With the beginning of a new year, we may create personal resolutions in pursuit of improvement. Many resolutions focus inward on improving health, being more active or getting out of debt. Others focus outward, seeking to improve our interactions with others. At CF Learning Families, we encourage you to take this time to consider how you may improve your relationships with the youth in your life.
In part one of our 5-part improving relationships series we examine how to identify your child’s strengths and joys and use this information to create or strengthen connections with them.
Strengths and Joy as Connection Points
Identify strengths in each child
- Are they leaders, self-motivated and determined, or have a creator or explorer’s spirit?
- Do you see they naturally form groups of other kids around them?
- Do they start new projects and stick with them to the end?
- Do you find them taking things apart to discover how they work or wandering off to just go see?
Identify what brings them joy
- What activities seem to engage them the most?
- When do they seem to have the most fun?
In conversations, when you ask them what they want to do, what do they say? If asked, where would they say they are the most successful? When would they say they are the happiest?
What you observe about them and what they say are great places to begin. Using statements like, “I noticed you sure like taking things apart,” or “you seem to enjoy cooking,” are great conversation starters and can lead to further discussions about likes and dislikes.
These conversations about what they find engaging and enjoyable demonstrates you are paying attention and you are willing to help them find ways to use their strengths and be happy. Your awareness of the individual qualities of each child helps build their own self- identity which strengthens their capacity in many different areas including emotional and relational health. This is a great way to create and strengthen the type of connections that can improve your relationshipwith your child.
Praise and Recognition