Creating a 'Strengths Perspective'
At this time there will be some people spending a vast amount of time alone whilst others may be experiencing an intensity of being with others in a classroom or in the home. For some, the feeling of having to 'be everything' for their pupils or family members (parent, teacher, coach, colleague, entertainer etc) can create certain expectations. For others it could be a feeling of having to ‘do it all’ or even getting swept into the hype of – ‘wow, all this time at home, all the things you could achieve’ which could lead to frustration, disappointment and tension. This frustration tends to come from our innate human nature of scrutinising our perceived weaknesses or focussing on what we are not achieving. Although this is human nature it is not a helpful way to approach life usually, let alone right now in this situation we find ourselves. It can lead to a downward spiral in the way we view ourselves, talk to ourselves and the language we use when interacting with those around us.
A general example – before I had my son I had very grandiose ideas about the type of parent I would be, an earth mother who made all food from scratch, I would bake with him, I would create fabulous sensory based activities each evening that he could wake up to each morning….and so it goes on!
Needless to say this was my expectation and it is not the reality. I was not a baker or much of a cook before I had my son and neither did a anticipate that extra sleep would always win over staying up late creating imaginative scenes! Dwelling on the kind of parent that I am not, or ruminating on my perceived weaknesses does not actually get anywhere. I would see only the things I was not. This would not bode well for my wellbeing or my relationships and interactions with others.
So back to reality….having a strengths perspective means knowing what you are good at and what you love doing and brings you joy. Keeping those things in mind will help you to be successful in the challenges ahead, experience positive emotions, connect successfully with those around and boost wellbeing. I may not be the mother who bakes BUT I am someone who loves stories, dancing and chatting. I am someone who is good at listening without judgement. Therefore, I choose to focus on what I can do and what I am good at to create positive experiences with my family members and in the work that I do.
You may feel that you are patient, or have good perspective, can use humour,
are creative, good at motivating. Whatever your strengths or passions, focus on
what you ARE and what you CAN do. Think about how you can use them
in this current situation. Use them to engage your pupils, family or friends.
Role model a focus on strengths by talking about what others are good at.
Label other people’s strengths so that they can start to shift their focus onto
what they CAN do and the person that they ARE.
Video - Your Strengths
Video - Helping a child be their best with strengths
Link to 'Strengths based parenting' –
Article on 'Strengths in Education' -