“Strength Based Parenting: Developing your Children’s Innate Talents” from Mary Reckmeyer, the executive director of Gallup’s Donald O. Clifton Child Development Center, ($24.99, Gallup Press), leads you through how to find your child’s strengths. Of course, the book also comes with codes for you to access Gallup’s testing: Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0 for children older than 15 and Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer for children ages 10-14.
The most satisfying part of this book is this chapter labeled: “There’s No ‘Right’ Way to Parent.” In it Reckmeyer assures us “Nn.”
Whew! Of course, if there was a magic pill, this parenting thing would be easier, right?
Instead Reckmeyer and her colleagues at Gallup want you to assess your child’s talents, invest in those and create strengths. They want you to stop trying to fix their weaknesses and realize that your child’s strengths might not be similar to yours, which makes it hard to know how to parent that child.
They also give you ideas of what makes a good parenting partnership: complementary strengths, common mission, fairness, trust, acceptance, forgiveness, communicating and unselfishness.
From there, you give your child the Clifton assessment that is right for them, or if they are younger than 10, you base their strengths on what you believe them to have until they are old enough to take the assessment. The rest of the book is spent helping you analyze and understand the strengths you determined or the test determined your child has.