First, I listened to this. From Good Life Project, the podcast that turned me on to podcasts.
It’s a discussion with psychologist Lea Waters about her work in positive psychology and her new book The Strength Switch: How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish.
I feel so empowered as a parent, to give an(other) amazing gift to my children: helping them to know their strengths.
As parents we have an incredible opportunity to be a mirror for our children. Before they are conscious of the world around them, before they are influenced by social phenomena, before they are exposed to irritating cultural lies like “artists don’t make money” or “athletes get girls” or “kindness is weakness”, etc…
Meeting their incessant needs as tiny people means that we are uniquely positioned to identify their strengths for them. We are literally right there when they are plainly becoming who they are. In Lea Waters’ strength research speak, we see what they:
(1) exhibit above-average performance at,
(2) are energized by, and
(3) really LIKE doing.
And that true-strengths test defines the talents and character traits that are the secret sauce for their individual success.
For my part, I see that FL has a good memory and makes connections easily. She is determined and strong-willed. She is conscientious, taking pleasure in putting things in order. She is empathetic, friendly, sensitive, and funny. And she likes to sing in the morning when she wakes up.
If you are a parent, be on the lookout for your child’s strengths. And share your findings with your child as they grow!
Doing this simple thing can help them avoid beginning a process of self inquiry when they’re in midlife and unsatisfied with their careers, and instead give them a shot at a much happier, more fulfilled life.