Research suggests that tapping into strengths in adolescence can help to increase positive coping and wellbeing (Proctor et al., 2011; Zhao et al., 2021), strengthen relationships (García-Vázquez et al., 2020) and enhance performance and engagement (Mamatha & Chowhan, 2020).
Parents are well-placed to help children recognise and encourage their strengths. This is often referred to as strength-based parenting, and is associated with a myriad of wellbeing outcomes in adolescence, including overall wellbeing and academic achievement (Waters et al., 2019).
- Familiarise yourself and your child with the different character strengths (see https://www.viacharacter.org/resources/activities/the-via-classification-of-twenty-four-character-strengths).
- Strength spotting: Take notice of when your child uses a strength, and highlight and celebrate this with them, for example, “I noticed that you kept going with that assignment even though it was difficult, that showed great perseverance”.
Take notice of when your child uses a strength
- School TV have a number of brief video clips on character strengths:
Your Child at their best: https://knox.nsw.schooltv.me/newsletter-external-resource/your-child-their-best-strengths
Helping Your Child Be Their Best: https://knox.nsw.schooltv.me/newsletter-external-resource/helping-your-child-be-their-best-strengths
- Melbourne University summarise the research regarding the value of strength-based parenting: https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/the-value-of-strength-based-parenting
- The Strengths Exchange brings together stories and parenting resources about character strengths for families: http://www.the-strengths-exchange.com.au/