How to Recognize Strengths in Your Children

Wednesday, September 8, 2021
How to Recognize Strengths in Your Children

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.


Familiarize Yourself with Possible Strengths

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.


Create a Roadmap

With this knowledge in hand, you can launch your investigation. Create a roadmap to reach potential strength areas with your child, like so:

  • Natural attractions — What are activities that your child seems to gravitate towards without much encouragement? What do they seem eager to engage with?
  • Natural skills — What topics, activities, or skills do they seem to pick up with ease? What are things that they seem to enjoy learning more about?
  • Sources of enthusiasm — Take note of what incites joy from your child. Recall moments when they seemed to have boundless enthusiasm for the activity they were doing. What are things that your child always seems excited to do?
  • Limitless attention — While there may be many activities that they focus on, which ones seem to command their attention? Are there games or topics that are so engrossing that they seem to lose track of time?


Ask Questions

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.


Let Them Explore

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.


Key Takeaway

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.


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