How can you help a child who believes he’s not smart be convinced otherwise? I think one of my favorite ways of doing that is to educate the child about 8 forms of intelligence that Howard Gardener came up with. It was first 7 and then he added the 8th.
Take the multiple intelligence test from one of the books, or take it online; have everyone in the family do it so that you can see that some people are naturally good at writing or reading and some are great at music; some at the visual arts. It’s important, because most kids come to this conclusion that they’re not smart, because in school typically the two that are focused on are verbal-linguistic and logic-mathematic.
And if you happen to be gifted in those, you think you’re smart. And if you happen to have another gift, then you think you’re not. So it’s important to expose your child to different forms of intelligence, help them understand that without this variety, the world would be a really dull and drab place.
And also commiserate and let them know, “I guess it’s sometimes hard to be at school and not have as easy a time with some of the things you do and not get as much time to do your music or to do your athletics or whatever it is.” Because kids do need to shine.
Make sure that he has time after school to do the activities that reflect his particular flavor of intelligence, and you’ll be better off.