[***June 2010 Update: Visit Dr. Kathy Koch’s Blog on Multiple Intelligences…click here.
Check out her DVD “HOW AM I SMART? A Guide to Multiple Intelligences” (DVD/2006)–click here
See the companion article on The Education Cafe titled: How Does Your Child Think?***]
Dr. Kathy Koch, president of Celebrate Kids, Inc., does an outstanding and oft-times humorous job of teaching the importance of instilling hope in children. She is a motivational speaker who speaks not only to educators and parents, but also to students both in the U.S. and internationally. The following notes were taken during the AERC conference in January 2005.
Dr. Koch says that we all have five significant needs that can be met through the answers to the following five questions:
She emphasizes our trust in God, and that kids’ security can secondly be met through trustworthy people and themselves. If our security is in the fact that we are an ‘A’ student, and then we don’t get an ‘A’ at some point, we feel insecure.
Our security, our kids’ security, should be met through God, who He is, what He can do, and what He will do. We can be a trustworthy person for our kids by teaching apology, forgiveness, and Christian character, through apologizing and forgiving. They can trust themselves by becoming someone who can be right and do right when no one is looking.
Our children get their identity from us. Dr. Koch presented eight basic categories for identity: intellectual, emotional, social, physical, character qualities, career, material possessions, and spiritual.
It is critical that we talk to our children about and get them to express their emotions.
Ask questions like:
*How did you feel today?
*What’s one feeling you had today?
*How did you handle it?
Is their identity complete, currently accurate, and positive? Remember that we are human BE-ings not human DO-ings. Also, know that change is possible!
Children’s belonging should be met in Christ; therefore, we should encourage this through family devotions, Scripture reading, problem solving with Scripture, praying together over issues, and teaching our kids that we turn to God when we have a problem. Dr. Koch states that God, when He created each of our children, knew what they were supposed to become and equips them for His purposes. “Everything that drives you crazy about your kids is a gift misdirected.” Remembering this, we must help our children by showing them how to focus their gifts and talents for His purpose.
“Son, you made God look good today!” Our children fulfill their purpose by glorifying God in who they are and what they do. This is why character is so important. The three basic ways we do this is in becoming like Christ, fulfilling the great commandment, and fulfilling the great commission.
This includes knowing:
*we will glorify uniquely;
*we can glorify God through our weaknesses and inexperience;
*we can glorify God through our obedience.
Children need hope and people to serve in order to believe they have a purpose.
Finally, competence is what I do well, not what I do perfectly. According to Dr. Koch, “Perfection is the destination, competence is the journey.” Our kids will never feel competent if they compare themselves to others (or if their parents compare them to siblings). Our children need to learn the skills of decision-making and problem solving. We can teach this through thinking out loud when we are making decisions.
Kids’ competence should be met in God; therefore, we should trust that God will equip them and teach them:
- to walk rightly with Jesus,
- that God protects them from the evil one,
- and that their faith in our Great God will grow.
Henry David Thoreau once said, “Be not simply good, be good for something.” Admit to your children that you don’t know it all. Show them your mistakes. Show them how you look for answers and how you solve problems in your own journey.
Dr. Koch’s book Authentic Hope is available on her website.