The first time I wrote a strength list for my son, it was actually from a place of frustration.

I was focused on how stubborn he can be, constantly touching things, and perpetually full of energy! I sat down real quick, wrote his name in the middle of a blank piece of paper, circled it, and started to write words that re-framed my thoughts: “He is…persistent, a mover and shaker, spirited, determined, happy-go-lucky.” I sure wasn’t feeling happy-go-lucky at that moment, but writing down my son’s strengths really cheered me up! 

It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I actually showed him the strength list (he saw it sitting on my desk). Reading all those positive things about him really made his day. I kept the list by my desk for a while, but then I realized it should be placed somewhere for him – and all of us – to see all the time!

I decided to put the strength list up by our kitchen table; over time, I continue to add to it. It’s nothing fancy, but who cares? It is a visual reminder to my son of how amazing he is (it’s also a helpful reminder to me during those moments when parenting makes me want to pull my hair out)!

So parents, here’s my challenge to you:

Take 10 minutes to write down your own strengths and the strengths of anyone who lives in your home. Type them. Hand write them. Draw them.

Get them down on paper however you like. But in the end, POST them. No need to make a big deal out of it. Just put them somewhere everyone will be able to see them and rejoice in the strengths of your family!

Need some inspiration to get started? Download and print one of the strength list templates below.


Shannon is a Social Worker at Koinonia’s Sacramento Office. She enjoys mindfulness activities, spending time with family, hiking, and reading. Her favorite thing about working for Koinonia is collaborating with co-workers and resource parents to serve foster youth. 

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