Peer pressure when it comes to our kids

One of the biggest fears parents are faced with is how their child will measure up against all the other children. In other words are they faced with a genius or a cognitively challenged child. Psychologists in the past century have struggled to define exactly what intelligence is, yet they have found ways to test it and categorize people. One definition is: “the capacity to learn and use the skills that are required for successful adaptation to the demands of one’s culture and environment.” This implies that what is considered intelligent in one culture may not necessarily be so in another and this is why many psychologists have reservations about translating intelligence tests.

There are all types of tests that start with children under 6 months to adults. The most famous of these is the IQ (intelligence quotient test) or the Stanford-Binet. This test is widely used especially in schools. It has been criticized though that it only measures scholastic aptitude and not general intelligence. The fourth edition has however been translated and standardized in Egypt, this means that the averages of the Egyptian society have been measured and the scores are not compared with American averages. The average score is 100 and below 70 is considered delayed. Parents, however, must be very careful before accepting to label their child as delayed or a genius.

First of all this score can change if the circumstances in which the child lives change (particularly if the child is in difficult or abusive circumstances). Another possibility is that the child was nervous during the test and was not processing the information properly. Perhaps the person administering the test was not explaining questions adequately or did not create rapport (a relationship) with the child first to establish trust. There are psychologists like Gardner who have suggested other tests that presume multiple intelligence: linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic and personal, but it is still not widespread. I do suggest however that you at least take two opinions before you accept any label that will shape your child’s identity.

Photo by Peace Alberto Iteriteka:

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