- Gallup StrengthsExplorer Webcast Series
- Season 1, Episode 3
- Learn about the extraordinary altruism of children especially talented in Caring, and how to encourage and challenge them.
The StrengthsExplorer theme of Caring describes children who are driven and defined by their connection to other people. You'll notice children especially talented in this theme want to make the world a better place by helping individuals in small or big ways. They feel good when reaching out. To them, helping people is very important.
If you're looking for this theme, you might notice behavior that suggests an awareness of the help that others need, coupled with an excitement to offer to be that help. Caring children often assist, connect, or want to be with other kids and adults. They may even transfer their helping onto dolls, animals, pets or adults. They radiate joy when they're in their element: caring for and helping others. You might notice a specific sensitivity to the emotions of others, perhaps even carrying the weight of feeling, showing through sadness, distress, and concern for those who are hurting.
If you're trying to relate this to your own talent as an adult, you'll likely notice a good dose of Relationship-Building talent in this theme. It's both the ability to sense and consider, which you could find in elements of Empathy or Individualization, but that does not necessarily mean that Caring children will hone these talents into any specific adult theme. Ask yourself how you demonstrate connection to other people -- for an adult, your options for demonstrating compassion might be more defined -- through heart, feeling, mind or executing.
Words that help describe and accept Caring:
Devote yourself to learning more about this talent, especially in children who demonstrate it. Here are a few questions that will help keep this exploration top of mind for both you and the child:
- What kinds of feelings did you notice today?
- Who did you help today?
- Who needs our love this week?
- How would you like to help our family?
- What is the best way you show you care?
- How do others care for you?
- Who have you noticed showing kindness? How did they show it?
Affirming a Caring child:
Help them understand the most fertile environment for their care. Make sure the recipients of their help actually need and want it.
Role model great introductions. Shake hands (or whatever is culturally appropriate) and demonstrate use of names, and offer clear ways they can help.
Help your child name the cues that people are open to help, or gentle ways to offer care and love. (Is it safe? Can you approach gently first? Ask permission.)
The more you care for them, the more they're able to care for others.
Recognize their compassion. Depending on age and situation, it might be as simple as saying, "You're doing a great job caring for our puppy." Let them know you noticed them.
Model great assistance to them. "I see you're frustrated; can I help you?" "You've taken great care of your friend. What can I do for you today?"
Grow: What can you do this week to help invest in your CARING child?
- FIND PEOPLE YOUR CHILD CAN HELP. Everyone in your ecosystem is a potential growth opportunity for a Caring child. Seek the opportunity before your child does -- it'll be a good exercise in putting on your own caring goggles.
- EXPAND THE LANGUAGE OF EMOTION. Help your child learn and then identify 3 different emotions in the world. Depending on age, you might look for more or less obvious.
- Sad, Lonely, Tired, Angry, Afraid
- All good, but different ages/situations will have different clues.
- Develop an agreement for what your child can offer when they notice these emotions in others.