“Point out the strengths in your child and promote a stronger confidence in them.” Natan Gendelman, Founder, Health in Motion Rehabilitation
Often, we forget that everyone faces some type of stress in their daily lives, even children. This can come from homework, to learning to socialize with peers, to development in the classroom.
In today’s post, Thriving Learning Communities™ (TLC) explains how we can introduce character strengths to our children and encourage them to apply their strengths. We share ways you can integrate character strengths into your children’s daily lives to help them suceed.
3 Practical Ways to Introduce Character Strengths to Kids
What do all children need to live a satisfying life? Research shows us that character leads to increased wellbeing. Fourteen out of the 24 character strengths correlate significantly with life satisfaction. Children and young adults could significantly benefit from leaning into their character strengths, but if you’re a parent, you know how difficult it can be to add one more thing to your never-ending to-do list.
That’s why introducing character strengths into your child’s day-to-day life can be so meaningful. Every day, opportunities abound for kids to develop hope, fairness, kindness, social intelligence, and many other strengths that lead to fulfilling lives. Dr. Neal Mayerson claims that cultures of collaboration, confidence, mutual respect, and engagement help nurture the development of character. So, how can you integrate strengths into your child’s life?
Have the children in your life take the VIA Youth Survey
Give your students, kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, and all the beautiful children you know the language to say what’s best about them and their peers. Have a conversation about their strengths and how they show up in their lives.
Encourage Strengths When You Can
Being able to see and celebrate a person’s strengths helps us relate and communicate in ways that inspire mutual appreciation. Does your child constantly ask questions? Do they love being the class clown? Being able to see these as the strengths they are (curiosity, humor) will build empathy, connection, and a child’s self-worth!
Give Strength-Spotting Activities
For older children, have them strength-spot each other, and mix it up. For one week, ask them to strength-spot someone they don’t talk to often. The next week, ask them to strength-spot their friends. Turn it into a fun game to “catch” someone doing something good!
In Lea Waters’ article Strength-based parenting: How seeing the best in your child brings out the best in everyone, many parents and children shared what strengths-based parenting meant to them and their whole wellbeing. A kid shared “Before searching for the negatives in something, I seek out the positives. My family and I share three “what went wells” each night.”
A parent then shared “I love seeing Will’s quiet confidence when he methodically tackles problems. We make eye contact and I see his almost imperceptible nod to say, “I’ve got this,” and my nod back that says, ‘I know.’”
What is the impact of introducing character strengths to our children?
Children who know and understand character strengths build their understanding of themselves, and this can have various positive impacts.
Recognize and appreciate strengths in themselves.
For children and young adults, being able to see the positives and what’s strong in them is foundational to healthy self-esteem. Having a positive view of themselves can boost their ability to connect, form and mantain relationships, and become happier, well-adjusted adults.
Articulate which environment works best.
The ability to know what environments and activities work best for your strengths is a life-long skill to learn. If you’re high in bravery, an environment that prizes risk-avoidance or low-risk may not be the the best for you. If you’re high in creativity, that may be why a pencil-and-paper, routine environment may not be the right fit.
Children can use this knowledge in their classrooms and beyond. Knowing which position, roles, and field is going to be best for you is a skill children can take with them into their future.
Hold a Balanced Perspective of Themselves
For many children, their deficits are the things they hear most about in life. By balancing that knowledge with what’s good about them, students have the opportunity to view themselves (and their peers) as humans who have various gifts, skill levels, and strengths: all of which are necessary.
Contact Mayerson Academy for Strengths-Based Resources Delivered Online
If you’re looking for strengths-based activities for your children, we’ve got you covered. Our experienced team of educational consultants is dedicated to helping you and your children succeed. Start a conversation with us to ﬁnd out about Thriving Learning Communities’™ Hub24, our new just-in-time digital learning platform designed to meet today’s critical need for Social and Emotional Learning. Connect here or call us at 513-263-2210 to receive a free demo of Hub24.