Creative Child

STRENGTHS BASED PARENTING: Developing Your Children’s Innate Talents

by Marikate Wilson

“To develop a healthy sense of pride, confidence and identity, your child has to know what his talents are — and be able to develop them into strengths.” — Dr. Mary Reckmeyer

When it comes to parenting, do you spend most of your time pointing out what your children are doing wrong or what they’re doing right? If you’re like most time-strapped parents, chances are, you’re quicker at identifying the things your kids need to fix. But is this the best way to raise resilient, productive kids who will succeed and thrive in life?

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Gallup, the analytics and advice firm, turns its focus to the home with the publication of a revolutionary new book, STRENGTHS BASED PARENTING: Developing Your Children’s Innate Talents by Mary Reckmeyer, Ph.D. For more than 50 years, Gallup’s Donald O. Clifton based his study of strengths around the central question: “What would happen if we studied what is right with people?”

This approach led to Dr. Clifton being honored as the Father of Strengths-Based Psychology in 2002 by an American Psychological Association Presidential Commendation. The resulting assessments — Clifton StrengthsFinder and the youth version, Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer — have helped more than 14 million people discover their strengths. STRENGTHS BASED PARENTING is based on decades of Gallup research and analysis, including nearly 1 million young people who have taken the Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer.

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This new parenting book has the power to change the way parents raise their children, with its customized, encouraging and affirmative approach backed by data and proven results. With highly relatable stories and practical advice, readers will put themselves — and their children — on an individualized path to success for a lifetime.

In the book, Reckmeyer (who is also Clifton’s daughter) delivers the refreshing message that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach to raising your children. In fact, there’s only one way you can parent — the way that fits who you and your children are. By treating children as individuals, respecting their natural inclinations and interests, and recognizing that while children’s peers and culture are influential, parents can give children a strong foundation of hope and resilience for the future.Strengths Based Parenting
The first part of STRENGTHS BASED PARENTING offers a background on the strengths science and data behind the ideas in the book. The difference between most modern psychology and Dr. Clifton’s beliefs? Dr. Clifton studied what was right with people and what contributed to their success, instead of focusing on their deficits.

This is the basis for STRENGTHS BASED PARENTING: the belief that TALENT (a natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving) multiplied by INVESTMENT (time spent practicing, developing your skills and building your knowledge base) equals STRENGTH (the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance).

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Throughout the first section, Dr. Reckmeyer provides multiple examples of children whose parents encouraged their uniqueness and helped them find their paths to become highly successful adults. She even includes stories about Steven Spielberg and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Dr. Reckmeyer also shares stories from her own experience as a teacher, working with parents and students to help unlock their talents and strengths.

To uncover talents, parents need the appropriate tools, and the second half of STRENGTHS BASED PARENTING is devoted to helping parents identify their own talents and their children’s talents using the language and science of strengths.

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