Focusing On Your Child’s Weaknesses.

Your child has strengths and that’s awesome.  But, your child also has weaknesses.  Our job is to walk a fine line between focusing on their strengths and focusing on your child’s weaknesses.  Too much of either can be a bad thing.

 

Mothering is a hard job.  Not only is it a hard job, it gets progressively harder as the years go by.  Being a mother of a 2 year old seems 2 times harder than being the mother of an infant.  By the time they’re closing in on the tween years often times we’re certain that the difficulty is getting exponential instead of sequential, especially if you’re juggling multiple children of all different ages.

 

So as the chaos of life and mothering progresses, it’s easy to settle into Bob Mom The Builder mode.

 

“Can we fix it?  Yes we can!”

 

We assess our child and we see this.

 

Oh no, my child is weak in something!

 

So we make a plan to correct the imbalance.  It may be intentional or it may be subconscious, but we are guiltily aware of our children’s weaknesses.  We worry about them.  We focus on them.  We lay awake at night trying to think of ways to build up the weak areas of our babies.  Why?  Because we’re afraid of raising this.

Well, sure they’re really strong in this other thing, but that weakness – oof, that’s gonna hurt ‘em.

 

We’re afraid that they’ll have glaring gaps in their education or a detrimental expanse between their weaknesses and their strengths that will hold them back in life.   Instead we would love to train this:

Yay, we’re perfectly average at everything! …

 

We want Renaissance Men! (And women)  Few of us want this for vain, self-serving reasons.  We simply love our children and we don’t want them to struggle because of their weaknesses.  We’re painfully aware of how our own have held us back in life and we hope to rectify that for the next generation.  We want the very best for our children.

 

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

 

However, we need to be very careful that in doing so we’re not focusing too much on what’s “wrong” with them.  Giving too much attention to the weaker side of a child’s personality or giftings can easily damage their self-esteem, upset their sense of self-worth.

 

If we spend too much time “working on” and verbalizing what they’re bad at, be it math or controlling their anger, we may cause their personality to be built on the very foundation of that weakness.  Not only does that not help the problem area, it can quench their strengths as well.  It breeds doubt about their talent and goodness.

 

And we all know it’s easier to believe something negative about ourselves than something positive.

 

We have to be very careful that while attempting to build up happy and successful children (which is definitely a noble goal) we aren’t exasperating the very problems we’re trying to alleviate.

 

So perhaps we should focus on our children’s  strengths.  We’re all born with different gifts, different talents – and often times if we we’re given the support and freedom to pursue those, our weaknesses are fortified along the way, as well.

 

I stumbled upon this positive news piece from over seas where a grown unschooler and France said something similar.

 

“A lot of the time you look for your shortcomings – “I’m not good at maths, so I’ll do a lot of maths to reach an average level”.  I’d never done that before, my experience was always to find things I was good at and work even harder in those subjects to become better, to become an expert and more specialized.”

So, should we “focus” on their weaknesses, or build up their strengths?

 

-Jessica

Comments

  1. Coming from an upbringing where the focus was only on the weaknesses, definitely focus on the strengths. You know about how it was growing up.
    I try to focus on the strengths with the kidlets. And sometimes I have to do it the the Hubs, because, lets face it, men are big kids too.
    Neffer recently posted..Double Duty SaturdayMy Profile

  2. Stephanie says:

    If you focus on ridding your lawn of weeds, It’s hard not to focus on the weeds instead of the beauty of your grass… and it will be difficult struggle to get rid of them. But if you focus on strengthening your grass instead, your grass alone will choke out the weeds for you.

    That’s my metaphorical take on it :) Hope it makes sense

    Personally, I say embrace your weaknesses and mistakes you make as a result of them because it is through them that you will do your most growth. And encourage your child to find a soul mate whose strengths are your weaknesses. Cuz you’re never going to be perfect… but you can come awfully close if you and your partner, working as a unit of 1, have opposite strengths and weaknesses.

  3. Strengths all the way. And I’m sending you any and all babies, because that was 100 times harder for me than all the other stages! Lol
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  4. We should focus on strengths! The marginal improvements made on the weaknesses will never compare to the potential gains made when the strenths are highlighted. True self esteem comes from accomplishment and accomplishment from mastery.

  5. I want to ask about my 6 years old son.he just don’t concentrate on things happening around.he don’t behave like other children of his age.I just explain it to you my problem.school teacher is saying it is a sycological problem.they want me to see a doctor.please help me.

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