The Strength Switch: How the New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish

Lea Waters. Avery, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-1-10198-364-5
The framework of positive psychology, combined with recent studies into strength, yields here a parenting method that ditches a culturally dominant negativity bias in which parents are focused on correcting weaknesses. Psychologist Avery encourages parents to “flick the switch” by instead focusing on acknowledging and building on their children’s strengths so that their children develop self-esteem, optimism, resilience, and self-control. Waters teaches parents to identify their children’s strengths at the intersection of spontaneous high performance, high energy, and high use, and then to find natural opportunities for these strengths to be used and developed. She sketches out a framework that considers problematic behaviors as resulting from overuse or underuse of strengths. Waters also offers parents and children alike methods for achieving other aspects of positive psychology—attention, gratitude, and mindfulness. Despite the focus on positivity, Waters comes off as a thoughtful parenting realist and not a spacey happiness guru, supporting her ideas with a mix of parental anecdotes and pointers to psychological research. Waters’s clearly presented, easily implemented ideas will make sense to parents looking to escape the corrective mind-set that can make both them and their children feel defective or broken, especially in the children’s teen years. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 07/11/2017
Ebook - 978-1-101-98366-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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