Elementary School, Great for All Ages, High School, Middle School, Parent Tips, The Happy Student Podcast

#99 Bob Sternberg on Wisdom, Intelligence, Creativity, and Success

Psychologist Bob Sternberg joins Fireborn to talk about how there is more to succeeding and thriving than testing well. He says “You don’t have to be the best student in your class to have something to contribute to the world.” That’s an excellent message to get across to kids because in school you are so often assessed based on grades that it may be hard to remember that you have value even if you aren’t the best in your class. In this episode, we talk about how to help your child really take that message to heart.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

What skills are tests missing?

Creativity

  • People need to aware and adept to the ambiance of the rapidly changing world in order to succeed. This applies both for businesses and in social aspects of life.
  • Schools don’t reward creativity, but actively penalize it. School want things done a certain way. For example, if the student does not solve a mathematical problem the way they were taught, but wrote the correct answer, they would still lose points for not following the way they were taught to solve the problem.

What can parents do?

  • The best thing to do is model creativity and not be dogmatic about it. Look for opportunities to demonstrate your own creativity to your kids. Be flexible in your own life.
  • Encourage your child to look at problems in alternative ways and take sensible risks.
  • Help your child realize that when you do things creatively you may get beaten down, but that’s ok, you have to be resilient in the face of objections or resistance.
  • Reward creativity.
  • Sometimes you have to look at things differently from how you have in the past by letting go of the things you may have once believed was true.

Common Sense or Practical Intelligence

  • This means knowing how to respond to different kinds of practical and social situations; such as handling conflict and making judgements of things that our “worth your time.”
  • Common sense or practical intelligence is weakly correlated with IQ type and academic intelligence. “Being a star student doesn’t buy you any common sense.”
  • Common sense or practical intelligence is important. Tests don’t value your ability to navigate the world, however

What can parents do?

  • Make sure your kids are talking to you about their problems and challenges with others.
  • Help them work through the problems they may have (don’t just tell them the answer) by discussing possible options with their advantages and disadvantages. This encourages social problem solving. By telling kids what to do it’s hard for them to develop common sense because then they don’t have experiential basis of what to do.
  • You should model common sense because children are more likely to do what you do, not just what you say.

Wisdom

  • Wisdom means using your knowledge and abilities for a common good. It’s taking the smarts you have and applying it to make the world a better place.

What can parents do?

  • Show that as a parent you value a common good. Show that you care about making the world a better place and you hope they will too.
  • Think about what to do to make the world a better place.
  • Have your child do prosocial things that will help whatever issues you think are important.

Find one’s passion

  • Parents can help their child find the “thing(s)” that’s right for them. This may be something parents did not have in mind. Parents can help encourage their child to find what excites them, whether or not it excites the parents. Just make sure that it doesn’t get them in trouble.
  • Parents may try to impose their value system onto their child, and that doesn’t work. It may not be what’s best for them.

What can parents do?

  • You may try a lot of things with your kids and find that most don’t work. Expose them to different kinds of experiences and interests, knowing that most won’t work.

Parents should show genuine interest and be willing to devote their time and mental resources to kids. When your kids talk, listen to them. When they need help be there for them. Don’t be intrusive and try to take over their life. Invest yourself in making the kids who they can be. This takes time and patience.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

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The Happy Student Podcast

The Happy Student Podcast #90: Taking it Slow

Fireborn’s on a mission to help people slow down! The research shows being busy isn’t actually good for your brain and it’s not good for productivity. The research also shows that self-compassion, and not stress and negative thinking, is good for overcoming challenges and perseverance. What’s good is taking your time and teaching our kids to take their time. It encourages curiosity. It gives our brains time to be thoughtful and consider different possibilities. So it helps kids to start thinking analytically. And it teaches them to be present in the moment – to be aware of their surroundings and appreciate what is going on. Really good things! Fireborn’s got 5 tips to help you help your kids slow down.

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

  • The research shows being busy isn’t actually good for your brain and it’s not good for productivity. The research also shows that self-compassion, and not stress and negative thinking, is good for overcoming challenges and perseverance.
  • So what does taking it slow mean? It means giving you and your family time to get from place to place and time to accomplish stuff without rushing.
    • Taking it slow means giving your child the opportunity to stop to pick up a stick from the sidewalk and think about it.
  • Giving your child the opportunity to consider those thoughts is a huge gift.
    • It encourages curiosity.
    • It gives their brains time to be thoughtful and consider different possibilities. So it helps them to start thinking analytically.
    • And it teaches them to be present in the moment – to be aware of their surroundings and appreciate what is going on.
  • If your kids are constantly rushing around, they miss that time for reflection, development, appreciation, and growth.

5 tips to help you help your kids slow down:

  1. Meditate together.
    1. Calm (a meditation app)
    2. Sitting Still like a Frog (a meditation book)
  2. Reduce the number of afterschool activities so that kids have time afterschool for unstructured, screen-free free time.
    1. Kids develop amazing skills when they play – curiosity, resourcefulness, and communication skills to just name a few.
    2. When kids are bored, they learn to think about how to stop being bored. It builds creativity and problem solving skills.
    3. It’s okay to do stuff after school. Balance here is just super important.
  3. Reducing the number of activities you’re racing to also gives you the opportunity to slow down the transitions and give yourself more time in between transitions.
    1. This provides kids with the opportunity to think more deeply about the world around them.
  4. Reduce the number of things you do.
    1. Your kids follow your lead. So if you are rushing around, prioritizing everything and stressing about doing everything, your kids will too. If you can be compassionate with yourself, really prioritize the things that are important and focus on just those, you’ll be showing your kids how to do it. Keep your time sacred.
    2. You are never going to “finish your work”. So yes, do some work, but also make sure you have time to do what makes you happy – those priorities. Find the time to slow down.
  5. Remind yourself that there will always be more stuff to do on your to do list, so if you don’t do what’s truly important now, you’ll be spending all your time working never getting to the good stuff. Taking things slow lets us get to the good stuff.
  • When you aren’t rushing from one activity to the next and being present in the moment, you learn to focus on what you are doing right then instead of constantly thinking about what you are doing next and preparing for that.
    • That helps kids learn to take their time doing their homework, instead of rushing through it and helps them to focus on one subject at a time. Giving kids time gives them the opportunity to do their homework well.
  • We always need a good balance.
    • It’s good to take things slow and live in the moment, but it simply isn’t practical to constantly live that way.
    • So while you are trying to slow things down, there will be challenges that make it hard – you and your kids need to take it slow, while also understanding that there is a time frame for things.
    • It’s worth trying to figure that balancing act out instead of just continuing to rush around. 
      • Talk to your kids about how it’s okay to take their time transitioning from school to homework, but in the mornings everyone’s a little slow and we have to get to school on time, so in the mornings they need to be more focused on getting out the door ready for school. 
    • Us adults also have to realize those cues for ourselves and take those times to be slow – to give ourselves the time to be slow. We have to figure it out so our kids can learn when to be fast and when they can be slow.
  • To not be thinking constantly about what to do next but instead be in the moment allows kids to focus on the task at hand. So it may feel like they are getting distracted, but it actually helps them learn to focus on one thing.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!