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Helping children play to their strengths

by Catherine Geisen-Kisch, Middle School Counselor at SCIS Hiongqiao of  Shanghai Community International School (Hongqiao Campuses)

Identifying and nurturing special skills your child has

Helping children play to their strengths

During the month of November, 8th Grade students identified the talents that make them unique and the skills that they perform better than 10,000 other people!

The Strengths  Explorer highlights each students’ top three Strengths. Possible themes include: Achieving, Caring, Competing, Confidence, Dependability, Discoverer, Future Thinker, Organizer, Presence and Relating. A full report is provided to help students understand how their particular strengths are demonstrated through daily activities and how to build on strengths for future success.

By focusing on strengths, we support a child’s self esteem and identity development. Parents can also use the strengths themes to better understand and communicate with their children. If your child has ‘competing’ as a strength it is helpful to remember that while they may have a hard time losing an argument, this strength helps them be successful in other spheres of their life.

Explore changing the way you approach conversations to minimize conflict. Or, perhaps your child gets drawn into others’ problems or is more sensitive. They likely have strengths of Caring, Relating or Dependability. Parents who recognize and validate these Strengths will be better poised to help their child set healthy boundaries and more effectively manage their emotions.

Over the course of this year, we will be doing much more to help students play to their strengths. Once in high school, students will increasingly use the Naviance program, linking their strengths and interests to possible careers as they initiate the college/university application process.