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Why kids should be taught to have a high Adversity Quotient (AQ) and not just good IQ

What is the one thing that any parent wishes for when they have a child? For them to be smart, confident, sharp and overcome any hurdles they may come across.

While parents invest a lot of time (and money) in securing their children’s futures and making sure they study well, there’s something which often gets overlooked-teaching them to be resilient, emotionally strong, battle through the tides or solve challenges beyond a textbook.

For a long time, it was believed that having a good IQ (Intelligence Quotient) was the only measure of success. That’s not true. To be successful, a person needs to have good attributes of IQ, SQ (Social Quotient), Emotional Quotient (EQ) and AQ (Adversity Quotient).

Of these, having a strong AQ is one of the most sought after qualities and something which you should be teaching kids from a young age. Experts say that good AQ is much more important than IQ.

There is also a viral thread circulating on social media which talks about the four parts of intelligence- IQ, SQ, AQ and EQ and why parents much expose their kids to other areas of life apart from academics.

What is AQ?

AQ refers to the Adversity Quotient and is a measure devised by a group of scientists to see how an individual reacts or behaves when faced by a challenge of adversity in life.

To raise strong, smart and emotionally resilient kids, having a strong IQ is not just important, but making sure their adversity quotient (AQ) is strong, that is crucial as well.

Coping with adversities and being resilient is an essential life skill which we need to teach kids at a young age. Having a strong AQ is important for well-being and prevent the onset of mental health problems as well. There are also claims that enhancing AQ can result in gains in productivity, capacity, performance, innovation and morale.

Why we must teach kids to have a strong AQ

AQ largely is age-irrelevant. Even though you cannot push children to challenging measures, making sure that they know how to face a tough situation, or are open to getting feedback is important.

Experts also say that it’s important to teach and make kids learn to deal with adversity so that they prepare for the future lying ahead of them. Life keeps coming at us and there is no possible way for challenges or adversities to end. Hence, a good way to do battle this is to teach them to be resilient. Emotionally strong and resilient kids also have a better grip at dealing with trauma and are less likely to suffer from deficits when they grow up.

It’s important to learn to deal with adversity because life keeps coming at you. Adversity never ends.

According to scientist Emmy Werner, who studied human behaviour, kids with a high adversity quotient possess the following characteristics:

-Are an active learner and open to solving life’s problems.

-Follow a constructive approach to solve or experience any issues.

-Do not easily give up when they suffer from a setback

-Maintain faith and a positive attitude.

Can you raise AQ?

Just as you can increase your IQ, it is absolutely possible to raise AQ as well and the early years are as good as any to make this change happen. One of the ways to make this happen is to teach your child to be self-aware, be open to feedback and recognize where they lack. This way, they can learn to improve themselves. It can be something as simple as a logistical question, a quiz or a life skill.

Parents have a big role to play too. When parents are anxious or upset, this transfers down to the child. It’s important to play a supportive role and be there for your child when they need you, have a strong emotional connect with them. Empower them to overcome challenges on their own.

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