Strengths-Based Parenting: 5 Effective Ways Mum Built the Family

(This article was written by Zhi Hui, our intern at Kingmaker! Her StrengthsFinder® talent themes of Empathy, Developer, Restorative, Individualization and Relator define her a genuine and effective people person who intuitively sees diversity and potential in people of every walk. Zhi Hui is also passionate about Social Science, especially in areas pertaining to people management, personal growth and leadership development.

 Here is her article, written from the fresh perspective of a young person empowered by StrengthsFinder. She shares snippets from her family life, through the Top 5 Talent Themes of her mum!)

 This Mother’s Day, I would like to dedicate an article to my #1 supporter, #1 friend and most importantly, my #1 drinking partner (yes, my mum and I bond over Baileys!).

In this article, I write about how my mum’s talent themes manifest in her parenting and show up in her life as a uniquely wonderful individual as well. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about some snippets from our family life, and think about what talent themes show up in YOUR mum’s life as well!

Here are my mum’s top 5 talent themes:

  1. Strategic
  2. Achiever
  3. Arranger
  4. Discipline
  5. Woo

Dealing with Difficult Children Like Us: Mum’s Strategic Talent Theme

Parenting is an uphill task, and dealing with the “strawberry generation” like us doesn’t make it any easier. My mum is a no-curfews-given, go-buy-whatever-you-want, go-experience-drinking-in-a-bar kind of mum. She strongly believes that behind this autonomy, we learn how to take charge of our lives a little better, and mature a little faster. I guess this is a desired outcome many parents want to achieve, only that my mum does things a little differently from the rest.

Back in the day, whenever we made a trip to the toy store, my mum would buy us almost every toy we set our eyes on. If you think we ended up having too many toys for our own good, it was actually the converse. Instead of being deprived, which an old adage describes as “deprivation (being) the best motivation”, our mum gave us much autonomy as children. We ended up being de-sensitised to the idea of buying toys, and would only get things that we really needed.

I guess that’s my mum’s special strategy behind the autonomy she has given us. Special perspective you might say, yet it was certainly pretty effective in dealing with us.

Achiever Talent in Mum: Hayday Specialist

How does my mum’s Achiever talent theme show? A tiger mum? 100 marks-and-she’ll-praise-you kind of parent? You’re wrong!

She is a Hayday Specialist, currently standing at #1 on her Facebook friend list and a whopping level 165!!! One time she made my brothers and I download the app so that she could get some tomatoes.

 not the real ones, but the virtual ones.

To her disappointment, we did not download the game because we found the game a little pointless. Oops. Jokes aside, she takes a lot of pride when she completes her personal checklist for the day at work. If need be, she will dedicate some time on Saturday mornings to check off the last item on her checklist. Every morning, she reaches her office at 7am just so she can get more things done (and free Wi-Fi for Hayday too).

Weekend Happenings: My Arranger Mum

Weekends are jam-packed for our family. Each day, we get quite a lot of things done, all thanks to our conductor mum who never fails to make sure our schedules are in place. If I were to give you a rough feel of our schedules, we have around 4 tuition classes and 4 enrichment classes in total per day on weekends. To complicate things further, some of these programme timings are staggered, which makes it even more difficult to coordinate and ensure everyone is at the right place at the right time.

My mum makes use of her iPad to jot down every single activity my brothers and I have each day. Sometimes our schedules change last minute but somehow, things turn out smooth and fine. Our whereabouts are accounted for, and our meals and transport taken care of. What I really look forward to is family dinner at night. Despite our busy schedules, we all make it a point to gather for dinner as a family. As hectic our days can get, my mum ensures there is always time for family.

Discipline Talent, Family Habits: Eating and Sleeping

Despite the autonomy my mum gives my brothers and I, she is pretty strict on two things in particular: food and sleep. That is when her Discipline talent theme comes in handy. Every other day, we are expected to go home for dinner, unless we have a valid reason not to do so. She creates a dinner routine for our family, where we share about our day’s happenings while having dinner together. Every day, we are expected to be in bed by 10pm and wake up the next day by 6am.

Effectively, we get 8 hours of sleep each day. Unfinished homework? We are not allowed to burn the midnight oil. You can wake up at 5am the next day, but by 10pm, strictly all lights out.

“Popular Kid”: Mum’s Woo Talent!

My mum can strike a conversation with almost anybody she sees, especially with other parents waiting outside the tuition centre for their own children. Initiating conversations and breaking the ice is something my mum can so naturally do. It is definitely not an exaggeration when I say that my mum is closer to parents than my brothers are to their friends. That is the power of her Woo talent theme. My brothers and I like to joke about how my mum is a “popular kid”, but just a little older, maybe a “popular auntie”.

(Click here to find out who else in our team has woo!)

End Note

Don’t get me wrong, I wrote this article not so much to boast about what an awesome mum I have.

which is a true fact, but not the main point of all this!

What I want to really bring across is that one talent theme can manifest in many different ways in different people’s lives. It’s really up to us to appreciate the wonderful blend of how these talent themes manifest and shape individual lives and real families – and, for all of us embrace these talents and our family members wholeheartedly!

Now that I’ve shared about my mum and her talent themes –  talent themes of hers that have shaped our family culture and values in real and wonderful ways – what about you? Which of the 34 talent themes in Clifton StrengthsFinder do YOU see in YOUR mum? I’m sure your mum is awesome and talented in amazing ways too!
Happy Mother’s Day to all mummies out there!