Parents can often focus on the school subjects that their children find difficult, so as to help them overcome their challenges. While this isn’t a bad thing, it means that the child’s strengths can be overlooked. However, St Christopher School suggest that recognising your child’s strengths can actually help you work on their weaknesses, as well as improving their self-esteem.
To help you identify your child’s academic strengths, it’s worth asking a series of questions. However, it’s important to bear in mind that strengths aren’t necessarily just talents. There are many different types of strengths, each of which will help your child succeed at school in different ways.
Positive personality traits are vital and normally come naturally, but can be enhanced if you are a good role model to your child. To identify your child’s personal strengths, ask yourself:
- Is your child kind and helpful?
- Is your child thoughtful and creative?
- Is your child eager to learn?
- Is your child resilient?
Social strengths are also important because they determine how your child interacts with other students and people around them. Encouraging your child to help others, be honest and follow the rules will cultivate their social skills. To determine your child’s social strengths, ask yourself:
- Is your child a good listener?
- Does your child work well in a group?
- Does your child respect others?
- Is your child a good friend?
Children with language strengths are great communicators. They tend to be confident speakers and attentive listeners. They also have great vocabularies and are able to express their emotions with ease. To encourage such skills, you could suggest to your child that they join a choir or a drama club. To identify your child’s language strengths, ask yourself:
- Is your child a clear and confident speaker?
- Does your child have a good sense of humour?
- Is your child expressive?
Some children have literacy strengths, whilst others are better at maths and logic. Literacy strengths are often displayed with a vivid imagination, excellent memories and a love of reading and/or writing. Maths and logic strengths are displayed with excellent problem solving skills, good organisation and the ability to do complex sums in their head. Ask yourself:
- Does my child enjoy reading and writing?
- Is my child a good problem solver?
Once you’ve identified your child’s strengths, you can help them use these skills to work on their weaknesses. The best thing you can do as a parent, is encourage your child to pursue their passions, even if they are unusual or different from your own.