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How to develop children’s strengths

Being good at something is not a strength. Strengths are the traits and characteristics of a person that makes them good at certain things. For example, if your child is particularly arty, then the strengths that they may have are creativity to come up with all those ideas, patience to stick to it when things take a while to do, and bravery when it comes to showing off their artwork. Read on for tips on how to develop resilience in children.  

 

Strengths are so integral to our identity as individuals and as human beings. They are at the heart of what it takes to lead flourishing lives. A. Liney.

Tips for Strengths Bucket Filling

Kids who know their strengths are more likely to be resilient. They have a balanced view of who they are; both strengths and weaknesses. Your job is to help them fill their strengths bucket and help them focus on what makes them unique.

Praise children for their effort rather than achievement – “I really loved the way you persisted and kept going even when it was hard.” Avoid telling kids they are awesome or talented. Help them realise that it is their behaviour that determines success.

Cultivate a language of strengths – Identify the strengths you see in them and give them examples of when you saw them use these strengths. 

Role model – Identify your strengths and let your child know how you use them.

 

“What is missing from social emotional learning (SEL), however, is a focus on wellbeing that speaks to the positive identity of each unique child”
Zawaly & R.M. Niemiec

Get your child to strengths spot – Identify what they are good at. To do this, you and your child can do the VIA character test. You could also do it by doing an easy strengths spotting activity.  

Focus on using strengths to help keep trying or try again – When something is not going to plan, or your child is facing a challenge, ask them how they can use their strengths to solve their problem. For example, your child may have got a bad mark for maths. Which strengths could they use to get better?  Maybe perseverance to keep trying, or maybe a bit of bravery to ask the teacher to help them understand what they are doing wrong.  This helps your child develop a growth mindset which is critical to step up and keep trying.