What would have happened if the adoptive parents of Super Man had never encouraged little Clark Kent to use his strengths for humanity?
He would have been left on the farm to tend to the cows and the crops. Many people would not have been saved by his super-human strengths and speed. Lois Lane would never have been saved from the claws of death and scooped up by a handsome and surprisingly familiar man. If Clark Kent’s parents hadn’t seen his special talents, the world they inhabited would have been very different.
Clark Kent’s parent were superheroes!
They recognized Clark’s talents, helped him to develop those talents into strengths, and supported him along the way. You can also become superhero parents by setting your teens up for success! Recognition of your child’s talents can be a huge motivator for him or her. When your child is supported by people who care about him/her and is given the opportunity to build talents and strengths, parents unleash a powerful influence.
What is the difference between a talent and a strength?
According to StrenghtFinder, “Talent is a natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving. A strength is the development of the talent through practice, skills and knowledge to use it consistently to provide near perfect performance.”
Clark Kent’s parents helped him to hone his skills so he could help others, and they not only encouraged his physical strength, but they also helped him to develop his gifts in problem solving, caring for others and confidence in how he served others. He was a reporter, so he also had the strength of communication developed on the job.
You can do the same for the young person in your life!
Mary Reckmeyer states in her book Strength Based Parenting, “Treat children as individuals. Respect their natural inclinations, talents and interests.”
Recognize what sparks your child’s interests.
Encourage play, curiosity, and wonder in their days; this looks different for teens than it does for younger children. In younger children it might be about asking many questions. If you are parenting teens, take a look at what each of your children likes to spend time doing. Encourage your teens to spend time building on the talents they are expressing; however, leave the bulk of the work to him/her to discover the process that works best and to practice making their talents into strengths.
Don’t count on schools to recognize your son’s or daughter’s true interests or special skills. Many of the activities that spark the interests of your teen may not be reflected in the school curriculum. It’s up to you as superhero parents to help your son or daughter to identify talents, and to find ways to engage in practicing the talents they possess.
A family I enjoyed working with came to me because their son was not engaged in his learning. He liked to play and watch videos, not read and do assigned work. We went on a journey of discovering his talents and identified that they were competing, and caring for and relating to others. Once his talents were discovered, his parents better understood how playing with friends was very important to him. He liked to care for both his friends and for pets. Also having him set his own goals provided a way to help him hone his talent for competing – against himself! All this allowed his parents to see him through a positive lens and helped them to develop his talents through providing appropriate opportunities for his learning and skills development.
Superhero parents provide the opportunity to their teens to hone identified talents into strengths!
If you would like to know more about strengths-based parenting, I suggest you read Strengths Based Parenting by Mary Reckmeyer, Ph.D.. It’s a wonderful resource for parents who want to help their teens develop and unleash their own brilliance!
Like to know more about Wildewood Learning services to support families like yours, in creating the best educational path for your teen? If so, please contact me for a complimentary 60 minute session to “Explore Personalized Learning for your Teen” session.