Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jenifer Fox- Your Child's Strengths

Today's show features a really terrific guest- Jenifer Fox-President of the Purnell School, an all-girl's boarding school, and the author of Your Child's Strengths- Discover Them, Develop Them, Use Them. We speak about a range of subjects, but the most important one of all is how critically important it is to emphasize your child's true talents and strengths.

(Oddly enough, I had an opportunity just 36 hours later to put this advice to work. One of the boy's midterm report came back, and the news was, at best, mixed and not what he had led us to believe it would be. Rather than getting angry, as he expected, I sat down with him and we used it as an opportunity to learn. What had been going well, and what had not? Which study methods had been panning out, and which were not working so well for him? Instead of using this as an opportunity to make the kid feel worse- (he was doing a pretty good job all on his own of being disappointed and needed no help on that score from anyone), we chose instead to decide together, with him, what we could do differently that would help him.)

If you get a chance, I urge you to read Jenifer Fox's book, Your Child's Strengths. Give it to teachers you know. We all need to begin to change the tide in education, and part of this change starts with identifying what's good in each person, and finding ways of making them feel successful.

Kids face a daily birage currently of what they do wrong- the Gates Foundation reports that many high school dropouts are not dropping out because of anti-social behavior, but because they're bored and fail to see the relevance in the education they are receiving. We need to start making a change now, to keep kids in school, to make school a meaningful experience that sets kids up to be life long learners and problem solvers.

Click here to download Show # 85- Jenifer Fox- Your Child's Strengths

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