How CliftonStrengths (Strengthsfinder) Can Help You Be Better Parents
Parents, If you love your children as you love yourself, STOP!
And here’s 3 reasons why: –
They don’t think they way you do
They don’t feel the way you do
They don’t behave the way you do
Surprised? Not really? And yet, as parents, we do that all the time.
What We Do
Consider the following scenarios …
You cleaned up the mess in your child’s room and you wondered why you were not appreciated for that. After all, don’t people like to be in a clean and orderly place?
Just the way you liked it?
So it is eating-out night and you decide that it is time for the family to start getting ready to go. Then you shout out, “let’s all leave in 10 minutes’ time!” And your kids get upset with you for giving such short notice.
And you wondered what all the fuss is all about.
You instructed your child to stay in her room and study for 2 hours before she can have her privileges. She is upset with you for insisting that she needed to do that. And you don’t get it.
After all, it worked for you when you were her age.
Every time when your son comes to you, he only comes because he needed your help to buy him some things. And that disappoints you. Why isn’t he coming to you for other matters besides just wanting your help to buy things?
You would never have gone to your own parents just for this.
And all too often, we impose how we love or treat ourselves onto our children. We subconsciously expect them to think, feel and behave just like we would have thought, felt or behaved.
And when they don’t, they disappoint us, and we get upset or sometimes even angry with their “disobedience.”
There was a time years ago when my teenage son blurted out, “Dad, stop asking what my dreams are! I am not like you! I am not you!.” At that instance, I admit I was disappointed with him.
And then, it hit me.
Don’t treat your people like yourself. They are different from you.
According to The Gallup Organization, the probability of finding some one that thinks, feels and behaves in the exact same way as you do in the world is 1 in 33,000,000. And the odds get worse in finding that some one in your own home.
Your children and your loved ones are not you. When you get confused, annoyed or upset whenever they don’t do what you tell them to do, it may not always be that they are being disrespectful or disobedient to you.
It could just be that they are distinctly different from you.
So what can you do?
Well, go find out how different you all are.
The Strengthsfinder assessment tool can help you and your loved ones find out the way you all think, feel and behave.
My son and I did the CliftonStrengths (Strengthsfinder) and the results were staggeringly revealing. Remember what my son said about he not being me in the area of dreaming the future? Well, our results confirmed that.
Simply put, I have the CliftonStrengths (Strengthsfinder) talent theme of “Futuristic” and he has “Analytical”. And because of those different talent themes, we both dream differently. One with relative ease and the other, with a little more work.
Because of Futuristic, dreaming about my future is easy and enjoyable. I just turn it on. All I need to do is, well, just start dreaming.
For me, I dream in order to see.
For my son, it gets slightly more complicated. He can’t just turn on dreaming. He cannot dream to see. His “Analytical” would not let him. He needs to see the facts before he can dream through those facts.
For him, he needs to see in order to dream.
Understanding this simple difference between him and I changed our conversations dramatically. I no longer ask him what his dreams are. That frustrates him. Instead, I would ask him, how does knowing what he knows (the facts) affect his plans.
And today, I no longer get blank stares from him. I am beginning to get answers.
1 in 33,000,000
So parents, STOP loving and treating your children like you love and treat yourself. They are different from you.
We cannot change our roles as parents but we can definitely change the way we parent them.
1 in 33,000000.
Kim Pong is the CEO and Founder of StrengthsAsia, Creator of the REFRAME MasterClass and the first 20 Gallup Certified Strengths Coaches in the world. He is based in Singapore and works with organizations in Asia in creating an engaged workplace culture for leaders, managers and executives to thrive.