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Are you a smart kid?

intelligence; IQ; emotions; feelings; ability; talents; common sense; goal-setting; social; skills; empathy; moods; motivation;


What does being smart mean?

having a high IQI asked some kids what they meant when they said someone is smart.

  1. "Always getting the highest marks in tests"
  2. "Always knowing what to say and do"   
  3. "Being able to talk to anybody"
  4. "Really good at maths and science."
  5. "Best story writer"
  6. "Having a high I.Q."
  7. "Reads all the time"
  8. "Having lots of common sense"

What is I.Q?

Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.) is a number worked out after doing a series of tests. I.Q tests can help teachers work out how and what to teach kids.

These tests are about reading, writing, maths, problem solving, and a whole heap of other skills. After doing all these special tests then the numbers are 'crunched' to come up with an average score for a person - their general intelligence or  I.Q.

The average I.Q. range is a score between 70 and 120. Some people may be below 70 and others may be higher than 120.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Having a high I.Q. doesn't always lead to happiness and success.
Scientists and biologists who study the brain are researching how emotions can make a difference to decision making and learning. They have identified a set of traits [say trayts] which lead to the development of a person's character.

Emotional intelligence is about developing skills to form traits which lead to happy and successful lives.

There are 5 major traits according to the scientist Daniel Goleman who wrote a book about Emotional Intelligence in 1996.

Keep reading to find out what they are and how you can develop them.

Are you self-aware?

How do you feel?
If someone asks that question what do you answer? Many kids will say "Good" or "Bad".

Being self aware means that;

  1. You can put a name to the feelings you are having.
  2. Adults and friends will be able to understand your feelings better.
  3. You will be able to work out how to change any 'bad' feelings like anger, confusion or disappointment and help yourself feel better.

Our topic on Feelings and emotions may help you decide exactly how you feel.

Changing your moods

Once you have worked out what the feeling is you can work to change it.

  • What could you do if you felt too tired to finish something?
  • What if you felt angry with someone?
  • Disappointed that you didn't do well in the race?
  • Ashamed because you hadn't tried and let your team down?
  • Jealous because your friend wanted to have other friends as well?

Our topic on Feelings and emotions may have tips for you.

Are you motivated?

Do you try hard and keep on trying, or do you say, "Too hard" and give up?

  • Do you enjoy working toward something and finally getting it? Eg saving up for a new bike.
  • Are you willing to have a go at something new?
  • Do you like the feeling of setting yourself goals and working towards them?
  • Do you look for help to achieve your goals?

Our topic on Resilience may have tips for you.

Setting your goals

Whatever you want to do, setting yourself some goals is a great way to start.

  • Of course you have to be realistic. The goals have to be something that you can achieve.
  • You need to set small goals to help you on your way.
  • You need to be resilient (say ree-zil-ee-ent) which means you don't just give up if something isn't working out - you look for another way to move on to your goal.
  • But if, after working on it for a while, you decide that you need to change the goal a bit - as something else now seems more interesting or worth while, think through your ideas again and re-set your goal.

But remember that you can't change other people - you can't set a goal to make other people do something.

Our topic on Goal setting can give you lots of tips, and a chart to help you work out the steps you need to take, and what you need to do.

Are you aware of others?

Little kids think of themselves as the centre of the world but once they grow up a bit and mix with others outside the family then they realize that there are other people out there too.

We all need to learn how to interact with others.

  • We have to learn about sharing, taking turns and kindness.
  • We need to learn about being assertive and sticking up for ourselves and others.
  • We need to have empathy [say em-path-ee] with others. (That means being able to put ourselves in their place and ask ourselves, "How would I feel if..?")

Helping others

Having empathy with others helps us to look at the situation from another person's view.
If we can do that then we can;

  • help people to work out their problems
  • help people resolve their conflict
  • look for ways in which we can compromise
  • be a good friend
  • become an unselfish person
  • change the way we are interacting with others.

Do you have good social skills?

Social skills help us to be a part of the society around us. They help us to adapt to different situations, to feel comfortable in ourselves and with others.

We need to use skills like:

  • learning to be an active listener
  • learning to share and compromise
  • learning to be assertive without being angry and abusive
  • learning to read the body language of others
  • learning to use appropriate language
  • learning to respect ourselves and others.

Our topic on Social skills will tell you more about how to develop good social skills.

Being the best you can be

Let's look back at the section 'What does being smart mean?'

  1. "Always getting the highest marks in tests."
  2. "Always knowing what to say and do."
  3. "Being able to talk to anybody."
  4. "Really good at maths and science." "Best story writer."
  5. "Having a high I.Q."
  6. "Reads all the time."
  7. "Having lots of common sense."

Which of these comments are about Emotional Intelligence?

Sometimes people with high I.Q. are said to be 'book smart' because they learn easily and can get high marks in school or further education, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they will automatically have happy and successful lives.

Many people who struggled in school have gone on to have happy and successful lives as adults. They have developed their emotional intelligence to control their emotions, manage their personal lives, relate well to others and remain hopeful even when things go badly for them.  

Dr Kate says

Dr KateWhatever talents and abilities we have it is up to ourselves to develop them as far as we are able. Our topic Put your best foot forward is about doing the best you can. Getting clever is another topic which has some useful tips about getting organized and making the best use of your opportunities — like being lucky enough to be able to go to school.

If you said that numbers 2, 3 and 7 were the comments relating to emotional intelligence then you would be right.




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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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