Identifying your strengths is not only an important factor in the development of self-knowledge, but also one of the key factors for self-acceptance, therefore becoming more balanced with oneself and others.
By practising to identify their own and others' strengths, a child or a young person learns to encounter diversity and understand people around them. Skills to identify and develop strengths help children and young people not only to cope, but also to embrace who they are in the midst of expectations and even unpredictable changes.
Girl, You Are ... (2015) and Boy, You Are ... (2016) focus on improving children’s strengths. The main message of the books is to encourage children and young people, to support self-awareness, gender sensitivity, equality and everyone's freedom to be exactly who they want to be.
The books have succeeded addressing an unspoken need that speaks to both children and adults alike. Many children and young people who have read the books have experienced that they have helped , for instance, in a difficult life situation or in becoming a bit more courageous and merciful to themselves. The books are thought to say all the things that every growing young person should hear.
The You Are… learning material was made based on the books and the feedback they received. The You Are... book includes exercises for students that are easy to take in, fun and impactful and which help teachers identify strengths and discover themes around self-knowledge in depth. The material is suitable for both classrooms and other groups of children and adolescents.
The aim of the exercises is to become a mentally healthy, more courageous, more open and confident individual, and a group where one’s own, peers’ and the whole group’s strengths are identified, maintained and developed in everyday life.
The Girl, You Are... and Boy, You Are... books are already in use by many teachers and other professionals in the field of child and youth work. They serve as tools for everyday encounters with children and young people. The books were on the best-selling list of Finnish children's and youth books for a long time.
The steps provide you with instructions for acquiring the material and how to use it.
Students’ experiences from the You Are… material:
“I learned new things about myself."
"I learned that I am braver than I thought. The tasks made me feel confident. "
"I learned to be happy with myself."
"It was really nice and memorable. You got to think about different things. "
"I learned that people see a lot of good things in others."
"I learned a few words."
"I learned that everything or almost everything can be affected."
"Everyone has good attributes."