The Strength Switch: How the New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish
By Lea Waters, PhD
The teenage years present parents with lots of challenges. Parents often don’t know where to turn for advice. Are you looking for a parenting book based upon a loving, positive style of communication and discipline? With its scientific-sounding subtitle, you might expect The Strength Switch to be a complicated academic study of parenting rather than a helpful parenting guide. Instead, readers will find themselves nodding along in agreement as Dr. Lea Waters speaks to the importance of mindfulness and communication in the parent-child relationship.
The Strength Switch
Strength-based parenting reinforces and encourages a child’s abilities. It does so by “playing to the strengths” of the child and emphasizing the positive rather than the negative. While it may seem reasonable, even logical, to say that we should focus on a child’s strengths, it can be hard to turn off the parental critic and put positivity into practice. Through guidelines and exercises, as well as relatable anecdotes, The Strength Switch helps parents shift from a negative focus on a child’s weaknesses to a positive outlook that acknowledges and honors the child’s strengths.
Dr. Waters, a strengths-based scientist for more than two decades, reinforces what we may intuitively know. Cutting negativity from our parenting style can make a huge difference in a child’s attitude and outlook. The benefits can include higher levels of achievement, self-esteem, and life satisfaction, as well as a reduction in depression and anxiety. By instilling and modeling positivity, we give our children a foundation for coping with anything life throws at them. The Strength Switch belongs on every parent’s bookshelf as a go-to reminder of a loving, positive style of parenting.
Kristina Wright is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Your Teen.