My nine year old son is at math camp this week. Yep, math camp. It wasn’t exactly the destination that he was hoping for but it is turning out great all the same. A surprise to me since he struggled a little early in his school career with math and a surprise to him because he has never considered himself one of the “brainy” kids – or as he puts it “Dad, I am not a nerd!” Well son, just like your dad, you are indeed a bit of a nerd – and it is a very good thing! This article is about learning to recognize and encourage kids strengths. We’ll also discuss some common strengths that children may exhibit.
Encourage the Strengths In Your Child
Turns out, my son is just like me and he is very good with numbers. I have always been a bit of a math wiz and, of course as I got older, I found out that being good at math was a great skill to have.
It’s funny (and hugely rewarding) to see my son come into his own and realize that the A’s he gets in school are not a fluke. He really is a smart kid and I love the fact that his confidence is growing daily as he realizes his brain is powerful thing.
Be Proud Of Your Child’s Interests And Skills
You just never know where your child will excel. It might be sports, academics, music, art, writing, performing… who knows!? But the one thing I know for certain is that positive reinforcement and encouragement is a must if you want your child to develop and nurture their skills. Whatever those skills might be. And when I say THEIR skills that is exactly what I mean. Not YOUR skills!
Too often us parents try to push our interests and ideas on our kids. For instance, I was a big athlete when I was my son’s age. I played all kinds of sports and was very good. I obviously expected and hoped that my son would do the same but, as it turns out, he just has no interest at all in sports at this point in his life. It is actually funny how he couldn’t care less. He does love golf (mainly because I play) and surfing (it is the California, laid back side of him) but all the sports that his friends play he just has no desire to be a part of the game. And I am fine with that. We are both fine with that.
Encourage the strengths in your child. His interests are not about me, they are all about him. I have never pushed him toward anything. Instead, I encourage him to find what he enjoys and when he does excel at something, I jump on the bandwagon and eagerly help him pursue it. He is at the stage where he is finding his “stuff” and it is so empowering for a child to find a passion and go for it. He loves music and magic and dancing and drawing and so many other cool things. Things that are all his own.
Allow Kids To Change Interests And Find New Natural Talents
Even if they don’t work out or don’t last forever, it doesn’t matter. Children making their own choices and failing on their own terms is hugely important for growth and maturity. Let your children find their way on their own and you will marvel at how independent and intelligent they become.
So, as both of us Youngblood Men marvel at the fact that math is the interest of choice right now, we also know that it will be something new next month, next year, next summer. No matter what it turns out to be, we will embrace it and I, as a proud and helpful dad, will encourage it. It is his time to shine and grow and whatever strength he shows, I will be there for him every step of the way.
What are child’s strengths?
Children, like adults, have a diverse range of strengths that can vary from individual to individual. It’s important to recognize and celebrate each child’s unique abilities and qualities. When a child is super athletic or highly intelligent, their strengths may be more obvious. But there are all types of strengths that are less immediately visable. Here are some examples of types of strengths in kids:
- Curiosity: Children are naturally curious and eager to learn about the world around them.
- Creativity: Many children have vivid imaginations and can express themselves creatively through art, storytelling, and play.
- Resilience: Children can often bounce back from challenges and setbacks, displaying resilience in the face of difficulties.
- Friendship Skills: Building and maintaining relationships with peers is a key strength for many children.
- Empathy: Some children demonstrate a strong sense of empathy, understanding and caring about the feelings of others.
- Problem-Solving: Children may exhibit problem-solving skills as they navigate various situations and challenges.
- Independence: Developing a sense of independence is a common strength as children grow and learn to do things on their own.
- Perseverance: Some children show determination and perseverance in pursuing their goals.
- Communication: Effective communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, are important strengths for children to express themselves and understand others.
- Adaptability: Children can often adapt to new situations and changes, showing flexibility in different environments.
It’s essential to support and nurture your child’s strengths while also helping children develop in areas where they may face challenges. Each child is unique, so understanding and appreciating their individual strengths is crucial for their overall development. Encourage the strengths in your child, tell them how proud you are of them, support their interests and skills. It doesn’t matter WHAT they do – it just matters that they enjoy it, they learn from it, and they take pride in the fact that it is their unique and personal journey!
Rob Youngblood is a Single Dad, Keynote Speaker, Life and Communication Coach, Emmy Award Winning TV Host, Writer, and Storyteller. You can follow him on on Twitter.