Review of Your Child’s Strengths: A Guide for Parents and Teachers
It has been a while since I was in college, reading through textbooks and using words like “adolescents” and “educational psychology.” This book really reminded me of the reading I did when I was enrolled in Child Psychology, and even though I passed that class with flying colors I still had a hard time following this book a little.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s a great book with a lot of really valuable information. It’s just a little more academic than I usually choose to read at this stage in my life. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the last book I reviewed.
This book is aimed more at getting parents and teachers to think differently about how our kids learn. I think the information is really great for parents of older kids, and I was able to take a few things from it that I can use with my young kids right now. For example, one of the sections of the book talks about allowing kids to express their own feelings without putting words into their mouths for them. I started thinking about how I could help my young kids to talk about their emotions without telling them what they are feeling. I drew some pictures of various emotions onto index cards and my kids and I talked about the different emotions and what they meant and then encouraged them to bring me one of the cards any time they wanted to talk about their emotions. So far so good, because there have been two times already when my daughter has approached me with a “sad” card and wanted to talk.
The book goes into great depths about the problems with the current school system, and frankly it just scared me to think that I’ll have to send my kids into that environment eventually. There were lots of stories of kids being failed by parents and teachers who never figured out how to teach them effectively. The author calls for a big change in the way kids are taught, and she backs it up with plenty of scholarly data and personal experiences. She has valid points, but as the mom of two kids who aren’t yet in school, all she really did was scare the heck out of me.
I really like how she urges parents to allow kids to find their own passions instead of insisting on certain hobbies and activities. I think the bulk of this book, however, is designed for people dealing with older children. I’m going to hang on to this book and read it again in about five years and I’m sure by then I’ll be able to use the valuable advice much more when it comes to my kids.
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