How to Identify Your Child's Strengths & Weaknesses
Albert Einstein said, "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." This observation is never truer than when raising children. Each child has a different set of strengths and weaknesses. Nurturing his strengths while improving his weaknesses is the key to raising your own well-rounded, happy and fulfilled genius.
Participate in various activities together where you're able to observe your child's behavior. Going to a museum, heading to the park or going to the library helps identify your child's individual strengths and weaknesses. For instance, at the park your child may gravitate toward other children, showing a propensity for social skills. At the library, she may choose picture books, proving her to be a visual learner.
Explore your child's different learning styles to help understand his performance at school. Experiment with pictures, words and sounds to see which he responds to the best. As you discover which learning style works best for your child, spend time cultivating and practicing his weaker skills. If he excels in written instructions but struggles with verbal, practice issuing verbal instructions to help strengthen that particular weakness.
Play with your child on a daily basis. You'll learn much from the toys she chooses versus those she tires of quickly. Spread an array of toys, books and art supplies in front of your child and watch to see which she gravitates toward. Her general interests often indicate her strengths because she feels confident in certain tasks or talents.
Listen as your child tells you about his day, various experiences or books that he's read. Simply hearing what your child is saying gives you greater insight into his strengths and weaknesses. Listen to a narrative about his day at school: He may focus on his performance in physical education, indicating a strength in hands-on and physical activities. He may also downplay his experience in math class, indicating a weakness when dealing with numbers.
Caution your child to avoid comparing herself with other kids and avoid doing the same yourself. You do your child a disservice when you compare her with her peers, inadvertently telling her that her strengths must be the same as others. Instead, focus on your child's individual strengths and weaknesses, explaining that no one is perfect and everyone excels at something.
- Scholastic; A Place for Everyone: Nurturing Each Child's Niche; Bruce Duncan Perry
- Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning: What Are Children Trying to Tell Us?: Assessing the Function of Their Behavior
- "Your Child's Strengths: : Discover Them, Develop Them, Use Them"; Jenifer Fox; 2008