Turning on and tuning into Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz or any other expert commentator will not make one a good parent. Likewise, knowing everything about child development also will not make one a good parent. What is helpful is to be aware of child developmental growth. That is, be knowledgeable about what children go through emotionally and physically at various stages and being willing to learn how to parent her or him. One of the most difficult considerations parents/caregivers must deal with are the broad stages a child goes through. The other is that no two children are alike. Many find it difficult to believe or accept that by the time a child is five or six years old nearly 75 percent of their intelligence has been determined. A child has not obtained the percentage of the information and specific knowledge a child will eventually possess in this brief period but their brain’s basic ability to process information and to manipulate, retain and organize what it receives has been established at this period of life. It is at this point it is necessary to define and explain the difference between intelligence and smart. Intelligence is one’s ability to retain and organize information into the short term and long term systems and structures of the brain. Smart is the ability to retrieve and manipulate the information a person has stored into their short and long term brain structures. In order words, the way a person utilizes stored information. Another way to put it is intelligence is input; smart is output. Intelligence and smart are similar in that both are ongoing activities enhanced by an individual’s experiences throughout life. Smart is one’s decision making skills and judgments a person makes in day to day situations. Decisions are either simple or complex. Simple decisions occur more frequently that generally become habitual. Examples would include: breakfast selections; water or a soda; black shoes or brown shoes. Complex decisions would involve judgment requiring serious thought and analysis before proceeding to act. Examples such as purchasing a less expensive automobile over a more expensive one based on one’s personal consideration of their ability to pay rather than impulse buying. Or deciding to change one’s profession on behalf of one’s skills and abilities. Complex decisions requires greater consideration, risks and experience if one is to avoid failure. Complex decision requires greater previous opportunities often to be successful. Person not given opportunities to make less complex decision are generally unable to do so in their futures or are likely to experience greater failure.
August 30, 2013