Shortly before Isaac turned two, I decided to have him screened for a speech delay. One of the first questions I was asked was, “What are Isaac’s strengths?” And I honestly couldn’t answer the question.
He was not quite two. He was below average verbally, and he was very unlike my older son. Isaac was much more active, much less verbal, and much harder to manage. We called him “Hurricane Isaac.”
I’ve thought about that ever since, and tried to focus on Isaac’s strengths, without comparing him to his brother. It’s hard, at times, to remember that my crazy little boy is also exceptionally loving and charismatic. He brings joy to all those around him. He loves animals and nature and stores random facts about both in his young little mind. He has an amazing sense of humor and engages in elaborate pretend play with inanimate (or imaginary) objects.
So although Isaac’s strengths aren’t the same as his brothers, they still exist, they are important, and they deserve to be celebrated!
Student teaching in a kindergarten classroom was really hard for me. Kindergarten just isn’t my favorite age group to teach. One particularly rough day, I spent my drive home going through the class list mentally, listing something I liked about each student. It was amazing. I didn’t have to look very hard to see their strengths, and changing my focus from my frustrations made a huge difference in my attitude.
When you stop focusing on a child’s weaknesses, and instead, celebrate their strengths, your relationship will become stronger, your attitude better, and your parenting better.
(This post is part of a Secrets from a Teacher to Make You a Better Parent, a part of the write31days.com challenge. The best way to keep up with this series is to subscribe via email here.)