Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gardner's Eight Intelligences: Intrapersonal

This is an eight-part series covering Gardner's eight multiple intelligences and applying the theory with my children in every day life.

Intrapersonal intelligence is "self smart." This means the intrapersonal person knows his or her boundaries and understands what he or she needs to be happy. 

I know very few intrapersonal people. Most of my friends, like myself, question themselves, fear not knowing anyone, fail, and succeed. My husband knows his limits. He sets high goals for himself and meets them. If he isn't invited to play in a basketball game, he doesn't care because he's pretty short and can't jump. He doesn't put on a "I don't care show" for his basketball playing buddies. This truly doesn't bother him.

Figuring out Za's intelligence is futile, as she just turned 7 months old. She chews on objects and is learning to crawl. She's right on target; applying the eight intelligences to her is premature.

Ty asks questions continuously all day. He pauses mid-question to ask a different question concerning a different topic. He likes working alone on his cars and drawings, as many two year olds do. Intrapersonal intelligence is hard to apply to small kids. He's trying to figure out his world and naturally questions everything and everyone. Does he understand his limits? He tests his father and me. He falls down and trips, but I can't imagine that means he doesn't understand his running limits--he's figuring out how to run. This is a fun intelligence, as intrapersonal intelligent people find happiness easier than others.

The scary part, of course, is that I desire not to shape my children in the way I see them develop. We all do, to an extent, but I try not to say, "just like so and so" to my kids. If this is their intelligence, I will think it is like their father and I will be pleased. I will also think it is just like they developed, and I will be so happy for them.