Guess what Mum?

My oldest daughter came bounding into the house, bursting with excitement.  “Guess what, Mum?” she said.  “What?” I asked.  I have Caring as my top strength, and I have Achiever and Future-thinking.  “Wow,” I said, smiling.  Then I said, “Whoaaa, wait a minute.  Did you say ‘Strengths’?”

“Yes, Mum”, and with a quick hug, she was out the door to play basketball.

I sat there stunned but not because of my daughter’s strengths.  They did not surprise me at all.  I’m her Mum.  I’ve been observing her all her life.  Caring is like breathing to her, she’s always first on the scene if someone gets hurt.  Her compassion, at three years old, for my best friend as she was going through chemotherapy was beyond her years, she sensed what Annie needed.  Her Achiever talent shows up in her need to finish things off and in all the things she wants to do.  I laughed when I saw the Future Thinker talent as both her Dad and I have Futuristic (the adult version of Future Thinker) in our top strengths…the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!  What I was most surprised to find was that our school was using the Gallup StrengthsExplorer tool for upper primary and middle school-aged children.  What a brilliant thing for a school to do.  Thank you, school leadership!

We all think our kids are special.  We are not wrong. Every one is a gift to our world, a miracle.  But here in Australia, we spend a lot of time ensuring that we keep a lid on our kids’ uniqueness, talking it down to inconsequential lest we be seen as arrogant and need “taking down a peg or two”. 

But is it really arrogant for kids to know what they are good at and for us to celebrate it?  To be able to put words around what their “native talents” are?  To arm students with the knowledge of how they might employ those so they can thrive in their future?

NO, it is rational.  It is logical.  It is NECESSARY.

If I’d known my strengths, perhaps I would have a shortcut to where I am now.  Of course, that’s not to discount the journey through which I see the thread of my strengths winding.  Where do you think you would be today had you known your strengths from an early age?

As parents, we need to go further.  To know our kids’ talents is the first step, to nurture them into strengths that will enable them to find their flow is surely the next essential step.  So I will continuously reinforce the idea of using her strengths with my girl.  I will seek opportunities for her to grow her talents into  powerful strengths (no problems there, her sister allows her to practice empathy every day) and I will teach her to look for and celebrate the strengths of others.  What joyous, life-giving ADVENTURE!  WOOOHOOO.  

Would you join us in this grand adventure?  I’d love to help you do it with your kids.

About the Wayfinders' Blog

The Wayfinders’ Blog helps individuals, teams and organisations discover and develop their unique strengths. I provide valuable insights and practical tips to my audience empowering them to develop their talents into strengths and achieve their goals.

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