Your Child’s Strengths

I’m late with this review.  I know it, you know it, and Parent Bloggers knows it too.  I’m almost embarrassed to post.  But the truth is, I was so captivated by this book that I really wanted to finish it before I posted, to do it justice.

Your Child’s Strengths is a new book by Jenifer Fox that takes on learning styles and learning disabilities and turns them on their head … asking each of us to consider children’s strengths instead of their weaknesses.  Right on! 

One of the things that has been so disappointing to me with the No Child Left Behind Act is the smoothing out of expectations of children … how each must perform to a minimum or average standard, and then the children and teachers are on their own for advanced work.  This book asks us to consider our child’s strengths and then use that information to help them learn and grow to their full potential.

My children are a tad young for this, but one tip has stuck with me: record your very young children’s likes and dislikes, their preferences, and what captivates them.  This information can be useful in identifying their strengths later … or in helping your child discover them for himself.

For instance, today I could write:

Baby:  Loves to put things in and take things out of boxes, bins, and tubs.  Delights in washing hands, playing in the bubbles, and helping Mommy do laundry.  When big brother and I were working on a foam puzzle today, (baby) picked out all the red pieces and put them in a pile.  I’ve never modeled that behavior, so this was something that he picked up on his own.  Some days (the baby) amazes me.

Preschooler:  Is enjoying school more as the days go by.  This week he agreed to sit in the circle for circle time, but he still prefers to initiate activities on his own schedule.  When it’s his idea, he is a brilliant painter, builder, puzzler, and problem-solver.  He also has begun to line up his trucks and “teach” them, asking questions, answering them, and praising their “responses” in a patient tone.  He is beginning to lead his little brother in games, but he is also delighted to follow older kids in their ideas.  He is learning to negotiate, and often says, “Me have an idea.  How about …” as he offers an alternative to naptime, snacktime, etc.  He is very empathetic and loves to snuggle me, baby brother, and dad. 

Both children are very attached, yet secure enough to run/crawl off and play, together or separately.  It’s a good time to be their mom.

This is a great book and one that I will be keeping nearby as my children grow.

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