You may have seen us posting this week on social media and in past emails that this week was Neurodiversity Celebration Week. You may also have seen that as part of that celebration, we hosted a free webinar about the topic of strengths and what we as parents can do to focus on what is right with our children instead of fixating on what is wrong.
Why are we doing this? Because like Siena Castellon, the founder of Neurodiversity Celebration Week, and like the speaker for our webinar, Sara Regan, of Strengths Now, Inc., we at Effective Effort Consulting believe in changing the narrative of society in general but especially as it relates to neurodiversity and people with learning differences and mental health challenges from one that focuses primarily on the deficits and challenges that people face to one that, as Siena Castellon describes, “focuses equally on our talents and strengths.”
Why do we believe in this need to change the narrative? Because at the heart of every neurodiverse individual, in fact at the heart of every individual, is the desire to do well, to succeed, and to experience success. When someone has a learning disability and learns differently, it doesn’t change their will to succeed or do well; it only changes the way they acquire or express information or the pace at which they learn or express what they know. Diversity is celebrated in so many places, and we at EEC and through our support of Neurodiversity Celebration Week want to bring attention to and celebrate the diversity of how people think, learn, and interact with the world; to bring the focus from the disability side of learning and being to the ability side of learning and being. Every person has abilities, strengths and talents that occur naturally and come easily; this is true even for people who have learning differences. Those abilities, strengths and talents just might be hidden or unseen behind the disabilities, but if we can change the narrative and look for the abilities first, not only will people be more likely to feel successful, but they will also have a better sense of self, improved self-esteem, improved self-confidence, and improved self-worth. And when each of these things exists, it is so much easier to accept and put effort towards building the skills that are a little bit more challenging and require that much more effort.
When we are seen first as human beings with strengths and abilities, and as people who want to do well, we are more likely to be open to change and to receiving feedback on those things that we are less capable of doing and to accepting and even seeking help in building skills that do not come easily. This openness to growth, feedback, and help results in increased effort and growth in the harder things which eventually leads to success for all. It is a win-win! And it is in fact at the heart of the EEC coaching model – to build awareness around strengths, to celebrate success related to strengths, to peel away the layers of disappointment and shame, and to build more confidence and self-esteem, which builds trust, which leads to a willingness to engage in the harder work of trying new strategies for build lagging skills, which then leads to greater success and the cycle continues. This is the beauty of strength-based coaching and strength-based living and why we at EEC do what we do!
What will you do to understand, recognize and celebrate the strengths of your kids today? How might that lead to fewer battles in your home? How might that lead to a greater understanding of the challenges that your child has when they feel seen only for what they can’t do? If you didn’t sign up for our webinar but are now convinced of the importance of focusing on what is right with your child, you can still see the webinar. It will be posted in our YouTube channel soon! And if you are interested in learning more about how coaching can help you or your child see them for their strengths and celebrate their success while also building skills to support their lagging skills, check out our website at Effective Effort Consulting and consider joining 2Empower Parents, a community of support and information that can lead to transformational change by providing you with the tools you need to change the dynamics of the relationship with your child, stop the homework battles, get to the heart of your child’s strengths and their challenging behaviors and create a calmer you, a calmer home, and a calmer, more responsive, confident, independent, and successful child who has a more connected relationship with you. You can learn how to focus on your child’s strengths (and yours too!) to bring out the best in them and in you!
Yours in a strengths-based world,
Top 5 Strengths: Individualization, Relator, Learner, Arranger, Responsibility