Why should you want to be knowing your child’s strengths? Because our children need us to believe in them and what they can do!
Recognizing and talking about these strengths can help kids thrive. This is especially true for kids who are struggling in school. When children discover their strengths and talents it boosts their confidence, it helps them be more productive, and it provides hope and goals for the future.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF STRENGTHS
There are many different types of strengths.
The 6 main strength categories are (though other people will break them down even further into other categories):
- Personal – positive personality traits like kindness, curiosity, creativity, resiliency, thoughtfulness, and empathy. They usually come naturally.
- Social – all about how your child interacts with others. Are they good listeners? Are they a good friend, etc?
- Language – strong vocab and can communicate with clarity and strength
- Literacy – reading and writing skills, advanced imaginations, strong memories.
- Math/Logic – can solve puzzles and word problems, can count, sort, and organize, can do math in their heads, and enjoy disassembling and reassembling objects.
- Other and Talents – is creative or artistic, excels at a sport, loves to volunteer
Some strengths come naturally, while others take effort and practice to improve.
There is another strength that I don’t think appears often enough on these lists and that is the one of intrapersonal intelligence. That truly is just a fancy way of saying you are good at being aware of their own emotional states, feelings, and motivations. Some children from an early age have this strength….and as parents this is a wonderful thing!
STRENGTHS FINDERS TEST
Gallup has a great strengths test for adults, and I have a friend who uses this tool to help adults find theirs. I am so excited that there is now one for children! Having one for children will help us parents and educators. There is now a StrengthsExplorer for kids aged 10-14 and I am super excited about the potential of this test to help kids to discover and develop their talents.
MY CHILD’S STRENGTHS ARE
But maybe you have a younger child and you would like something easy you can go through to try and highlight what their strengths are. Here is a great checklist to go through to try and work out your child’s strengths.
I like this list as it also covers such things as cultural strengths, dexterity strengths, and high tech strengths. It takes it beyond the usual 6 categories.
Here is one of the sections.
___ Does well in science class
___ Can estimate things easily
___ Enjoys working with numbers and/or statistics
___ Is good at solving math problems
___ Has a chemistry set or other science kit that he/she works with at home
___ Has an interest in astronomy, chemistry, physics, or biology
___ Enjoys logical or number games or puzzles like Rubik’s cube or Sudoku
___ Can easily calculate numbers in his/her head
(taken from Institute4Learning.com)
You can just go through the list of over 160 items (covering all the sections) and check off what you see in your child. It is well worth the time and effort.
I hope that finding and knowing your child’s strengths will be such a great parenting tool for you. I know that it has helped me greatly.