Joining me in this week’s show is one of my favorite comics to steal from, my buddy Devin Henderson. Devin comes from very supportive and loving parents. He doesn’t do anything supportive or special for them, but hey… that’s how it’s supposed to work, right? His parents take care of him… he takes care of his kids… and so on.
Unless, of course, he needs them to take care of his kids, then THANK GOD they live just down the road from Devin and his family!
But, he actually does try to help out his parents as often as he can. For example, he is their absolutely complimentary IT tech support. Recently, his mom couldn’t get her iPhone to work correctly. She was trying to read a book on it, but she couldn’t get the pages to advance. Now, Devin goes beyond just solving the problem for his parents, he actually teaches them how to overcome the technical problems that may come their way in the future.
“Well, Mom, they try to make these apps as close to real life as possible, so what would you do if you had problems turning the pages of an actual book?”
“Typically, I’d just blow on the pages to separate them.”
“Okay, Mom… try blowing on the phone. Try real hard. I mean REALLY hard.
That didn’t work? Then, what would you try next, if you were reading an actual book?”
“Well, I’d lick my fingers and separate the pages with the moisture.”
“Good idea, Mom… let’s go with that. Lick your fingers and swipe that phone!
Didn’t work? Try licking the phone directly. Don’t be dainty, lick it like you mean it! C’mon, get it wet, lady!”
As luck would have it, it was at that moment that her app switched to the next page. Now she thinks this is actually how you properly swipe on her phone!
You should see her play Fruit Ninja! (Just don’t ever play two-player games with her!)
Hopefully the next iPhone comes with flavor sensations.
So, with all her technological advancements, Devin bought his mom a selfie-stick.
He thought that it was pretty self-explanatory… until he saw her walking around using it as an antennae.
Next, I am joined by Dr. Kathy Koch, the founder and president of Celebrate Kids. In her book 8 Great Smarts: Discover and Nurture Your Child’s Intelligences, Kathy has listed eight distinct intelligences that, when discovered, can help spur on our kids to greater success. Now, most of the time, when we think of “school smart”, we think of Word and Logic. Kids who can read, write, speak, listen, ask and answer cohesive questions, do scientific reasoning are often considered “school smart”.
But, there are so many other ways of being “smart”!
For instance, as a comedian, I am able to visualize things at a higher – or at least different – level than most other people. This ability tends to make me a better comedian than your typical CPA. This ability to be “Picture Smart” combines with what little “Word Smartness” I might possess to allow people to see into the odd pictures I come up with in my own mind… and they tend to make people laugh.
As a parent, when we can identify our kids’ intelligences, we can help them study with the usage of all eight smarts, instead of only the two that are typically emphasized. So, if you have a child who might be struggling with their vocabulary or spelling lessons because they are not very “Word Smart”, but you discover that they excel in “Music Smart”, then you’ll find their scores soar if you put their lessons to a rhythm. Or, if they are “Body Smart”, then you can approach each spelling word with a particular step or movement that they will correspond with each letter.Likewise, if your child is having a hard time making new relationships because they are very introverted, but they are also “Nature Smart”, you can take them to a local zoo or park and introduce them to people who are interested in the same things there. Or, if your child is “Logic Smart”, you can take them to a Children’s Museum with another kid and watch the two of them bond while they blossom.
Kathy’s observations can also be applied to our kid’s Spiritual Development. Often times, how our kids perceive and how they feel about God are often determined by the way that they are smart.
“People Smart” people are typically very good at reading other peoples’ body language, facial expressions and voice tones (Kathy thinks I may fall into this category). They can be in a group of people and quickly pick up on who is happy, sad, mad, or glad. As a comedian, this “smart” is imperative in order to assess which jokes are working and which are bombing. One tricky thing about this “smart” is that while we can motivate people, we can also use it to manipulate people if we choose.
Each of the eight smarts have their pluses and minuses that go with them, so Kathy is constantly teaching kids that while they can find new ways to succeed and learn, they also need to always be self-controlled, and full of self-respect and respect for others.
On top of being helpful for parents in aiding their kids to excel, Kathy’s insights have also been helpful for adults to gain a new perspective on their own formative years. There have even been many instances of forgiveness and repairing of broken relationships once it was realized that the people influencing them as children simply weren’t aware of the different ways they were smart.
After extensively studying all this, Kathy has grown more and more in awe of God and how creative and generous He is. Think about it – He has given each of us a unique brain and He lets us use it as we please. Instead of making us puppets on a string, He trusts us. All of this flows from His abounding love for each one of us!
And then, consider that Jesus Christ is smart in all eight of these categories to the absolute max… and He taught us using all eight parts of the brain. GENIUS!
So, for anyone – adult or children – who feel “less than” (maybe they don’t fit in at school, or church, or on the athletic field, or in Sunday School), the truth is that God doesn’t make any mistakes. He created each one of us in His image for His glory. As just one example, Kathy often was reprimanded as a little girl for being a “chatty Kathy” and overly opinionated, but now she is a renown public speaker and author! We all just need to step into the identity that He has created for us with integrity. Knowing who we are and why we are who we are makes it so much easier to live with gratitude to God and glorify Him with the gifts and “smarts” He has given us.
Finally, one of Kathy’s passions is to teach parents to really know their children. She wants to help parents to raise the children they have been given, not the “ones they wish they had”. You see, brokenness occurs when God gives you an accountant and you try to make her a ballerina. Not that someone can’t be both – God has a sense of humor and bestows upon some individuals an abundance of smarts. But, after hearing story after story from parents and teachers who have used Kathy’s books to tap into the ways their children think, she is amazed, encouraged, and more and more in awe of God!