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What motivates us to keep going? Where do we get the strength to rebuild what is broken? The answer is simple: from within. That is why it is important that, from childhood, it is taught to children understand their inner personal strengths and how beneficial it can be to enhance them. Hence, parents have to find the necessary strategies to work all of them from home.
'In the depths of winter I finally learned that an invincible summer lived within me', Albert Camus. We all have within ourselves the capabilities and tools to move forward, no matter how difficult it is, there will always be a solution for everything. For this reason, currents of positive psychology have been studying the subject of self-improvement for years.
This was a concept that saw the light in the world of psychology thanks to the theorists Martín Seligman and Christopher Peterson, considered as the founders of Positive Psychology. As indicated in the study carried out by Beatriz Vera Poseck, entitled 'Positive psychology, a new way of understanding psychology' and published in the journal Papeles del Psicólogo, positive psychology tries to investigate which are positive qualities and characteristics most prominent. Among these, we must talk about the personal strengths that each of us develop.
Personal strengths are based on a set of psychological traits and abilities for which we have ease, virtue, or have the adaptive capacity to conquer. Of course, they are only positive capacities, which they bring us happiness and strengthen our personality.
We do not necessarily have to be born with them, but they have to be acquired through time and circumstances. In addition, it is necessary that they serve as a positive adaptive medium and that they be representative of our personality.
The pioneers of positive psychology realized that the world that studies the human mind needed a change of direction. Instead of pointing out people's mistakes and conflicts, they should also focus on innate inner capacities and adaptive skills to help them grow.
All this always with a single purpose: to achieve happiness. One of the reasons people are unhappy is because frustration of not getting what they are after or for not being good at something. And that is something that can be observed from childhood, but that can be changed by enhancing personal strengths.
That is why it is important to work with children and develop their belief that they can do whatever they set out to do, as long as they are realistic goals and do not cause harm to others. If they don't know how to do or face something, they can learn it. If they don't feel capable, they can find motivation. If they can't figure it out, then let it be new learning, rather than defeat.
Actually, there are a total of 24 personal strengths according to Seligman and Peterson. These are classified into six groups:
- Knowledge and wisdom
It encompasses the ability to learn and practice. This refers not only to all theoretical knowledge that serves us on a development plane, but to the ability to instruct ourselves from our mistakes, from the examples of others and from constant lessons to apply them to the adaptation of our environment.
It consists of the strengths of:
- Good judgement
- Love of learning
It refers to the ability to empathize that we all develop for other people's situations. It's about that human sense of helping those in need and appreciating what you have. In addition, these refer to the strengths that help us to relate to others, create links and function in society appropriately. It is divided into the strengths of:
- Social intelligence
These skills allow us to have a sense of judgment, balance, and fairness. It is what allows us to differentiate what is correct from injustices, which leads us to remedy them, and to know how to lead the baton in a team to resolve conflicts fairly and precisely. In it are the strengths of:
It refers to the internal character of achieving our goals, which we strengthen with time and adversity, when overcome. We can find the strengths of:
It is based on the abilities of discipline and self-control, necessary to have a stable life and to know when it is enough or when we need to give more. It also helps us differentiate needs from whims. It builds on the strengths of:
The last strength refers to what we seek in our life; those purposes that we set ourselves to be a totally complete person and of course, happy. But it also helps us realize realistic goals and those that are nothing more than an unrealizable fantasy. Composed of the strengths of:
- Sense of humor
And what can we do so that children work on all these personal strengths? We give you some tips.
- Through knowledge, providing information on various areas of development, so that they can nurture themselves, satisfy their curiosity and always have the desire to continue learning.
- Practicing all learned knowledge that can be useful for everyday life. Like chores, gardening, crafts, arts, etc.
- Serving others in whatever they need and be in your possibility to help. How to participate in volunteering, charity work or integrating people in their social circles.
- Bringing knowledge to others and including them in their games. This way you can connect with the right people.
- Learning from mistakes and teaching the little ones that every act has both positive and negative consequences and they should take care of them.
- Teaching emotional intelligence. Learning to recognize emotions can help them better express themselves and understand others.
- Keep the values in mind, always keep them in mind in your home, but also make sure you follow your own example. Always listen to the opinion of your children and respect their tastes.
It is not just about seeing life in a more positive light as a warm summer day, but living it with enjoyment, even on dreary winter days.
You can read more articles similar to The 24 personal strengths that we should work with children at home, in the On-site Learning category.