If you’re anything like me, you wonder all the time if you’ve got this parenting thing down yet.
Am I permanently screwing up my kid?
Did I make the right decision?
Was I too hard on him?
Was I too soft on her?
It’s a constant minefield of discovery and learning.
There is little doubt that we, as parents or teachers, want what’s best for our children. There are 1000s of books on how to raise them right and just as many philosophies on how to educate them. But one thing is for certain, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to our kids.
This is part of the reason I believe so strongly in the importance of using strengths when raising our children. I feel they have a pivotal role in improving our future and creating an environment where we not only look at leadership as a hierarchical model but one that is heart-centered and led from a place of personal responsibility.
Where else would we start, but with the generations we are raising?
In this webinar, I talk about the importance of taking a Strength-Based approach with our children, but also talking through the structure of a new pilot program based on my successful Strengths Foundation Program, You. Unleashed! However, this time I want to work with parents alongside their children and see if this is a viable path for improving communication and building stronger relationships with those we love most.
My deepest “why” stems, at its heart, from motherhood. What kind of future do I envision for my little boy, O? How will he lead? How can I set him up for success? What obstacles will he face in this rapidly evolving world? And for me, that answer lies in strengths. Allowing him to take advantage of his own unique gifts that he brings into this world and lead from his place of authenticity.
When I watch him, I see Presence in his desire to always be seen, to entertain others and in his super-expressive mannerisms and phrases. I see Dependability in his desire to always help out with the sweeping or cleaning up. I see Discoverer in the way he plays with his toys and focuses on every little piece; not playing with them from above, but lying on the ground, eye-level, studying the movements and possibilities.
Did I mention he’s only 4?
Talents don’t show up later in life, they are with us always; some from birth, some from our upbringing. The talents I use to describe him are found in the book, Strengths-Based Parenting and the assessment for younger children, StrengthsExplorer.
We, as parents, have not only an opportunity but a responsibility, in my opinion, to use a tool and a language which didn’t exist 20 years ago. Why wouldn’t we? Can you imagine all the possibilities and the types of leaders we would raise? Leaders that see problem-solving with an optimistic eye and that think of long-term and sustainable solutions. Ones that recognize our differences as something positive instead of something negative. I can. And I plan to do my part to ensure it happens.
The best way to do this, is to understand ourselves first. Why we do what we do, what triggers us and stresses us out, what relaxes us and keeps us in a “happy place”. Knowing our talents gives us insight into our parenting style and helps us be the best parent we can be. It also helps us see our children more objectively and not just though our filters and expectations, but truly see them for who they are and in their own uniqueness.
You can see more about my vision by visiting this LINK where you will find both the video and the English transcript to my TEDx Talk (which was done in Spanish).