning process and progress.

    What you can do Look for toys, games and books that stimulate his curiosity and interests. Get to know his activities and preferences, and encourage him to ask you questions. If you do not know the answer, suggest checking it up together.


    (Also read: 10 critical life skills every parent needs to teach their kids)

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