Children’s Qualities

The theme children’s qualities is explored using 12 illustrations for children ages 2 to 5 years, and 16 illustrations for ages 6 to 11 years. These qualities are illustrated in terms of behaviours children might display in their daily life.


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Using the tools

  • Using these different illustrations as a starting point, parents could be asked, for example, to identify what qualities they think are most important in children and then discuss what they tend to appreciate the most.
  • Parents could also be asked to point out three qualities they consider most characteristic of their child, and to illustrate these with concrete examples.
  • In a co-parenting situation, mother and father could use the visual materials to discuss their values, their perceptions of their child, or the reciprocal influence of their own qualities on their child’s development.
  • In a group session, the illustrations could be used particularly as an icebreaker to help parents present to each other their children and their particular qualities.
  • Depending on the context, the material could also be used to enhance a discussion between the parent and the child’s teacher, or also to support positive communication with the child or in the family, with siblings.

From the professionals

«It’s all well and good to know that it’s more effective to work with strengths, but when parents arrive at the office frustrated, for example, by their child’s confrontational behaviours, it helps to have a tool like this one to start off on a positive note. It becomes less ‘general’, and it’s easier and more encouraging for a parent to then set realistic objectives».

«This mother had such a hard time finding qualities in her child and especially illustrating them concretely, that we decided together that she would put the summary sheet on the fridge and that within the coming week she would try to find another quality, and especially that she would tell her child right away what she had observed in him».


Clinical relevance

  • Thinking about children’s qualities allows parents to step back from daily problems, to promote bonds of attachment and to gather the energy needed to manage potentially less positive behaviours.
  • Helping parents to notice more of their children’s positive behaviours makes them better able to reinforce those in daily life. “Catching someone when they are doing something good and telling them what you see is still the most effective way of encouraging the repetition of this behaviour.” (Lavigueur, 2009).