Parenting

Cultivating Your Child’s Innate Gifts and Strengths

March 6, 2014

iStock_000016960552SmallIn this week and last weeks Parsha we speak about Bezalel and Oholiav, who were appointed to build the Mishkan. They were gifted with Divine wisdom and artistic knowledge. They were talented individuals who recognized their abilities and used them to fulfill their potential and serve G-d and their people.

Every one of us has a unique potential, gifts and talents that we can bring to the world. We need to be conscious of our strengths  and abilities.  Using one’s strengths allows for greater creativity, (even if  your not an artist) productivity, and excellence. Those are all ingredients of professional and career success. It is found to work in people’s personal lives as well. Utilizing personal strengths yields greater happiness and feelings of well-being.

As parents we are often focused on what our children can’t do. For example when children have a hard time in math, parents and teachers so focused on improving a child’s math scores that they overlook the children’s functioning abilities and strengths.

As parents and clinicians, we need to seek and cultivate our children’s innate gifts and strengths. It may require some detective work to appreciate each child not just for what is acceptable and culturally valued in our society, but for his real abilities. We need to ask ourselves the following questions:

  • What does my child enjoy doing?
  • What comes naturally to him/her?

To help us further we can look at a list of different intelligences that humans possess. Think about which one your child exhibits and look for ways to foster your child’s unique talents in these areas:

 

Intelligence Area

Represented in society by:

Visual/Spatial Artist, Navigator, Architect
Verbal/Linguistic Journalist, Teacher, Lawyer
Logical/Mathematical Accountants, Computers, Engineers
Interpersonal Salesperson, Mental Health Professional, Politician
Intrapersonal Researcher, Novelist, Entrepreneur
Musical/Rythmic Musician, Composer, DJ
Naturalist: Farmer, Botanist, Environmentalist
Existential: Philosopher, Theorist
Bodily/Kinesthetic Athlete, Firefighter, Actor

 

Children need to know that they are loved for themselves. They need to be cherished and valued for their natural abilities and strengths. Promoting their interests in areas that they love and areas that come naturally to them to will help them shine. We cannot underestimate the power of being our child’s biggest fan and supporter. When children’s strengths are fostered by their parents, children learn to be independent, responsible and most importantly resilient human beings. They can be the our generations Bezalel and Oholiav….