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A Game Changer for Your Family: Parenting to Everyone’s Gifts

parenting to everyone's gifts

*This article summarizes Episode 175 of our podcast, “See Your Child’s Strengths in the Craziness,” with Courtney and Joe Dewey, who are part of our Connected Families Certified Parent Coaches Program. We encourage you to listen to the entire episode if you’d like to explore these concepts a little more deeply.

Does this sound familiar? You get to the end of the day, and you’re exhausted – so much of what you’ve been doing all day is an absolute drain. You’ve probably been there at some point as a parent! But what if we told you that understanding and parenting to your strengths (and your child’s strengths!) could make a world of difference?

God designed each of us in a unique way

In the tapestry of family life, each thread—each unique strength and talent—has been carefully placed by the Creator. As parents, one of the most profound ways you can honor God’s design is by nurturing these strengths, both within yourself and within your children. This nurturing is not just an act of love; it’s an act of worship, an acknowledgment of the divine craftsmanship that Psalm 139:13-14 speaks to, recognizing that each member of your family is “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

It’s important to remember that the parenting journey is not a solo endeavor. It’s a shared experience, a partnership with God, who has generously distributed unique gifts to each of us. (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)

Discovering your superpowers

First things first, let’s talk about you! Understanding and valuing your own strengths can be a game-changer in parenting:

  • What do you love doing?
  • What comes naturally to you?
  • Where do you see maximum effectiveness with minimum weariness?

These are clues to your unique strengths. And when you parent based on those strengths, parenting comes more naturally.

Using your gifts brings teamwork

Here is a good example of how Joe and Courtney (CF Certified Parent Coaches) use their complimentary gifts with their girls:

Joe found that creativity and ideation were strengths of his. He learned that his creative ideas were a gift to his family, but that didn’t mean every one of his many ideas had to come to fruition. A journal with space for a “brain dump” helped him and his wife Courtney sift through the ones the Lord was really leading their family to do.

An example of Joe’s strength of creativity was his planning of birthday parties that were not only super fun but also suited his children’s unique gifts. His 11-year-old daughter loves competition, so for her birthday, he developed an elaborate laser tag game. (When the teenage boys at church got wind of it, they were trying to get an invitation!)

For his more non-competitive daughter, who loves creativity and crafts, the birthday theme was building a fairy house. Now fairy houses are not Joe’s particular jam, but he set the girls up to make some wonderful imaginative houses! While Joe was using his gifts (of creativity and activity planning), Courtney was able to focus on her gifts of preparing delicious food and party decorations, which she really enjoyed. What great teamwork! Together, Joe and Courtney used their individual gifts to host fun birthday parties for each of their unique daughters.

We know you might be thinking, “But what about all the things I’m not so great at?” Here’s the secret: You can’t learn about your strengths if you are focusing on your weaknesses. Focusing on your strengths is much more powerful than trying to turn your weaknesses into strengths. Embrace your unique gifts and the special role you play as a parent. When you do, you’ll be showing your kids what it looks like to joyously live out the way God made you!

“When you become comfortable with who God made you to be, a peace comes over your parenting.”

Joe Dewey

Seeing your child’s superpowers

Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” So, let’s talk about your amazing kiddos and how God made them “called and capable.”

You’ve always been your kids’ strongest advocate, wanting to empower them to be who they were created to be. But where do you begin when trying to identify your child’s strengths? Start by putting on your detective hat and noticing what makes them light up. These are all hints into their hidden superpowers!

  • What do they love to talk about?
  • What do they love to do and show off?
  • Are there activities that bring your child joy or tasks they approach enthusiastically?
  • What challenges do they meet with unshakeable resolve?
  • How are they different from other kids?
  • What patterns do you see?

Our Connected Families Podcast Host, Stacy, knew her daughter loved everything about football, including stats, stats, and more stats! Her passion was so intense that Stacy started worrying about her daughter being overboard or obsessed with this. But then, as God convicted her of anxious judgments, Stacy shifted both her beliefs about and her statements to her daughter: “You really love to know a lot about one topic. You’re the kind of person others might rely on for having deep knowledge about specific things, and that could be an important role for you in this world.”

Celebrating everyone’s strengths

When you celebrate each other’s strengths, you learn how to serve each other better. You can help kids figure out what chore is a natural fit, which can cut down on a lot of the angst around chores. One of Courtney and Joe’s kids has a gift of organization and loves to make lists, so Courtney brings this child along on shopping trips.

“I noticed….” And “I wonder….” are great ways to start sentences that encourage your child’s gifts.

When parents stay curious about their children and identify their children’s gifts, they can direct a struggling child to someone with a gift in that area. “Your sister loves to write. Do you want to ask her to help you with your paper?” Acknowledging and valuing each other’s gifts and contributions brings so much joy! (And your family will function better because of it!)

Discussing your kids’ strengths with someone who knows them well (spouse, relative, friend, teacher, coach, etc.) may reveal patterns in their answers. What are they noticing? How do they describe your child’s gifts and talents?

Once you’ve got a hunch about your child’s strengths, it’s time to engage with thoughtful encouragement!

  • Acknowledge and effectively affirm what you see.
  • Give kids opportunities to practice and grow in their areas of gifting.
  • Help them see how they can use their strengths to be a blessing to others.
  • “I noticed….” And “I wonder….” are great ways to start sentences that encourage your child’s gifts. “I noticed you seemed really excited and engaged when you were ____________. I wonder how God might use that gift to bless others someday.”

Most importantly, make sure your children know that they are both called and capable – called to God’s purposes and gifted with the capability to match their calling.

Want to explore your child’s strengths?

Check out this FREE downloadable PDF worksheet with thoughtful questions and ideas to do just that!

Your family’s unique “symphony”

Every family is like a unique orchestra, with each member playing a special part. When you celebrate and nurture each person’s strengths, you create a beautiful symphony! (or maybe some lively jazz 😉) Sure, there might be some squeaks or clashing cymbals now and then, but that’s all part of the journey.

The key is to appreciate how each person’s unique talents and capabilities reflect a different part of God’s character. When each person brings a glimpse into the image of God, you gain a more complete picture of God’s wonderful characteristics: Imago Dei.

Isn’t it beautiful the way God designed families? We were each created to know this: “I belong, and I have a unique contribution to make!” At Connected Families, we believe that many troubles in families can be healed when parents communicate to their kids, “You belong! And you have a unique contribution to make.”

And you gain an image of how the Body of Christ is intended to function. As 1 Peter 4:10 suggests, these gifts are not given for personal gain but for stewarding those gifts to serve others. This stewardship calls you to lead your children by example, showing them how to live out their strengths in service to others and to the glory of God.

Parenting to your (and your child’s!) strengths is an incredible opportunity to witness the beauty of God’s diverse creation and can be a game-changer in your family. It might take some practice, but it’s so worth it.

Just as 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 describes the different kinds of gifts, services, and activities that come from God, your family is a microcosm of this divine diversity. Celebrate that! Read the scriptures below to your kids. Each child’s unique strengths contribute to the family’s collective purpose of serving in God’s kingdom.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

1Peter 4:10

Want to learn more?

Strengthsfinders has some wonderful resources if you want to explore the process of discovering and nurturing your family’s unique gifts. 

Quick Guide for Parenting

The Quick Guide for Parenting

It’s parenting made clear with biblical wisdom to better equip you to lead your family with grace.

Quick Guide for Parenting

The Quick Guide for Parenting

It’s parenting made clear with biblical wisdom to better equip you to lead your family with grace.

Lynne Jackson
Lynne Jackson
Articles: 142