Have Fun Highlighting Your Children’s Strengths

jsPMeC1450093279Teaching our children about themselves is something that we do every day. As parents we would like them to be able to see all their own strengths in the same way that we can, but it is not as simple as it sounds.

Children at three find it easy to believe that they are strong/clever/funny but as they get older this changes. Gradually, whilst they are in the early part of their school life they develop a good idea of who is ‘best’ in their class. Whether it be at reading or sport or something else, they begin to compare themselves to others.

Comparison has it’s uses in our lives. We can learn through making comparisons. But at times, it is a real shame to watch because it can easily stop our children from valuing their innate talents. They can wrongly believe that to be good at something they have to be the ‘best’ or ‘top of the class’. They don’t realise that there are many things that school just does not measure like kindness, empathy, determination and so on.

The relationship we have with our children is of primary importance in helping them to value themselves for who they are. Feeling valued and safe with the key adults in their life gives all children a great basis for growing up to know their strengths.

We can also help them by counteracting those difficult thoughts and feelings. We can have conversations with them about their talents and pick up on times when they are putting themselves down or comparing themselves to other kids.

There is a great little exercise we can do with our children every now and then to help them acknowledge their strengths and most importantly get them discussing and talking about them.

STRENGTH STICKERS

  1. Get large stickers and colourful pens.
  2. Set aside some time and ask your child to write in large colourful writing a talent/skill/strength they have on each one, until they have a series of written stickers.
  3. If they get stuck remind them it is not about comparing themselves to others but just acknowledging what they are good at or what they enjoy.
  4. If they mention a talent that you don’t think they have, don’t challenge it, get them to write it down. This is about their own perceptions of themselves.
  5. At the same time do a set of stickers for yourself. Write down your own talents and strengths so that your child can see that you too can acknowledge what is good about yourself. If you find this challenging then check out my post on Naming Your Strengths first.
  6. Then, for the best bit, put the stickers on, so that you both have your own talents and strengths stuck all over you.

This exercise can be done at any age where they can identify skills in themselves. I have done it before my son could write so I just jotted down his ideas for him.

Another benefit of this exercises is that it provokes great discussions. It can bring to the surface doubts or fears they have about themselves, which is a wonderful opportunity to discuss them openly rather than them remaining hidden.

It can be done as a family or one-on-one, so that any deeper issues can be discussed without interruptions. You know what would suit your child/children best.

Enjoy! It is fun and great for us too.

Do you have any ways to help your children acknowledge their strengths? Do your children struggle with knowing what is good about them? Do you? I would love to hear from you. I reply to every comment left here.

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38 thoughts on “Have Fun Highlighting Your Children’s Strengths

  1. This is a really good idea. I’m totally going to attempt it with my 5yo. She is just starting her 2nd year at school and seems to have been lacking in confidence a bit since she went back after summer. Every morning, as I kiss her goodbye, I whisper to her that she’s wonderful, amazing, clever and kind. But I’d like to be able to explore that a bit further so this exercise will be great. #BloggerClubUK
    Lucy At Home recently posted…The Voluntary Baby Group LeaderMy Profile

    1. I am really glad that you can utilise this with your daughter. If nothing else it is a good way of broaching the subject and us showing our children that we can value ourselves too. I would love to hear how it goes. Thanks for commenting.

  2. A great idea and I think we can also apply this to adults. It’s great to see kids being about to point out their strengths and I think this is something I’d like to try with my kids. Will most certainly help my 6 year old in her first year at school.

  3. Such a lovely idea and so true about not comparing and just noticing their strengths. I also think joining in helps them to understand we all have different things we like to do. I can’t wait to do this when my little girl is a little bit bigger and gets it properly. thanks for sharing

    1. School is certainly an all new world where they change a lot. It is great to have things up our sleeve for helping our children. Glad you liked it Claire.

  4. This is such a great post! I love the ideas to build self-esteem and confidence while also banishing doubts children may have. You’re right, school doesn’t measure everything and we need to show kids how valuable they are in everything they do.

    Thanks for joining #momsterslink and I hope you’re enjoying me as guest hostess!
    Heather Keet recently posted…Momsterslink ~ October 6, 2016My Profile

    1. It is useful when we can see areas that they are confident and one’s where they aren’t to help them compare (depending on their age) what might be making the difference. There will be some assumptions underlying it. This is a great tool to open up those discussions. Thanks for commenting Alana.

    1. I agree. It is great to teach our children and to give ourselves time to reflect on what is good. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Hi Kirsten, what a great post! Encouraging children to look at the positives in themselves can only be a good thing. And it is something that we parents can encourage, firstly by acknowledging their own strengths (love the idea of parents being covered in stickers!). If a child sees us constantly berating ourselves for not being good enough, they begin to think it’s normal.

    Acknowledging our weaknesses is a good thing too so that children know that it is okay not to be good at everything.

    My two are older and have learned to accept the good and the not so good about themselves. Which I am grateful for.

    #ablogginggoodtime

    xx
    Debbie recently posted…Twitter Chats – Anyone Interested?My Profile

    1. I so agree with you Debbie. allowing them to see us acknowledge both our strengths and weakness’s gives our children a really good basis for understanding themselves. They can’t and don’t need to be everything. Thank you for your insightful comment.

    1. I have done it with five year olds. They won’t come out with terms like ‘considerate’ or ‘tenacious’. But using their own words they will already have an idea of what their strengths are and if not you can let them know what you see in them. Hope that helps. Thanks for commenting.

  6. This is such a good idea. My daughter is only 2 so might be a little young at the moment but I will definitely be using this idea with her in the future. To be honest I struggle writing down my own strengths so it will do me some good too!
    #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Hi Sam. Doing things to help our children often throw up these challenges for ourselves. It will be great to see challenge yourself to see what you can come up with for you.. Thanks for commenting.

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