When your child is struggling to learn, people will often say to you as a parent, find their strengths and it will fix everything, but it doesn’t quite work that way, because first, you have to find them.
The number one question I get from parents around this topic is; how do I help my child to find their strengths?
To answer this question, here are 3 ways for parents
to determine what their child’s strengths are.
- Look at what your child does in their spare time. What is it that they choose to do when there are no time constraints or pre-arranged activities organised for them. It might be playing outside, cooking, adventuring, watching movies, electronic games, sport, tinkering in a garage, a crafting activity, building with Lego, fishing, caring for animals or spending time with their friends. The activities that they choose, are generally what makes them happy. Things they feel they are good at.
- Ask other people what they feel your child excels at. These people might include their class teacher, the sports teacher, music teacher, before or after school caregivers, a club leader or someone who is in regular contact with your child. Sometimes people from outside your family will see your child in a different light and can provide you with ideas and areas to investigate.
- Start encouraging your child to venture outside their comfort zone to try new things. These are activities they wouldn’t normally choose to try on their own, but with your support, your schools’ support or the family or close friends being involved, they will give it a go. It might be camping, a new sport, learning a musical instrument, hiking, giving a speech at a birthday party, writing a piece of poetry, helping out in an aged care facility… the possibilities are endless.
As a carer, it is important to make your child feel confident and supported to have a go as you gently push them to try new things.
So just to recap the three ways you can use to identify your child’s strengths;
- Watch what they like to do in their spare time.
- Ask the people around them what they think your child is good at.
- Push them outside their comfort zone to try a variety of life experiences and see what comes of it.