I love to look at resources. In fact, in my top 5 strengths I have both Learner and Input. Learners love the process of learning. My Input strengths allows me to find all the interesting resources referring to strengths, review the resources and glean information to share with you. Here my top 5 list of resources I enjoy using to determine and develop strengths in tweens and teens.
Strengths Finder 2.0 (Tom Rath)
Strengths Finder is the very first book I read on strengths to become aware of my top 5 strengths. The book comes with a code to take the Strength Finder assessment, so do not buy the book used off of Amazon if you want to take the assessment. The code can only be used once. The beginning of the book give some great information about the importance of knowing your strengths and the history surrounding strengths. In addition, short descriptions of the 34 different strength themes and ideas for actions to develop each strength are provided. This is my “go to” book on my bookshelf when wanting to know more about a particular strength.
If you have a child between the ages of 10-14 the Strengths Explorer assessment is an useful tool to use with your child. The Strengths Explorer has 10 Strengths Themes, compared to the 34 strengths in the Strengths Finder. You child can take the short 72 question assessment to determine their top 3 strengths. On the Strengths Explorer website resources for teachers and parents are free to download. I would suggest purchasing the assessment code through the Gallup Store for $9.99 vs. Amazon where the print version is $30. All the free downloadable resources available on the Strengths Explorer website are included in the Amazon print version of the assessment. The Amazon print version is not worth the extra $20.01.
Short one minute explanations of each of the 34 different strengths are on the Strengths Exploration YouTube Channel. It is fun to watch how each person explains how the strength shows up in their lives. I have watched most of the videos as a way to gather more insight about people who might have that particular strength. If you wish to go more in depth with each strength theme, there are longer videos on the Gallup YouTube Channel about each strengths.
How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s Strengths (Jenifer Fox, M.Ed.)
This is one of my favorite books about children and strengths. What I like about this book is it give hands on examples and activities you can use with children as young as 4 and up to 18 or older. The activities do take time, however, the book guide you through the activities bringing you and your child on the path of self-discovery. Along with the activities, self-reflections for parent and child are part of the path. The front part of the book is the explanation about strengths and the need for strengths identification. Fox breaks strengths into three categories, relationship, activity and learning. A resource which pairs well with the materials from Gallup.
Discover Your Child’s Learning Style (Mariaemma Willis, M.S. and Victoria Kindle Hodson, M.A)
Looking at the differences of learning style through five aspects of disposition, talents (strengths), interests, modality and environment is helpful in developing a full picture of your tween or teen. The assessment forms in the book would appear more “kid-like” for teen so I would suggest the online version of the assessment on the Learning Success Institute website. However, the book has some great background information for you about the different aspects of learning. The last section of the book helps guide parents in how to coach for success by talking your child’s teacher and helping your child advocate for themselves.
I enjoyed sharing these resources with you and would like to hear from you about any great resources you have come across that have help you unleash the brilliance of your child!