Creative Child

STRENGTHS BASED PARENTING: Developing Your Children’s Innate Talents

by Marikate Wilson

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The book includes access to two online strengths assessments — one for parents and one for children — to determine parents’ and children’s top themes of talent. There is also a StrengthsSpotting section of the book for younger children. Dr. Reckmeyer addresses every stage of development; readers can use this part of the book as a reference after taking the assessments or working on StrengthsSpotting.

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Within each section, Dr. Reckmeyer explains talent themes and offers valuable information and action items for parents and children. Once parents identify their children’s area of talent and their own, they can start developing them into strengths. To jumpstart this process, the book provides definitions, questions, action items, theme contrasts, and clues and snapshots of how a young child with a particular talent theme may exhibit that theme.

Related Article: How to Raise a Problem-Solver

Did you know: A 23-year longitudinal study of 1,000 children in New Zealand found that a child’s personality at age 3 shows remarkable similarity to his or her reported personality traits at age 26.

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How can YOU start to discover and understand your young child’s innate patterns of thought, feeling and behavior?

Gallup’s Tips for Strengths Spotting:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the 10 Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer themes: Achieving, Caring, Competing, Confidence, Dependability, Discoverer, Future Thinker, Organizer, Presence and Relating. StrengthsSpotting uses the Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer themes as a foundation, combined with repeated observations in a variety of settings and interactions.
  2. Watch for clues to talent, and make note when your child displays:
    1. Yearnings: What activities or environments is your child repeatedly drawn to or eager to try?
    2. Rapid learning: What new skills or activities does your child pick up quickly and easily?
    3. Satisfaction: When is your child most enthusiastic and fulfilled? Which activities is she excited about doing again and again?
    4. Timelessness: When does your child become so engrossed that she seems to lose track of time?
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  3. Collaborate with others who know and care about your child. Discuss the specific patterns you have spotted in her with them to test the accuracy of your observations.
  4. Identify the patterns you see most often. Through repeated observations over time, you can determine which ones are dominant.
  5. Create opportunities for developing your child’s talents. Guide or arrange activities that make the most of her interests and talents.
  6. Build a network of “StrengthsSpotters.” Share pictures and stories of your child doing what she does best with others who care about her and who are invested in her development — for example, your spouse, grandparents, teachers and other caregivers.

Marikate Wilson attended The University of Nevada Las Vegas and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications focusing on Journalism and Media Studies. She is a proud wife and mother of two boys who keep her busy when she is not out enjoying cycle class and being a foodie!

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