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Until recently, child psychology was based on the treatment of psychological disorders focused on the most negative aspects, deficits and pathologies. Today we know that it is as or more effective enhance the positive qualities of children, their virtues and their strengths.
To help and teach parents and all those involved in the world of education, to undertake the exciting task of helping children to strengthen themselves so that they fight for their own happiness, Alicia Banderas offers in her book Happy children all the keys to recognize the talent and strength of our children.
How can you recognize talent in a child?
A child's talent is recognized by the development of a skill that they are good at such as playing tennis or being virtuous on a musical instrument. They are children who have the capacity for self-discipline and when they like something they ask for extracurricular activities to develop it. Therefore, parents must be vigilant to recognize this talent and encourage it, because if Mozart had lived in Ethiopia, surely he would not have been able to develop his musical talent. I think you have to see what children are good at, what they like to point them to something they really want.
What can we do to build character strengths in our children?
Before we focused more on children's deficits and pathologies, and instead now we know that children must be observed to know what qualities they have in order to enhance them. There are children who have a great curiosity from an early age, who persevere in trying, who have the ability to help others, who have a charisma, who have the ability to rebuild or fix something, or who have leadership skills. In my book, I identify all of them so that parents can help their children to empower them.
What is resilience and how can we apply it to the personal growth of children in our society?
It is the ability that people have to overcome adversity. The characteristics of a resilient child are being investigated now and are very important in order to educate our children and help them navigate the difficulties of life. One of them is the ability that children have to relate positively, to act with empathy, to understand the feeling of others. Quite the opposite of what child tyrants are, who show great insensitivity, coldness and barely have feelings of guilt.
What advice would you give parents so that their children are not like those of the 'neither nor' generation?
Children need great motivation and a purpose for the future so that they do not think that their life is determined by a circumstance of bad luck. Parents and their environment have the mission of explaining to them that you cannot have everything, that there is a proportional balance between the effort they make and its reward, and that they have responsibilities from an early age and participate in some family decisions. The nuance would be to make them see that they cannot have everything, but they can achieve a good part of their dreams with effort, will and determination. This is accomplished by persevering and tolerating frustration. With these keys, children can achieve their dreams and the purpose of their lives.
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