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Strengths Based Parenting FAQs

Strengths Based Parenting FAQs

There are so many parenting books on the market. Why should parents read Strengths Based Parenting?

Gallup's extensive research on human development highlights the uniqueness of each person. And individuals, including kids, learn and develop best when they are using their natural talents and when they can pursue their passions. In Strengths Based Parenting, parents can learn about their own talents and strengths and those of their children. By using their unique combination of talents and strengths, parents -- and children -- will thrive.

How can the ideas in Strengths Based Parenting help families?

Families are the most important operating systems in the world. Naturally, parents want their kids to grow up to become productive, happy people. What better way to help them in their journey than recognizing and encouraging their individuality? While there isn't an "easy button" for parenting, when parents use their strengths every day and see their partner and kids through the lens of strengths, the entire family will be more fulfilled. Strengths Based Parenting provides examples, suggestions and ideas for parents and kids to develop their talents into strengths.

How can parents start to identify their children's strengths?

Even in very young children, observant parents can identify dominant personality traits. Using the StrengthsSpotting method described in Strengths Based Parenting, parents can watch for indicators of budding talent in younger children. Children who are 10 to 14 can take the Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer assessment, specifically designed for kids in this age range. And children who are 15 or older -- as well as adults -- can take the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment.

What is the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment?

The Clifton StrengthsFinder is a powerful online assessment that helps individuals identify, understand and maximize their strengths. All people have a unique combination of talents, knowledge and skills -- strengths -- that they use every day to do their work, achieve their goals and interact with others. This assessment is recommended for adults and children who are 15 years and older. Strengths Based Parenting includes an access code to take this assessment.

What is the Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer assessment?

Designed for children aged 10 to 14, the online Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer assessment is a fun, simple way for adolescents to discover and develop their talents through a series of questions that identifies each student's three strongest emerging talents. Strengths Based Parenting includes an access code to take this assessment.

Do you have any StrengthsSpotting tips for parents of children who are too young to take an assessment?

First, parents should learn about the 10 Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer themes: Achieving, Caring, Competing, Confidence, Dependability, Discoverer, Future Thinker, Organizer, Presence and Relating. Next, parents can watch for clues to talent in their young children and use the Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer themes to categorize their observations.

When children demonstrate these clues time and again, they're most likely using an area of talent:

  • Yearnings: Activities or environments a child is repeatedly drawn to or eager to try
  • Rapid learning: New skills or activities a child picks up quickly and easily
  • Satisfaction: Times when a child is enthusiastic and fulfilled
  • Timelessness: Times when a child becomes engrossed in something and seems to lose track of time

As parents observe their young children over time in a variety of settings, they will start to see the patterns of their children's natural inclinations and interests -- their talents.

Is this book for parents only?

No. Parents, teachers, grandparents, coaches and any adults who work with kids can benefit from the advice in Strengths Based Parenting. In fact, the book devotes Chapter Six to education and strengths-based schools. Author Mary Reckmeyer talks about how to select a school or teacher who appreciates children for who they are. And those who don't have the option to choose a strengths-based school can read about how to form partnerships with teachers and advocate for kids. This book is for anyone who spends time with and cares about the children in their lives.

Why is focusing on children's individuality and natural talents so important?

In the book, author Mary Reckmeyer tells a powerful story about her interactions with a student who was well aware of his deficits. He struggled in reading and math at school and spent lots of time and energy trying to fix his weaknesses. Once she started to ask questions about what he liked to do and what he was good at, he gained confidence and was eager to share what he did best. Soon after their friendship blossomed, so did he. His grades improved, he liked school and he made new friends. As she says in the book, "That someone simply cared, listened, accepted and appreciated something he could do -- not all the problems that overwhelmed him -- was powerful."

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