Recognizing Your Child's Strengths

Some kids are by nature zealous risk-takers; self-assured and eager to tackle every new challenge. But others seem to enter the world a little unsure of themselves, and plagued by feelings of inferiority.

For parents of the child who seems naturally to lack confidence, building self-esteem must be a conscious process from the very early years. This is Dr. James Dobson with Focus on the Family.

One of the most productive ways of instilling self-confidence is to teach your child ways to compensate. This means counter-balancing weaknesses by capitalizing on strengths. And it's the parents' job to find a child's natural abilities, and build on them. Whether it be athletic skills, musical ability, artistic expression, or academic performance. The key is to start your child down that road early.

There's nothing more risky than sending a teenager into the storms of adolescence with no skills, no unique knowledge, and no means of compensating. But, by encouraging your child to develop a special skill, you'll help her fit in. She can then say, "I may not be the most popular student in school, but I'm the best trumpet player in the band, and I'm proud of it."

If your child struggles with low self-esteem, identify a natural strength, and go with it. Finding a niche will give that son or daughter a place where self-esteem and personhood can grow. This is Dr. James Dobson for Focus on the Family.