Strengths are the activities, relationships and ways of learning that energize people. They are the inner qualities that make us feel most alive and because of that, they are the places where we have the potential to make tour most meaningful contributions to life. Strengths are different than interests because strengths are innate and children will be drawn to them for their entire lives, whole interest may be fleeting. When strengths and interest combine, children can develop passions. Strengths can be developed at a very early age and parents can help out.
Here are some ways to develop your child’s strength
- Use play and cultivate the imagination. Play encourages cognitive enrichment and emotional growth.
- Seek out what makes your child unique. Sometimes the most unusual things signal the areas of deepest strength
- Keep a strengths journal take note of the things the child does and what causes your child to express joy and happiness?
- What are the things that keep his attention the longest?
- Are there sounds or words he reacts to more than others?
- Is your child generous? Hos does he show it?
The child knows their strengths better than anyone. In order to listen effectively, you must ask a lot of questions. Show your child you are interested in his perspective. While most parents want their children to succeed, sometimes they unintentionally burden children by evaluating everything they do. Your child needs to feel like they can experiment with many things and that failing is ok and sometimes part of the journey toward discovering what they love to do most.
Unreasonably high expectations often pressure children to perform and conform to strictly prescribed guidelines, and they deter experimentation, exploration, and innovation. Strengths are the positive feelings that children have when they perform different actions. Do not compare this child to anyone else, other siblings or friends. This will hamper his strengths instead of helping him find a lifelong interest.
Building and boosting your child’s strengths can lead them to greater optimism, resiliency and success.
If the child’s strengths are not right obvious then you, the parent, can help:
- Expose the child to a broad spectrum of experiences Give your child permission to make mistakes
- Ask questions-help your child open up to the wonders of the world by asking intriguing questions
- Have high expectations-but make them realistic
- Share your work life
- Do not limit your child to labels.
- Have a regular family time
- Have reference materials available to give your child access to the world.
- Allow your child to participate in community activities that interest them
- Lots of hugs