Do strengths run in the family?


School holidays are upon us and for some this is a treat and for others a time of terror. I love the lazy pyjama mornings (sometimes stretching out into days!), the lack of clock watching and seeing the kids move back into the rhythm of hanging out together and playing. The screentime struggle and sibling scuffles can be testing but somehow a bit easier to handle on holidays.

Our Strength heroes photo challenge of posting a photo a day that portrays one of the 24 VIA strengths for 24 days dovetails well with holiday mode. It has meant that most of my photos are connected back to holiday activities and the kids. In looking at the strengths the images portray I have also been thinking about the strengths that I use to support the strength my kids are demonstrating.

Lea Waters in her book Strength Switch talks about Strengths based parenting and how we can see this as the child being like a piece of clay, with the smooth strength areas and the areas of weakness holes in the clay. By focusing on the child's strengths we stretch and lengthen the smooth parts and in doing so minimise and reduce the weaknesses (holes). Looking over the images from the holidays of my children's strengths being showcased and supported, I have also been reflecting on the strengths of my own that I need to flex or be flexible with to support my kids development of their strengths. This has led me wonder if in supporting their strengths, do I enhance or compromise my own?

One of the images posted this week was of Miss 11 and Master 5 careering down a hill on a piece of cardboard, heading for rather substantial trees! This fun-filled afternoon supported teamwork, bravery, zest and perseverance (as different sections of the hill were tested for smoothness and different cardboard configurations for their aerodynamics). It also supported an early night due to that magic combination of fresh air and exercise. For me this activity was also about bravery (with a pinch of hope), and holding back on judgement, letting them assess danger, make modifications to their cardboard vehicle and chosen descent route.

Today's image of a pile of Lego scattered across the floor, would have induced a sense of fear and impending pain for some! For Master 5 it was about creativity and perseverance, finding that elusive piece of Lego to complete his masterpiece. For me it was about letting go of perseverance ( that never ending goal of a clean home) and instead being prudent in my desire to clean and showing social i

ntelligence by acknowledging his Lego mission was more important than mine.

Strengths parenting allows for some of that yin yang magic, give and take, push and pull. I'm looking forward to another week of school holiday go-slow and some strengths flex and flexibility.

How about you?

Do your children's strengths enhance yours and do you share family strengths?