I realise that my blog topics are changing furiously fast at the moment when one considers that whole books have been written on just one of the topics I am spending a short blog on, but for now that is the way it is! Tonight I want to write about Character Strengths which is a huge part of Positive Pschology!
This evening I had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by Associate Professor Lea Waters. She is based at Melbourne University and Positive Psychology is her thing!! Tonight she was talking about Positive Psychology and Parenting. Professor Waters used the 24 Character Strengths (developed by Peterson and Seligman) as the main topic of her lecture. The theory is that there are 24 character strengths in each human, regardless of gender, age and nationality. Out of the 24 strengths, the top 5 strengths are known as ‘signature strengths’ and then the others are ‘growth strengths’. The growth strengths are not so obvious and are strengths that can be developed, whereas it has been found that when a person is using their top 5 strengths, they are amongst many other things, likely to be more energised and happier.
Here is an example of some character strenghts – Love of learning, bravory and valor, capacity to love and be loved, teamwork and loyalty, forgiveness and mercy, appreciation of beauty and excellence, humour, wisdom, honesty…..the list goes on.
If we as teachers and parents are able to help our children see what their strengths are and to develop the growth strengths then we are giving our children a new way to look at themselves! Professor Waters went on to say “perception is greater than reality”. Ponder that one for both yourself and the children around you!
If you are interested in taking a survey to find your character strengths, it can be found by searching for ‘ VIA Institute on Character ‘.