Being a parent is by far the most fulfilling and toughest job anyone can have. One way to make the job of being a parent a little easier is by learning a child’s strengths and weaknesses. The importance of knowing a child’s strengths and weaknesses can be found throughout the short stories “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker and “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen. Assessing a child’s strengths and weaknesses is something that teachers have been doing in the classroom for a very long time. The techniques that teachers use in the classroom can also be used in the home by parents. Through recognizing a child’s strengths and weaknesses, a parent can better understand their child, which in return will build a positive and stronger bond.
Teachers assess a child’s strengths and weaknesses in the classroom to figure out the best way for the child to learn. The theory is that children learn in one of three ways: visually, auditorily, and kinesthetically (Fliess, Paragraph 1). So how do teachers identify students’ learning types? According to Dr. James Keefe, former director of research for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, only ten to fifteen percent of schools use formal tests to determine learning styles. Most teachers, however, especially in elementary school, observe their students closely to determine learning styles. Then the teachers use learning style strategies that individualize instruction to take advantage of each student’s learning type (Staff). Understanding a students learning style is imperative to building a strong bond between teacher and student. Once a teacher has identified the students learning style they can tailor instruction as needed. Students learn more efficiently and successfully when instruction is tailored to their learning style.
Just like teachers, a parent should take the time to learn their child’s strengths and weaknesses. All children have individual strengths, talents, and abilities. It is significant for parents to observe their children when they are doing things such as playing and interacting with others. During imaginative play, children are free to unleash and exercise their strengths. Observing a child during play can benefit a parent a great deal about what their child prefers, how they socialize, and the unique ways they view themselves. Play encourages cognitive enrichment and emotional growth (Fox, Paragraph 2). Observing children will give parents important clues on their child’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, a child who cries easily may be very sensitive. The child who is messy, can be seen as energetic and curious and the child who is stubborn has strong character ("U of A Division of Agrictulture ").
In “I Stand Here Ironing,” the mother was constantly observing her daughter Emily. The mother watched the way Emily interacted with her family and the way she interacted with people who came to visit. She also took note of the way Emily talked...