The Strength Switch Book Summary - The Strength Switch Book explained in key points
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The Strength Switch summary

Lea Waters

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

4.2 (34 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

The Strength Switch by Lea Waters provides practical tools and stories to help parents and educators recognize and nurture strengths in children, leading to greater confidence and flourishing in life.

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    The Strength Switch
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    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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    What is The Strength Switch about?

    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.

    The Strength Switch Review

    The Strength Switch (2017) by Lea Waters offers a practical and insightful approach to building resilience and well-being in ourselves and our children. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its emphasis on positive psychology, the book provides actionable strategies to help us develop our strengths and cultivate a positive mindset.
    • By sharing real-life stories and research findings, Waters brings the concepts to life and demonstrates how they can be applied in everyday situations.
    • The book's practical exercises and reflection questions allow readers to actively engage with the material and make meaningful changes in their lives.

    Best quote from The Strength Switch

    The more he (Nick) understood himself to be a strong organizer...the more likely he was to remember to stow the bike.

    —Lea Waters
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    Who should read The Strength Switch?

    • Parents
    • Teachers
    • Psychologists

    About the Author

    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 FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Strength Switch?

    The main message of The Strength Switch is the power of focusing on our strengths rather than our weaknesses.

    How long does it take to read The Strength Switch?

    The reading time for The Strength Switch varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Strength Switch a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Strength Switch is worth reading as it offers insights into positive psychology and practical strategies for personal growth.

    Who is the author of The Strength Switch?

    The author of The Strength Switch is Lea Waters.

    What to read after The Strength Switch?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Strength Switch, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
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    • Unlocking Parental Intelligence by Laurie Hollman
    • How to Raise Successful People by Esther Wojcicki
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    • From Strength to Strength by Arthur C. Brooks