As a parent, nothing makes you happier than seeing your child excel at what they do. However, to see them thrive in a particular area, you first have to help them identify their strengths, which, of course, requires you to give thought to your child’s inherent capabilities. But as is often the case, we tend to focus more on areas that need improvement and, in the process, ignore their innate strengths.
The good news is, that identifying, cultivating, and growing your child’s strengths is not as challenging as many people would think. Whether it is personal, literacy, cognitive, or creative, you can use the following tips to nurture your children’s strengths:
Like adults, children can learn a lot from their mistakes. So, instead of bashing your child when they make a mistake, show them how to make a better decision to avoid repeating the same thing. Your goal here is not to fix the issue but to help them make a more informed choice next time. At the end of the day, it is not about demanding perfection from them; rather, it is more about teaching them how to be self-sufficient individuals.
When you adopt a hands-on mindset, it becomes easy to note the areas your child is more gifted in and what you need to do to strengthen them.
Keep an open mind
There are thousands of strengths out there, and your child may be gifted in one you least expect. As such, you have to keep an open mind to identify what your child is naturally good at. For instance, they may be gifted in less commonly reinforced strengths such as empathy, an unpopular sport, cooking, etc.
By being open-minded, you can notice them and consequently nurture them for your child’s benefit.
In simpler terms, thinking outside the box allows you not only to identify your child’s strengths but also learn how you can incorporate them into their daily routine.
You can engage your child by asking questions regarding their interests, hobbies, and what they seem to incline more towards. For example, if they are avid gamers, talk about game strategies, how they can monetize their skills, game design, and so on. This can go a long way in boosting their critical thinking and other skills that can help support their passion.
While here, you can consider involving your kid’s teachers and mentors as they are better positioned to identify qualities you are less likely to notice, like teamwork and athletic ability.
Sometimes children need a bit of prompting and nudging to realize their capabilities. You can share ideas with your kid to help identify their strengths, including watching documentaries and movies together, sharing thought-provoking videos, or even taking a Myers Briggs personality test (for older kids) to identify their strengths.
Sharing ideas with your kids can be a viable way to help them realize the skills they need to focus on and reinforce as they grow.
Plan activities as a family
Planning family activities regularly can reveal what your child is more interested in, which can be a helpful way to note where their strengths lie. You can simply ask them what they prefer to do during the weekend and note how often they choose that particular activity.
If they seem to pick, say photography, every time, you can pay more attention to it to help develop their skills. This will allow you to dedicate more time and resources to one specific strength, which is sure to help reinforce it over time.
As you work on identifying and developing your child’s strengths, be sure to keep an open dialogue and let them know they can depend on you whenever faced with challenges. You will surely enjoy the journey as you mold them into strong and independent adults.