Let’s be honest, what gets most of your parenting attention – your child’s strengths or their weaknesses? As parents, we often spend the vast majority of our energy ‘helping’ our child with what they need to ‘work on’. I help my arty child with their maths and my maths child with their art. We’re wired that way. Our brain is a meaning-making machine and as parents, we naturally want to fix what is broken. We care deeply, so we set about helping, sorting, solving, encouraging, fixing all the things our child is ‘struggling’ with. We say things like, “Let me help you,” or, “If you would just,” or, “Slow down and try it this way.”
In focusing exclusively on where they need to improve, kids get the message that they’re not quite good enough. This chips away at their confidence. What if instead of training kids to be well rounded, we encouraged them to know their unique differences and helped them build on what they were already naturally good at?
Naming what your child is naturally good at and giving that your time, love and full attention is cultivating their strength (instead of improving on their weakness). Building on what’s right with your kids is proven to create resilience and confidence. For your child who loves maths – do more maths, and for your child who loves art – do more art. Simple.