Uncover Your Child’s Strengths To Release Their Potential

Photo by Max Goncharov on Unsplash

 

This year has brought a unique set of circumstances that have taken our attention, time, and energy.

With the beginning of a new school year, we as parents have an opportunity to be intentional in our actions with our children.

Learn to use your child’s strong character traits and talents to help them become the best version of themselves.

Have you heard the term “strength-based parenting”?

According to the Gallup book “Strength-Based Parenting” by Dr. Mary ReckMeyer and Jennifer Robison, it is:

Strengths Based Parenting focuses on identifying and understanding what your children are naturally good at and where they thrive — not on their weaknesses.”

Sounds easy enough, right?

Unfortunately, more often than we realize we are discussing our children’s weaknesses with them in order to try and perfect the areas where they are lacking.

We feel as parents that this is an honorable endeavor.

But over time it can make a child become defeated, and more importantly not valued for their innate, God-given talents.

LeAnne Lagasse writing for Medium discusses how she strives to use this parenting technique with her three children and has found it to be a life-changer.

She writes what strength-based parenting means for her:

It means that we need to get creative and strategic about how we can coach our kids to use their talents to manage around weaknesses.”

Want to begin a journey of watching your children fulfill their potential and build confidence like you have never seen before?

Try using these steps to direct your kids toward what they do best while allowing the things that held them back to become innocuous road bumps on the road of life.

 

  1. Observe your child to discover their talents

Lagasse advises:

Imagine yourself as a researcher, observing your child in a variety of contexts and then analyzing the data. Watch and listen for patterns. Consider taking notes or journaling about what you observe so that you can use those insights to guide your parenting methods. The more frequently you see the same pattern of thinking, feeling, or behaving, the stronger the possibility there is natural talent at work.”

Sometimes this is easy like the child who walks in a room and can command an audience and lead them in an exciting game of hide-and-seek.

This child is a born leader, yearning to be empowered as they show others a better, more productive way to do things.

Just imagine the possibilities your little confident general could achieve when they know they are not “bossy” or “controlling” but meant for great things as they march into life.

 

  1. Discuss your child’s inner-most workings with them

Going too deep with a three-year-old may just grant you a blank stare or a silly face, but asking age-appropriate questions unlocks doors you didn’t know your child had.

When your child is finger painting quietly at the table look at it as an opportunity to learn more about them.

Ask them, “What are you painting?”, “Why did you pick that color?”, or “How did you think to paint that animal?”

Maybe you have a kid that just really enjoys experimenting with colors, or maybe you have a methodical thinker on your hands that purposely placed every stroke.

For older children, asking questions about their choices and behaviors not only gives you insight into the inner-most working of their minds, but enlightens them to skills and talents they may have not known they had themselves.

This process is more time-consuming, but in the end will benefit your relationship and the future of your future world-changer.

 

  1. Fill your child in on what you have discovered about them

Unveiling the strengths within our children is a good first step towards strength-based parenting, but then you have to coach your child how to utilize them.

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A great way to begin this journey is to inform them of all the wonderful traits you see blossoming in them every day.

Positive affirmation builds our children up and reminds them that they have meaning and purpose in life, far beyond any weaknesses they think they have.

The other day I observed my son practicing his fishing cast in the front yard while watching him out the window.

I thought to myself how the positioning wasn’t the greatest because there were lots of trees around.

Just as I suspected, he got the hook caught in a branch high up in a tree. I was curious how he intended to handle the situation.

To my amazement, he did not panic or yank on the line in a state of fury, but instead calmly took a tall step ladder out of the garage (heaving it on his back), and climbed it to the branch where he meticulously untangled the hook to release it.

What I saw in this situation was not a frustrating scenario of “Why would you throw a fishing line into the trees?”, but instead a determined young man who was confronted with a problem and was able to devise a solution with a level head.

I am proud of my son’s ingenuity, creativity, and endless energy; even if I have to remind myself of that when his experiments with life go wrong.

Parenting is all about perspective and appreciation.

If we choose to view our children for all the beauty and talent they bring the family and beyond, we can appreciate their strengths while looking at any perceived shortcomings as an opportunity to overcome.

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