The day I received Lucille Williams’ children’s book, Turtle Finds His Talent: Discovering How God Made You Special two of our grandchildren were at our home. I opened the package and immediately read the book to my grandkids, James and Charlotte. They loved it and so did I. I love the ministry of Lucille Williams and this book is a wonderful addition to all she does. This guest blog and next week’s blog from Lucille is about the content of her book. I hope you will pick up a copy of this children’s book.
Teaching Kids to Focus on Strengths, Not Weaknesses
We’d all like to be good at everything—I know I would. But the truth is, we all don’t have the same gifting and talents, and unfortunately, we tend to compare our weaknesses to other people’s strengths. And with our current online promotion, social media culture, one can begin to feel bad about themselves because, “I just don’t feel good enough” at a very young age.
When our youngest child was six years old, my husband and I put him on a T-ball team. Our whole family played softball, and we thought for sure he’d love it too. My husband, Mike, and I were the coaches. Excitement was in the air on our first, game day. As soon as our little T-ball players took the field to play, our little son, Joey, took off his cleats and announced, “I’m tired!” He proceeded to lay prostrate on the dugout bench. All the while, Mike and I were on the field with the other kids. Clearly, T-ball wasn’t his thing.
When our middle child, Tim, was six years old, we signed him up for soccer. “He’ll be great” we thought. Finally, it was game day and Grandma and Grandpa came to cheer him on. At the close of the game my dad took me aside and said, “Get him piano lessons.” Gee, thanks Dad!
As a pre-teen our daughter, Monica, while struggling through homework at the kitchen table proclaimed, “School is not my best subject.” While her younger brothers sailed through math classes, she struggled. She worked really hard, but writing seemed to be the only thing that came a bit easier for her.
As a kid I struggled with ADHD. I didn’t know I had ADHD until I was an adult, but looking back I see how it hugely affected me as a kid. Reading was especially difficult. In third grade, I recall a friend sitting with me in the library and listening as I practiced reading. Other kids seemed to soar through school, but I struggled and worked hard to get through each year. I did have a mind for creativity and fantasy, but I thought I wasn’t as smart as other kids.
Joey later became a wonderful public speaker, excelled in school, and had a knack for performing, participating in Show Choir and was the lead in the school musical.
Tim became a competitive boxer. He boxed and often won from the age of nine until he went off to college. Comically enough, his gentle spirit led him to serve as a pastor.
Monica put herself through college earning a Journalism degree and became the communications director at a large church. She’s a talented writer and editor.
And me, the kid who couldn’t read and had trouble focusing, became an author.
As a kid I wish someone had taught me to focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses.
Even as adults, too often we compare our lives to others. Comparison will steel and rob us of joy. Leaning into our strengths is a learned skill and one we can teach our children. Instead of comparing our weaknesses to another’s strengths, we can focus on celebrating our differences and embracing our God-given talents. We can learn that we are good enough. You, my friend, are good enough—just how God made you.
Turtle Finds His Talent is all about teaching children to focus on their own abilities, specialness, and God-given talents. This is a good lesson for us adults as well. Personally, I learned to adjust and function with ADHD, and have even learned to thrive in it.
There are good aspects to every challenge. Do you see your child struggling? Watching our kids struggle can be very painful as a parent. We’d rather fix, help, move the goal line than watch them struggle. But that very struggle is what will teach them to soar and eventually thrive. Instead of “fixing” their world, we can support and affirm and foster confidence and self-esteem as they lean into their strengths. We can teach our children that they are loved just as they are and that God made them special.
Please read Turtle Finds His Talent: Discovering How God Made You Special to a child in your life.
Published by Zonderkidz.