Self Knowledge is one of the key foundational steps in our curriculum. It is important to know who we are, our strengths and development areas in order to know how we would like to grow, and who we would like to become. At Citywise we believe that we all have more strengths than we think, and love it when children exclaim on our projects “I didn’t realise I had so many strengths!”
If you want to know more about how Self Knowledge could help your child, check out our blog and here you can read more about the foundations of the Citywise Curriculum.
We are about to run our second Purposeful Parents Group, at the Citywise Centre in Manchester where we discuss strength-based parenting. This involves knowing ourselves as parents, our values as a family and getting to know our children more deeply so we can help them unlock their potential and discover their passion and purpose in life.
A parenting approach called ‘Strength-Based Parenting’ can help parents identify and develop their child’s strengths. By focussing first on a child’s strengths, before focussing on their weaknesses, parents feel more positive about parenting. Children have an improved positive self-image and they find they can overcome challenges by using their strengths.
Talents and Strengths
We will probably need to help our children identify their strengths, as they may not realise they have them!
It may be helpful to know that there is a difference between your child’s talents and strengths:
- Talents are made up of skills and abilities, their ability to DO things. Children learn talents in a lot of different places, it may be in school, or a sports club or by doing a hobby.
- Strengths relate to a child’s personality, HOW they do things. With perseverance, generosity, curiosity, kindness and more.
Just like talents are learnt and skill can improve, so can their strengths. We can help our children grow their strength of kindness, perseverance, or whatever unique and wonderful strengths your children may have. And as we may have realised – every child is different! But where do our children learn to be more curious, or more kind or how to persevere?
From you, their primary educators!
We believe that parents are the primary educators of their children. Children learn about and develop character strengths from their parents or carers before learning them anywhere else. This comes with a deep sense of responsibility but that is where being a Strength-Based Parent can be so freeing. Focus on the positive strengths instead of the weaknesses.
Spotting Their Strengths
To help you spot your child’s strengths you can use these three handy tools.
- What are the things they do well? The things they learn quickly, succeed at over and over or the things they can do better than other children at their age.
- When do they feel good? They will show more enthusiasm and energy when they are using their strengths. And the more they do it the more they enjoy it!
- What do they spend the most time doing? Look for what your child chooses to do in their spare time, what are they talking about a lot, what are they engaging in the most?
Channel their Strengths
You may be all too aware of your child’s habits with technology, whether it is watching tutorial videos on Youtube or spending time on a games console. It is a challenge for them to balance their screen time. And you might be questioning, ‘What can they learn from that!?’
Looking at if from a different angle you can see that by learning new skills on youtube they are showing curiosity. This could be channelled into their desire to learn, read, or hone skills on the sports field.
When they keep playing the same level of a game over and over they are showing perseverance. This could be channelled into their ability to keep working at a tricky math problem in their homework.
By being strengths-based you identify their strength of perseverance first. Instead of focussing on their weakness to balance their work and screen time. You can tell them, “The perseverance you have in video games will help you. You don’t have to give up on a tricky math problem at school.”
“The perseverance you have in video games will help you. You don’t have to give up on a tricky math problem at school.”
You have strengths too!
Not only is it worthwhile being a strength-based parent, but it’s worth being a strength-based you! When we have enough self-knowledge to know the things we excel at, we unlock our potential and begin to discover our purpose in life.
If you are interested to find out more contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about when our Purposeful Parent Group is running, where we discuss these ideas more and equip you with Citywise’s tools to develop your children’s strengths.
Our friends at the Greater Good Science Centre explain in their blogs how to focus more on your children’s strengths:
Good luck and happy strength spotting!