Getting to know your child has many benefits, such as boosting their self-confidence and deepening the bond as family members. However, when it comes to a child’s strengths, some parents may struggle to identify them, which makes it much harder to develop them. A key factor to creating a strong parent-child relationship is acknowledging and fostering their strengths. Make sure you can help them grow by using this guide to recognize strengths in children.
When identifying a possible strength, understand that there are thousands of possibilities, so it’s important to think outside the box. Think beyond the ones that typically appear in your child’s school routines, such as academics, athletics, and art.
If your child has an aptitude for something outside of school, then it might not be receiving enough reinforcement. This can cause it to stagnate, and your child may even give up on it. So, make sure you familiarize yourself with non-typical strengths. To get an idea of what to look out for, check out this list of less common strengths like empathy, organization skills, curiosity, and more.
With this knowledge in hand, you can launch your investigation. Create a roadmap to reach potential strength areas with your child, like so:
When you ask questions, try directing them to your child. They may have a pretty good idea of what their strengths are, especially if they’re a bit older. Ask them about their current hobbies, or what they’re interested in creating. This will also give a good chance for you to bond over a shared interest, such as crafts and book reading — even obscure hobbies, like the ones on this list.
Asking the right questions will also encourage them to apply other skills to their interests. For example, if your child seems to be interested in video games, try asking them to explain game strategy and lore to you. This can improve their communication and critical thinking skills.
If you’re unsure about what to ask your child, stick to open-ended questions and let them guide the conversation. Also, you could try asking some questions to your child’s mentors, who may have valuable insights on their possible strengths.
Strengths can come from places that you’ve never even thought of before, which is why it is important to let your child explore different activities. While some children may naturally gravitate towards experimenting, others will need an extra push. Your child might not be good at something right away, but don’t be discouraged. What’s important is that they try and that you instill a growth mindset in your child. They will appreciate your support and become less discouraged by a trial and error process. By keeping up the positive attitude, they also grow more confident in themselves as they go.
Every person has different strengths, and identifying these in young children can be tricky. However, once you recognize the strengths in your children, you can help them to hone in on developing their skills and help them find success in the future. Additionally, doing so together will allow you to encourage their interests and hobbies, which helps strengthen your bond as parent and child.