Conversation Starters: Talking to Your Child About Their Strengths

Fiona loves conversation starters. She has used them throughout her professional and personal life in so many situations. Conversation starters are more than great icebreakers.  They turn an I don’t know into a question that starts a spark. They provide a framework for an answer. 

What are conversation starters?

conversation starters

Conversation starters are prompts or questions designed to initiate meaningful, interesting, funny, discussions. They also serve as as a valuable tool for teaching kids about resilience. These prompts take various forms and capture children’s attention, making discussions about resilience more engaging. Through well-crafted questions and activities, conversation starters promote reflection, enhancing self-awareness and helping children navigate challenges with a positive mindset. Moreover, they contribute to the development of communication skills, foster a positive framing of discussions, and establish trust, creating an environment where children feel safe to share their thoughts and experiences. Tailored to age and developmental stages, conversation starters create a space for exploration, self-expression, and growth, laying the foundation for resilient thinking and behavior in children.

Using conversation starters to explore strengths

As parents, we strive to nurture our children’s development, celebrating their achievements and guiding them through challenges. One invaluable aspect of a child’s journey that often gets overlooked is their strengths. Recognizing and discussing these strengths is a powerful way to instill confidence, resilience, and a positive self-image in your child. In this blog, we’ll explore what strengths are, how they differ from what a person is good at or likes, and provide you with fun and engaging conversation starters to kickstart these meaningful discussions.

Skills vs Strengths

Skills are specific learned abilities that can be developed through practice and experience. For example, a child may have developed the skill of riding a bike or playing a musical instrument. While skills are valuable, they are not necessarily indicative of a person’s inherent strengths.

Strengths, on the other hand, are natural, ingrained capabilities that individuals possess. They often reflect a person’s authentic self and remain relatively stable over time. Identifying strengths involves recognizing the qualities that come naturally to a person, contributing to their unique way of approaching tasks and interacting with the world.

At Strength Heroes we use VIA Strengths  and use the following strengths in our work.  They are kindness, perseverance, humour, love, curiosity, creativity, zesty, bravery, teamwork and honesty.  For example, if children are good at art, then they may have the strengths of creativity and bravery (it takes a lot of bravery to display their art).  If they love lego, maybe their strengths are creativity and curiosity. 

Likes, or preferences, are activities or things that bring joy and satisfaction. While a child may like playing soccer, enjoying an activity doesn’t necessarily mean it aligns with their strengths but it can give clues.

Strengths go beyond mere enjoyment; they represent areas where a child excels, finds fulfillment, and demonstrates consistent excellence. Identifying strengths involves recognizing patterns of success, ease, and accomplishment in specific areas of life.

Why talk about strengths?

Understanding and discussing strengths with your child goes beyond the surface level of mere acknowledgment. It lays the foundation for several key aspects of their development:

1. Boosting Confidence: When children hear positive affirmations about their strengths, it boosts their confidence and self-esteem. Knowing what they excel at contributes to a positive self-image.

2. Building Resilience: Acknowledging strengths provides a toolkit for resilience. Children learn that they possess unique qualities that can be harnessed when facing challenges.

3. Fostering Self-Discovery: Conversations about strengths encourage self-discovery. It allows children to reflect on what makes them unique and special.

4. Positive Reinforcement: Regular conversations about strengths serve as positive reinforcement. It reinforces positive behavior and encourages the continued display of these strengths.

10 Conversation Starters

1. Strength Hero Showdown: If you could have any superhero power, what would it be and why? What real-life strengths do you think you have that are similar to that superhero power?

2. Magic Wand Moments: If you had a magic wand and could be really good at one thing instantly, what would it be? What steps can we take to develop that strength together?

3. Storybook Stars: If you were the main character in a storybook, what would be your special ability or strength? How would you use it to solve problems in the story?

4. Strength Safari: Imagine we’re going on a safari to discover the strengths in our family. What animals represent each family member’s strengths, and why?

5. Musical Mastery: If you had a soundtrack for your life, what kind of music would play when you’re doing something you love? How does that music represent your strengths?

6. Time-Travel Talents: If you could travel back in time to meet someone famous, who would it be? What strengths do you think you share with that person?

7. Invention Convention: If you could invent something to make the world better, what would it be? What strengths do you have that would help you create this invention?

8. Sports Spectacle: Imagine you’re in the Olympics. What sport would you compete in, and what strengths would help you win a gold medal?

9. Explorer’s Expedition: If we were explorers going on an expedition, what strengths would you bring to help our team succeed in our adventures?

10. Dream Job Delight: What is your dream job, and what strengths do you have that would make you excel in that job? How can we nurture those strengths together?

These conversation starters are designed to make discussions about strengths enjoyable and interactive. Feel free to adapt them to suit your child’s age and interests. Remember, these conversations are not just about identifying strengths but also about fostering a positive and open dialogue with your child, building a foundation for their future success and well-being.

Use these conversation starters to delve into the unique qualities that make them exceptional, fostering a positive and open dialogue about their strengths. Remember, the goal is not just to identify strengths but also to nurture and celebrate them, contributing to your child’s overall development and well-being.


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