If you are finding it hard to stay engaged and feel fulfilled working from home (and your child/ren are bored and unfocussed with home school when lockdowns hit) identifying and leveraging your (and your family’s) strengths could be the answer. I investigate how in this blog.
If you are home schooling, identifying your and your child’s strengths could greatly support positive conversations and make the focus of your days a little easier. Having a language to talk about strengths, being able to identify them in your family members and finding ways for each member to use their unique strengths might enhance their engagement with tasks, boost their energy, improve their mood and their wellbeing.
The science suggests that people who know and purposefully apply their strengths experience positive emotions more frequently, feel less stressed, have better relationships, better physical and mental health, higher levels of satisfaction with life and greater meaning in addition to better work performance.
What is a strength?
Psychological strengths go by many names – you might hear them called character strengths or personal strengths. They refer to the things we do, or the ways we operate that we enjoy, we are good at and give us an energy boost.
You can probably think of specific things you do that you look forward to, get lost in whilst you are doing them, and give you a buzz. For me, it’s researching and developing workshop content, analysing a psychometric profile, or learning a new routine at line dancing.
There are a number of different strengths models, that focus on different contexts.
The VIA “Character Strengths” is a popular tool in schools and communities. It’s a questionnaire that you complete online to help you to understand more about your core character traits. This information can be used to make decisions about how you live your life, your future and your career.
The model outlines 24 traits such as kindness, fairness, spirituality, bravery, zest, curiosity, leadership which are valuable (or “virtuous”) in their own right and can be applied a number of ways. For example, my signature strengths are Creativity, Love of Learning, Bravery, Perspective and Judgement. Creativity and Judgement are both put to use when I am creating workshops, Judgement and Perspective come to play when I am analysing a profile, and Love of Learning, Perseverance and Humour (two of my middle strengths) serve me well with my dance routines…
What I love about the VIA Character Strengths is that there is a free (no cost version) that helps you identify your “Signature Strengths” – your top 5 strengths. And, there is an adult and a child version, so children as young as 10 years old can identify their strengths. Once you identify your strengths, you can deliberately seek out opportunities to put them to use, in learning, work and play and notice the difference it makes!
Curious about your Signature Strengths?
Complete the questionnaire for free via the link below.
I would love to know what you find and if you have any further questions, or would like to debrief further on what these strengths mean and how they can be applied to really see yourself and your child thrive, please contact me.