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The Strength Switch

How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish

By Lea Waters
15-minute read
Audio available
The Strength Switch: How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish by Lea Waters

The Strength Switch (2017) demonstrates how parents can employ strength-based parenting in family scenarios. It shows that children can blossom and flourish if parents switch their focus onto their child’s strengths rather than being overly critical.

  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Psychologists

Lea Waters is a psychologist who earned her PhD at Deakin University in Australia. She has been researching for over 20 years in the field of child education. In her work as a psychologist, she has seen what effect focusing on a child’s strengths can have on child development and the well-being of the whole family. She has published a wide range of scientific articles on this subject.

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The Strength Switch

How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish

By Lea Waters
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
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The Strength Switch: How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish by Lea Waters
Synopsis

The Strength Switch (2017) demonstrates how parents can employ strength-based parenting in family scenarios. It shows that children can blossom and flourish if parents switch their focus onto their child’s strengths rather than being overly critical.

Key idea 1 of 9

Using the strength switch helps you shift focus from children’s faults to their strengths.

It’s human nature to see faults in everything. The eye automatically hones in on one negative aspect rather than seeing the bigger, often more positive, picture. Typically, when faced with something like a beautiful vase, you’re sure to first spot the cracks and scratches on the glaze.

The same principle applies to parenting. If your attention is selective, all you’re going to see are your child’s faults.

Dr. Waters herself is guilty of it. When her son Nick received a new bike for his eighth birthday, she told him to park it up on their home’s front deck when he wasn’t using it.

However, despite repeated reminders, Nick kept forgetting. He’d just drop his bike by the front door before running inside.

Then one day, Waters lost her temper. She came home from work, and the bike was there again, left unattended out front. She snapped at Nick.

It was a classic case of selective attention; the author was focusing exclusively on a single negative incident at the expense of all else.

This is where the technique of the strength switch comes in: it assists in shifting a parent’s attention onto a child’s strength.

The next day, the author put the strength switch into action. Despite the ongoing bike issue, she deliberately forced herself to think about her son’s positive qualities before she entered the house.

Thanks to the technique, she was able to notice all the positive things that Nick had been up to. For starters, he’d been enthusiastic and loving in welcoming her home. But he’d also started to show that he could organize himself – he’d put his shoes and lunch box away rather than just dropping them somewhere around the house.

Over the following weeks, the author brought up the bike issue again. But this time she did so without being aggressive or overly critical. She also paired it with compliments by pointing out everything Nick had remembered to do and how well organized he could be.

The positive feedback worked its magic. Nick soon started to park his bike in its spot before coming into the house. And it all began with the strength switch.

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