Recognizing Strengths in Kids

Recognizing Strengths in Kids

When the 8 grandkids (all under 10 years old), arrive for a visit, our house is filled with varied personalities. Empathetic, aloof, funny, competitive you name it, and we probably have it.  Each visit I am recognizing strengths that I had not seen before and I marvel at the changes right before my eyes. 

Kid’s strengths are different; some are obvious and others harder to notice.  It is easy to see athleticism, but it is harder to see a child that is good at compromising, unless they had to negotiate a deal! Some of those inner qualities go unnoticed unless we learn to recognize and talk about them.   This encourages skill development and open discussions about hard work and effort.  It helps to develop a child’s growth mindset to develop other strengths.

Check out the categories below that you see in kids and adults. Every time I teach or write about personal strengths, I recognize that my strengths have changed once again. The challenges of the pandemic I am sure have caused us all to find some undiscovered strengths. Can you identify some of your own strengths?

Social Strengths

  • Has a good sense of humor.
  • Accepts the differences in others.
  • Is a good listener.
  • Puts effort into making friends and keeping them.
  • Shares, takes turns, and can compromise.
  • Asks for help when needed.
  • Accepts personal responsibility for actions.
  • Tells the truth and can apologize when needed.

Literacy Strengths

  • Can retell and remember story details.
  • Can sound out unfamiliar words.
  • Understands the structure of sounds.
  • Makes connections between reading material and personal experiences.
  • Can rhyme.
  • Can make predictions in stories.
  • Reads with expression.
  • Recognizes sight words easily.  

Math and Logic Strengths

  • Solves puzzles or word problems.
  • Uses math concepts in the real world.
  • Remembers math facts.
  • Can do mental math in head.
  • Has strong number sense.
  • Sees and understand patterns in nature and in numbers.
  • Understands math terms used in word problems.

Study Skills Strengths

  • Understands and can set goals.
  • Stays focused on tasks.
  • Follows rules and routines well.
  • Learns from mistakes and solves problems.
  • Is a self-starter.
  • Flexible thinker.
  • Organizes thoughts and physical items like a backpack.

Language Strengths

  • Participates in discussions at home, at school, and with friends.
  • Uses words to express needs, wants, and ideas.
  • Use lots of words and likes learning new words.
  • Tells stories that have a clear beginning, middle and end.
  • Can change tone of voice when telling a story or asking a question.
  • Can answer who, what, when, where, why and how questions in a conversation about a story.
  • Understands jokes, puns, and sarcasm.

Character Strengths

  • Is honest and trustworthy.
  • Is resilient.
  • Shows independence.
  • Cooperates
  • Works hard
  • Shows loyalty.
  • Helps others.
  • Is caring, kind and empathetic.

Other Strengths and Talents

  • Is creative/artistic.
  • Does community service projects.
  • Plays sports or games (video games included)
  • Takes care of animals and/or younger children.
  • Entertains people by telling jokes or stories.
  • Practice’s yoga, mindfulness, or meditation.
  • Dances, acts, sings, or plays a musical instrument.

Upcoming Post: Developing a Growth Mindset

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?