I found this bit of wisdom in the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. Though geared at self improvement, this quote struck a chord with me as a parent:
The trick is not to work obsessively on the skills and talents you lack, but to focus and cultivate your strengths so that your weaknesses matter less.
The story of Tony DeBlois is an example of this in action. His mother recognized that Tony had serious weaknesses/disabilities to overcome, but also realized that his strength in music could make much of that weakness irrelevant.
All of our kids have their own strengths. Much of it may be hidden from us as parents*, or their strength may be something that we don’t quite understand or appreciate as worth cultivating.
But it is by cultivating these strengths, in all of our kids (and ourselves), that we can help them be successful in whatever they ultimately decide to do.
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* Ferrazzi also gives this observation from Machiavelli: “Everyone sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.”