Interpersonal and Intrapersonal. One little letter makes a big difference.

Posted in Child Development, parenting, Things to do

Today’s blog on getting practical with the multiple intelligences theory is all about Interpersonal Intelligence and Intrapersonal Intelligence. Now those are terms we don’t use very often, so here’s an easy way to tell them apart:

The one with the E: Interpersonal – think “internet”, which is a readily accessible, vast network.   And “personal”, so it has to do with people.

The one with the A: Intrapersonal – think “intranet”, which is a smaller, restricted access network.  And “personal”, so it has to do with people, too.

So let’s get right to your interpersonal and intrapersonal children.

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

Even at a young age, these children have the ability to understand and interact well with others. They are the social butterflies of the world, and enjoy meeting new people, often having a large circle of “close” friends. They are highly empathetic, and seem to intuitively know what people are feeling. They love to be part of a group.  They are good at conflict resolution.

These children are excellent communicators, both verbally and non-verbally. They love to play games, and are naturally drawn to helping and teaching others. They learn best by working in groups, and can be either leaders or followers. People-smart children grow up to be teachers, social workers, actors, politicians, and psychologists.

How to Encourage Your People Smart Child:

  • play dates
  • board games
  • community service (helping others)
  • work on projects (cards, cookies, etc.) to give away
  • parties and celebrations – let them help with the planning!
  • playing school
  • dress up box
  • lots of puppets, dolls, or stuffed animals for pretend play
  • act out stories together (emphasis on the together part)

Interpersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

These children are independent, self-directed, and self-motivated. They have a good understanding of who they are, what they are feeling, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. They learn from their own mistakes and successes. They have high self-esteem, and do not tend to seek the approval of their peers. They tend to have a smaller circle of friends. Self-smart children are often described as “marching to the beat of their own drum.”

Not surprisingly, they can be shy and introverted, and like to work and play on their own. They might also have a hobby that they don’t talk a lot about. Self smart children are often the ones who know what they want to be when they grow up, and they frequently become scientists, therapists, writers, lawyers, philosophers or spiritual leaders.

How to Encourage Your Self Smart Child:

  • time alone (they really enjoy alone time)
  • a cozy place to read, write or think
  • self-paced projects
  • free time and space to choose what they would like to do
  • learning how to set and reach goals (Love with a capital L!)
  • “how to” books – like Klutz books
  • a journal or diary to write in
  • books on subjects or people that interest them for “research”
  • toys and computer games that allow independent play

We’re halfway through. Are you starting to recognize yourself, your children or your spouse? Remember, you can have more than one intelligence. You’ll probably see yourself in a couple of them.

-posted by Self Smart Miss Analiisa, who laughed with her People Smart husband Karl tonight when recalling that these particular intelligences were the reason for most of their conflicts when they were first married.

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One Response to “Interpersonal and Intrapersonal. One little letter makes a big difference.”

  1. [...] His list includes: Verbal/linguistic, musical/rhythmic, logical/math, spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal/intrapersonal, and nature.  Logically, different brain configurations would equal different skill sets. Brain [...]

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