Strengths Based Parenting is about parenting to your children’s strengths, being able to identify their strengths and helping your kids to leverage them so they can thrive in a way that comes naturally to them.
Because you are encouraging your children and focusing on the positive, Strengths Based Parenting also helps you to connect more with your children and improve your relationships with them.
Imagine the possibilities: What would happen if you focused on the positive things in your child’s life rather than the negative? What would happen if you celebrated the good grades rather than continually questioning the bad ones?
Focus on what is strong, rather than what is wrong.
By understanding a child’s natural talents and interests, you are helping them to grow and thrive in a complex world. But remember that just because someone is good at something, doesn’t mean that it necessarily a strength.
For something to truly be a strength, you have a natural tendency to excel at it, but you also need to enjoy it and feel energised by it.
Think about the things that you do that come naturally to you, the things that give you energy and where you completely lose track of time.
These are your strengths. For me, I am obsessed with planning, thinking about about all the possible outcomes and then using that information to make decisions. I thrive on this.
The same things hold true for your children. Strengths are innate talents, you are born with them. Strengths can be identified at an early age and then developed further into a more mature state.
Imagine the possibilities if your child is able to identify their strengths at an early age and harness that insight to continue to develop it as they grow up with your encouragement.
What would it mean to their future and your relationship with them?
Like most parents today, I want the best for my kids and I want to help them to have more opportunities and achieve more than I ever could.
But I also realize that my kids aren’t going to be good at everything and they also won’t necessarily be good at the same things or even interested in the same things as I am.
Nor do I have the time or the money for my kids to try everything that is available to find out what really interests them. So I need to find ways to help them narrow their focus.
By learning to spot their strengths, asking engaging and thoughtful questions, I can help my children learn to thrive and get more enjoyment out of their activities and education.
Kids, like adults, will show their strengths by getting so engrossed in their activities that they don’t want to stop it and do anything else.
They actively seek out opportunities to learn more about it. And of course, they excel at it and often are better at it than other kids their age.
Strengths-Based Parenting is about learning to be tuned into your kids, learning to identify their strengths and then encouraging these strengths.
When I was growing up, there was a lot of emphasis on being well-rounded. With Strengths-Based Parenting, the focus is no longer about raising well-rounded children, but rather supporting and encouraging them to grow and develop their strengths, to find the things that energize them and learn how to use their strengths most effectively.
I’ve found that my daughter does better with practical examples and has a natural tendency for understanding how things are put together, so rather than getting her to sit down and learn fractions by writing them out, we talk about how many pieces of pizza are left if she were to eat 2 pieces, I eat 2 and her dad has 3 out of the 8 pieces in the pie, and then we turn that into fractions, first starting with 2 out of 8 and turning that into one quarter of the pizza.
Then I’ll ask her how much of the pizza did her and I eat together. When I finish up be telling her we just did fractions, she is completely surprised!
Another example is how parents react to report cards. If your child comes home with a report card with 5 A’s, 2 B’s and a C, what is your immediate focus?
Do you highlight and recognise the fantastic effort to get the 5 A’s, or do you immediately start asking what went wrong and why he got a C?
Most parents will immediately focus on the C and try to figure out how to help their child improve in that subject, perhaps even go so far to hire a tutor.
But we are not all destined to shine in everything. By focusing and encouraging the areas that your child is naturally drawn towards and the subjects that energize them, your child will start to thrive on their own.
Sure there are subjects that all students need to know. We all need to know how to read, write and do basic math, but do we all need to be able to dissect literary works, write a novel or do advanced calculus to survive in the world today?
Absolutely not, so why not encourage the areas that your children are truly drawn towards?
Why not help your child know how to use their strengths to be their best? Rather than forcing them to focus on something that they truly don’t enjoy.
Changing your style
Do you ever feel like a broken record? Put your shoes away, get ready for school, put your pajamas on. I know I say these things over and over again to what seems like deaf ears.
Until I realized that although my daughter heard me, she was fair more interested in other things than her daily chores. She was so engrossed in bandaging up her dolls (i.e. showing her empathy and caring) that she didn’t want to stop to do some mundane task like brush her teeth.
So then I tried something different. I used her strength of wanting to help others and asked her if she could help me out by getting ready for school, or getting ready for bed and letting her know just how much of a helper she was.
By simply changing the words I used, I found she reacted much differently and made getting ready for school or bed less stressful for both of us.
Knowing your own Strengths
On the flip side, it is also helpful to understand your own strengths and know how to leverage them with your children. By being more self-aware and recognizing your own strengths, you are not only setting a good example for your kids on how to use your strengths, but you are bringing your best side to the table.
Strengths-Based Parenting isn’t just a fad or the latest buzzword, it is a change in the way that you see your children and empowering them to be their best.
By helping your child to know their strengths, you are setting them up for a life of possibilities for them to shine and thrive and be their most successful.
So, let’s start focusing on what is strong, rather than what is wrong and allow your children’s strengths to shine and them to thrive.
My goal is to help you and your children recognize, utilize and Be Your Strengths because as Walt Disney once said:
Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.
To learn more about Strengths-Based Parenting and to schedule your free Get Acquainted Call, contact me today!