In this newsletter, we will discuss the significance of building strong and healthy relationships as a foundation for discovering potential throughout life. We will also explore how powerful relationships can preventatively address the many behavioral issues we face in schools today. Furthermore, we will delve into how building strong school-home connections and working alongside students to discover, develop, refine, and apply strengths in school and in life can allow our next generation of scholars to passionately lead by example and help others find their own success, happiness, and full potential too.
Permanent Solutions for Students’ Problems: Building Powerful Relationships
In addition to motivating students by improving self-awareness and internalizing strengths, Academic Window preventatively focuses on important problems we face in schools today. Among these problems are: bullying, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, addiction, mental health issues, depression, suicides, violence, and school shootings. Before even attending school, a student’s ability to follow a healthy path in life starts from the very moment they are born. As discussed in our previous newsletters, effective parenting throughout childhood is a critically important first step in a child’s eventual self-discovery. Intelligence, mind, and will power can all derive from the force of a relationship between a child and his or her parents from birth. A child is born with potential strengths that should be discovered by parents at home and by teachers at school. Parents should provide children with a suitable environment for growth along with opportunities and basic psychological needs–competence, autonomy and relatedness. Otherwise, a child will not be competent or psychologically healthy. Permanent solutions for such problems students face in schools come from building powerful relationships that can be defined by autonomy, competence, relatedness, love, compassion, and respect. Building strong and healthy relationships with children from the beginning can be the ultimate driving force behind a child’s gradual self-discovery, awareness and pursuit of strengths, confidence-building, and success in reaching their full potential over time. This is where schools can step in to help students form powerful relationships and to grow as individuals and lifelong learners as their strengths are recognized, brought to the surface, given the necessary space to shine, and reinforced to grow. By building strong school-home connections, too, schools can provide parents with the critical resources and support needed for students to learn and grow not just academically but also behaviorally and character-wise in both the school and home environments.
Inborn Strengths YouTube Video
While strengths can and should be actively pursued and developed over time, many of these strengths are inborn strengths that can then be further enhanced–strengths that are a very part of our genetic makeup and DNA. In other words, these strengths are inherently or naturally a part of a person’s identity from birth and must be brought to the surface through acknowledgment, recognition, reinforcement, practice, and intentional pursuit. For instance, a cheetah is born with the strength of speed; whereas, a lion has the inborn strength of being powerful. While these animals have unique strengths, their innate abilities to survive are equally served by these strengths. Likewise, people are born with different and unique strengths that must be discovered in order for them too to discover their full potential. Willpower and mindfulness are the given tools we can use to discover and manage our strengths. Moreover, happiness is made possible by being at peace with our features and characteristics and using them in the maximum way possible throughout our daily lives. For instance, the cheetah can hunt gazelles by using its strength of speed to catch its prey. The lion, on the other hand, can defeat a buffalo with its power. Also, the lion is not upset because it is not as fast as the cheetah, nor is the cheetah upset because it is not as strong as the lion. Both are aware of the features and strengths they possess, and they succeed in being happy. If people discover their strengths and start using those strengths in their daily lives, they too can be successful and happy. In this, people must discover their strengths, internalize them, and believe they can overcome challenges and achieve success through them.
Building powerful relationships can be seen as the critical foundation for successfully discovering strengths and ultimately reaching our full potential in life. Building powerful relationships goes beyond parenting and extends primarily to schools. In fact, counseling and mentoring serve this very purpose. By building strong, caring, and purposeful relationships with students in helping each one discover, reveal, and pursue his or her own unique strengths, our mentoring program essentially lays the foundation for students’ continued lifelong learning, inward self-discovery, and growth as driven and confident individuals. Moreover, mentoring helps students develop critical interpersonal skills that can allow for them to share their strengths and healthy behavioral approaches to life with others. This sharing of strengths and positive behavior then leads to the “butterfly effect”, which has also been discussed at length in our previous newsletters. The “butterfly effect” allows schools to positively influence whole societies essentially one student at a time. While powerful relationships are at the very heart and core of personal development, personal development through strong relationships begins with parenting, schooling, and home-school connections, which then goes on to impact work, career pursuits, and a person potentially starting a family of his or her own someday. The impact of building strong relationships is then cyclical, as those positively influenced through these powerful relationships can then positively impact the next generations too.
In sum, through strong relationships and close partnerships with parents and students, schools can proactively guide students along a healthy path for life, thus preventatively addressing the persistent problems we face in schools today ranging from drug and alcohol abuse, addiction, anxiety, depression, and suicide to bullying, violence, and even school shootings. If not for such preventative counseling support from an early age, students may continue to struggle academically, experience relationship issues with friends, and become unable to effectively self-reflect as a result of their selfishness, ego, pride, or lack of competence, among other factors, getting in the way. This lack of strong relationships and lack of academic success in school can then result in a domino effect, following a person throughout life and causing them to become less successful in the workplace and in their career pursuits than what their full potential would allow, eventually even leading to issues in their own marriages and with their own families and potentially leading to family disagreement, unhealthy relationships, domestic violence, and even divorce. Essentially, forming meaningful and purposeful school-home ties, building strong relationships with children early on in life, and allowing children to discover and pursue strengths while understanding and applying positive behaviors can all have a very positive long-term effect throughout life. The power of relationships extends well beyond just you and me. Powerful relationships ultimately impact the discovery of self and the extent of the positive difference we can make in life, driving the success and character of societies for generations to come. For this reason, it is very essential for students to discover their strengths in school and to ensure they are at peace with their own strengths so that they can succeed and be happy in the future while making a positive difference in the lives of others. In this context, Academic Window has developed special methods to discover the strengths of children and special applications and interventions for students to internalize and use those strengths to find success and happiness.