How can you motivate a sub par teen

How is my child's intelligence developing?

As a parent you always have phases in which you are absolutely convinced that your child's intelligence must be close to a gifted child: “He's only three years old, but he's already interested in letters!” Ten years later, the same people have doubts Parents might be concerned with whether their child is even suitable for high school: “I think you should read a book! I've brought you something exciting. ”During puberty, so many parents have the feeling that their child has completely stopped the activities of its thinking organ only to discover five years later that your child is in a position to have a great school or Lay down your training qualification. It is well known that intelligence is not necessarily reflected in school performance: But what exactly is "intelligence"?

What is intelligence

The writer Kurt Tucholsky tried to answer this question as follows: “Smart people can be stupidput. The opposite is difficult. " This “definition” by Tucholsky is certainly an attempt with a wink. But even in everyday life, there is no definite opinion when it comes to the question of what human intelligence is exactly. Some believe that those who do well in school and exams are particularly intelligent. Others find people intelligent who move wisely through life through their practical actions. Still others think it is intelligent when a person can solve difficult thinking tasks regardless of their practical use. Even from a scientific point of view, there is no consensus on the concept of intelligence.

Derived from the Latin “intelligentia” from “inter legere”, the term initially means:


choosethrough critical observation of important features orclassify a thing, a state of affairs correctly. Based on this, intelligence can probably best be described as an ability to become aware of with the help of thinkingSet new situations and challenges toocan. So intelligence is a form of mental adaptability,which helps the individual to take on new tasksand conditions of life to cope with. In this description of the phenomenon "intelligence" lies the ancient knowledge that two levels mental abilities exist: on the one hand the existing education and on the other hand the ability Absorbing knowledge and dealing with it. This differentiated concept of intelligence disappeared in the Middle Ages: knowledge and intelligence were now equated. Uneducated people, that is, people not able to read or speak Latin, were automatically people of inferior intelligence. Fortunately, people remembered the Greek philosophers again during the Enlightenment, but now tried to unravel the mystery of human intelligence in a scientific way by researching the circumference of the skull and the brain. Today's concept of intelligence is essentialmore diverse. Most people are familiar with the terms emotional and social intelligence.

The Harvard professor Howard Gardner differs even overall nine forms of intelligence:

1. Linguistic intelligence

The ability to use language accurately to express and reflect on one's own thoughts, but also the ability to understand others.

2. Musical intelligence

The ability to compose and perform music; a special feeling for intonation, rhythm and sound, but also a subtle ear for it.

3. Logical-mathematical intelligence

The ability to deal with chains of evidence, but also to recognize similarities between things through abstraction, to deal with numbers, quantities and mental operations.

4. Spatial intelligence

The ability to perceive the visible world correctly, to transform and modify perceptual results and to recreate visual experiences even in the absence of physical stimuli.

5. Physical-kinesthetic intelligence

The ability to master, control and coordinate the body and individual parts of the body.

6. Intrapersonal intelligence

The ability to control impulses, to know one's own limits and to deal wisely with one's own feelings.

7. Interpersonal intelligence

The ability to understand other people and to communicate with them empathetically.

8. Naturalistic intelligence

The ability to observe, distinguish and recognize living things, as well as the sensitivity to natural phenomena

9. Existential intelligence

Potential intelligence that allows the understanding and thinking through of fundamental questions of existence.

Gardner's research showed that everyone can fit into different areas of intelligence. But only the interaction of all these intelligences results in "humanly competent behavior". Not all of these areas of intelligence can be captured with standard tests.

What do intelligence tests measure?

"Intelligence is what intelligence tests measure", said Harvard professor Edwin G. Boring in 1923. But what exactly do these tests measure and how reliable are they? Most tests determine different aspects of intelligence, for example linguistic, mathematical, memory, logical thinking, spatial thinking, etc. The result of an intelligence test is shown in the so-called intelligence quotient (IQ). The IQ shows where the tested person stands in terms of their intellectual abilities in comparison to the general population. The average is 100 points, and only 2 percent are over 130 or under 70, as the following intelligence levels show:

From what age can you determine the IQ of your child get tested?

If you want to have your child tested, it is generally advisable not to do so too early. On the one hand, wrong judgments can lead to an all too early determination. On the other hand, intellectual protrusions can also grow together again at a later age. However, the intelligence potential of children can be recognized at an early age, from around the age of four. About fourth grade, well with nine to ten years, the IQ seems to be foreseeable to some extent. However, in the course of the following years the skills, especially in the areas of writing and language, improve. Analytical and abstract thinking also continues to mature, so that your child can still gain IQ points here.

Intelligence levels according to Terman

(IQ scale, mean = 100, standard deviation = 15)

Designation IQ limit% of the distribution

superior intelligence 128> 2.2

very good intelligence 120 to 127 6.7

good intelligence 111 to 119 16.1

medium (normal) intelligence 91 to 110 50.0

low intelligence 80 to 90 16.1

(Grenzdebil) slight lack of intelligence 65 to 79 6.7

Insanity <65 2.2

Where can you have your child tested?

Free You can usually have your child tested by one School psychologists. However, far more tests can be found in Clinicsor psychological practices instead of. These tests can then, however expensive become. Numerous different test procedures are used to test children and adolescents depending on their age and goal. If you want to test your child, make sure that you take them to a professional, e.g. B. to do with a specialized psychologist. You can tell whether it is one of these, among other things. whether a broader diagnosis is made for the evaluation of the test, which includes anamnesis, the behavior of the child and support options. Here you have to cost between 80 and 120? count per hour. Group tests are usually cheaper. This is also offered by the German section of “Mensa”. However, you can have your child take a detailed individual test at the cafeteria upon request.

Our tip: If your child has been found to be gifted and you now need information about school support, suitable leisure activities, etc., the following addresses are competent contact points:

  • German society for gifted children (www.dghk.de)
  • Mensa in Germany e.V. (www.mensa.de). "Mensa" is an international association of highly talented people
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