Highlight: People smart

We all want to see our children flourish and utilize their God-given intelligence. So how can parents help their children develop important interpersonal skills?

Dr. Kathy Koch has identified eight intelligences that every adult and child can develop throughout their lifetime; one of which is developing people-smarts.

What does it mean to be people smart?

“People-smart people think with other people. We are brainstormers and networkers. We are the ones who know what we know when we hear ourselves say it and someone responds.”

“So this is the child that will probably not do well studying alone in his bedroom, but might actually do better in the den, living room, kitchen or patio being surrounded by some other people.”

People-smart people get energized around others.

“Even if we’re not talking to the people, people-smart people get energy intellectually, believe it or not, from the people that they’re surrounded by.”

Dr. Kathy says that this intelligence is extremely important because we need to learn to live in a community, instead of living a self-focused world. She addresses the issue of isolation in the midst of advancing technology.

“We have an isolation factor going on with texting, social media and gaming and eyes looking down, etc., so we tend to maybe go to Siri on the phone rather than to dad, which is really a tragedy.”

Children, especially, need to learn how to develop this intelligence to increase their comfort level in social settings.

“This is how kids know who is safe and who is for them and who is against them. This is how your pre-teen can go into a summer camp or a youth group; walk into a room and figure out where to sit and where she may feel more welcomed. This is how a 4th grader who goes into Vacation Bible School next week can figure out how to walk into a situation and where to sit and be welcomed. It’s very, very important we develop this with kids.”

Dr. Kathy suggests a few helpful ideas for parents encourage people-smarts in their kids.

•  Invite their questions and provide answers.

•  Turn off the radio and have devotions or conversations in the car.

•  Brainstorm and generate truth together.

•  Show them that you value others’ opinions.

•  Watch a T.V. show or a movie with no sound.

By encouraging our children to develop their people smart intelligence, they will be well on their way to becoming all that God designed them to be.


Dr. Kathy Koch is the Founder and President of Celebrate Kids, Inc., a Christian ministry based in Fort Worth, Texas. She is an internationally celebrated speaker who has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in 30 countries through keynote messages, workshops, seminars, assemblies, and other events.

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