Many months ago, my sister-in-law suggested I buy a book called Strengthsfinder 2.0. So I did. I bought the book; I took the online strengths assessment; and thus began my fascination with identifying and nurturing strengths in myself and in my children.
A few weeks ago, I bought a book by Jenifer Fox called Your Child’s Strengths. I’m reading it slowly, highlighting and stopping to think along the way. I also find myself talking about strengths to anybody who will listen.
I was reading this book in the back of the theater at my daughter’s play rehearsal last week. A man, the musical director with wild gray hair, was walking around chatting with different parents. He approached me and asked what I was reading, so I showed him the cover of the book. “Oh!” he said, “That sounds like a thinking book. Why are you reading it? What’s it about?”
After a couple of minutes, I’m sure he regretted asking. I told him the general idea of the book, and I was enthusiastically explaining the idea of identifying and developing strengths in our children when I saw him begin to rock from one foot to the other and look around the auditorium with a “How can I get away from this lady?” look on his face. So I finished off with a quick, “It’s a really good book.” And I let him escape to a person who can make normal small-talk with strangers.
So rather than holding complete strangers captive to discuss this book, I’d love to talk with y’all about it over the next few days. I can sip my coffee and type some thoughts here, and you can grab a cup of coffee or hot cocoa and read and comment. And if you want to buy the book and read along and discuss, that’d be even better!
Ok, for today, I’ll just leave you with a quote from the book —
In some respects, what we label as weakness in children is not a weakness at all — it is simply that the child doesn’t come into the classroom sharing the talent, passion, and learning style of the teacher. The teacher’s job is certainly made easier if the student comes in already loving the subject and is able to learn it as easily as the teacher did. This, however, does not make a great teacher. . . . True teaching talent reveals itself when the teacher struggles to engage students in the process, not giving up until he finds a way to bring about understanding and competence in the student. I think everyone should read that last sentence a few times. It says every child can and wants to learn and that it is the teacher’s and the parents’ responsibility to discover how to make that happen.”
What do you think about that? Do you have a child who has been labeled with a weakness? How can we discover the key to helping our children learn?
I have some ideas, but I’d love to hear what y’all think. And I’ll devote another post to the story of my experience with my boys.
Ok, now it’s your turn — comment. 🙂