What is Strengths-Based Parenting?Jul 08, 2021
FIXATING ON FAULTS
Have you noticed that it is human nature to see faults first? We will often see a negative aspect rather than seeing the bigger, usually more positive, picture. For example, when faced with something like a beautiful vase, you’re sure to first spot the cracks and scratches on the glaze.
The same principle applies to parenting. If you are not mindful, all you’re going to see are your child’s faults.
What’s even more disheartening is how our fixation on faults affects our children at home and school. In every culture we have studied, the overwhelming majority of parents (77%) think that a student’s lowest grades deserve
the most time and attention. Parents and teachers often ignore excellence instead of investing more time in the areas where a child has the most potential for greatness.
But there is a better way. If you want your child to shine, to have confidence and courage, it’s time to shift our focus.
SHIFT YOUR FOCUS
There is a dangerous myth that a person can become anything we wanted, regardless of innate strengths and abilities. Actually, we are all gifted in something, and that is where we find our most fulfilling life and prosperous life. It’s clear from Gallup’s research that each person has greater potential for success in specific areas, and the key to human development is building on who you already are.
If we focus primarily on people’s weaknesses, they lose confidence.” At a fundamental level, it is hard for us to build self-confidence when we are focused on our weaknesses instead of our strengths.
Even the GOAT, Michael Jordan, who was so gifted on a basketball court that he was called “Black Jesus,” could not become the “Black Jesus” of baseball, no matter how hard he tried.
It’s time we stopped focusing on correcting weaknesses and started recognizing and developing our strengths. In schools and workplaces, we’re constantly encouraged to seek out and fix our weaknesses to improve our productivity. But why? After all, it’s uncovering and using your strengths that will really get us on the road to success.
WHAT IS A STRENGTH?
How do you know a strength when you see one? Here is the simplest definition:
A strength is any activity that you (or your child) can do well time and time again while also enjoying yourself, is a strength. Because of that, our strengths are the places where we can be most successful and make our most meaningful contributions to life.
WHAT IS STRENGTH-BASED PARENTING?
Strength-based parenting is about guiding children toward their strengths instead of focusing on their weaknesses.
As one top executive summarized, “If you focus on people’s weaknesses, they lose confidence.” At a fundamental level, strengths-based parenting builds self-confidence and self-esteem when we focus on our children’s strengths instead of their weaknesses.
It’s time we stopped focusing on correcting weaknesses and started recognizing and developing our strengths. If you pay attention to your child and know what to look out for, you’ll see natural talent and strengths jump out at you!
NEXT WEEK: HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR CHILD’S STRENGTHS
References and Further Reading
Rath, Tom. StrengthsFinder 2.0 . Gallup Press. Kindle Edition.
Rath, Tom; Conchie, Barry. Strengths-Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow. Gallup Press. Kindle Edition.
Waters, Lea. The Strength Switch: How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish
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