Success holds several meanings and varies from person to person. How does a strength-based parent measure their child’s success and know what the child needs or wants?
I was at a parent-child workshop last month hosted by a Dongguan international school and the topic was how to prepare your child for university. The counselor asked one of the students why she wanted to go to university in America. “Because I want to find a good job after graduation,” the student said.
Our children are taught from a young age that success means achieving good grades, getting into top schools, earning a high-paying salary and maintaining a stable job. While part of this makes up success, there is more than just achieving these goals. Success also means achieving happiness and fulfillment. A life in which our children can use their talents to create an environment that sustains and motivates them to follow their dreams and pursue their passions. That is the kind of success that a strength-based parent focuses on.
A strength-based parent recognizes and respects their children’s natural inclinations, talents and interests. When a child expresses an interest in art or cooking, be curious and find out more by asking questions and showing interest. When a child wants to learn more about the universe after a visit to the space museum, be curious and engage in conversation on the topic. When a child excels in a sport, be encouraging and supportive by showing up to games. Our children’s confidence in pursuing their interests largely depends on how supportive we are as parents. Often, parents put a preconceived ideas in their children’s minds.
Teenagers who come to my coaching sessions say their parents do not understand what they want. Our mission as a strength-based parent is for our children to say, “I am blessed to have parents who understand me.”
For our children to follow their passions in life they must first have the freedom to explore their interests—it does not matter what those interests are but letting them have in-depth exploration does. The journey of exploration opens new doors, takes them to the land of wonder where their minds expand, their confidence grows and they discover their passions. That is how a child develops a healthy sense of pride, confidence and identity.
We need to provide a safe, open and positive environment for our children to explore their hidden talents and interests by having an open mind and respect them as individuals.
The first step in setting our children up for success is to encourage them to be bold and free to explore.
The second step is to focus on our children’s strengths rather than their weaknesses. Ask yourself why you send your child to a math tutoring class. Is it because your child is good at math or bad at math?
In my next article, I will shed light on whether our focus should be on our children’s strengths or weaknesses.
Interested in Positive Parenting? Contact Sandy Sinn by WeChat at Sandyparentcoach.