Northern Wilds Magazine

Strengthening the Family

This month, as a part of the Hot Potato series, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic will be focusing on what it takes to build resiliency in families. With this in mind, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach Lori Rothstein will be teaching two parenting courses. Based on the book, Strengths Based Parenting: Discovering Your Child’s Innate Talents by author Mary Reckmeyer, these courses are aimed at providing caregivers with the tools to raise their children in a positive environment focused on strengths rather than weaknesses.

As highlighted in the national bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0, focusing on strengths and talents can improve the quality of people’s lives. Now, in Strengths Based Parenting, this concept is extended to the most important operating system in the world—the family.

While this material is designed with parents in mind, participants will find the information practical and applicable for any adult who has a close relationship with a child.

Parenting with Strengths in Mind, the class geared toward caregivers of tweens and teens, takes an in-depth look at how focusing on a child’s strengths can improve resiliency and well-being while reducing stress levels. Never prescribing the one “right” method of parenting, this course seeks to empower caregivers to embrace their individual parenting style by discovering and developing their own—and their children’s—talents and strengths.

“It’s about discovering and encouraging our children to pursue what they’re naturally good at,” Rothstein said.

To this end, participants will be introduced to various individual strength finding tools and useful tips and tricks, as well as practical advice on how to set kids up for success, and how to manage weaknesses.

Parenting Positively: Building Compassion, Curiosity, and Confidence in Kids, the class intended for caregivers of younger children, explores the research findings of Sonjya Lyubormirsky, researcher and author of The How of Happiness. According to her research, only 50 percent of happiness can be attributed to genetics/temperament. Of the remaining 50 percent, just 10 percent can be attributed to circumstance, leaving 40 percent to intentional activity we can control. In other words, there is a direct correlation between a child’s level of happiness and what a parent does to develop a child’s positive habits. Rothstein will encourage participants to consider how a child’s individual strengths can be used to motivate positive behavior. Rothstein will also share practical tools based in positive psychology that can be easily applied while driving kids to daycare, eating a meal together, choosing an adventure, and during bedtime routines. 

Though the classes will look different, as the needs of children in the specified age-range are varied, both classes are dedicated to building resiliency in families by helping parents understand their child’s strengths and how they can effectively encourage growth in those areas.   

Parenting with Strengths in Mind will be held on May 9, from 5:30-6:45 p.m. at the Community Center. Parenting Positively is on May 16, from 5:30-6:45 p.m. in the lower level classroom of the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic. Both classes are free. For more information on either class or to sign up, call Hartley at (218) 387-2330 or email

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