Tag Archives: applied positive psychology

In The Spotlight (Christy Ziglar and Dr. Daniel Trussell)

BTSpotlightChristy Ziglar

Christy Ziglar, CFP(r) is an experienced personal financial advisor by training. While developing a financial literacy program for young students in the Atlanta Public Schools, she discovered that many of those youngsters lacked the basic skills of goal-setting, delayed gratification and the self discipline required to make good choices in general. She was inspired to launch the Shine Bright Kid Company and to write the Shine Bright Kids stories to help children ages 4 to 8 learn to focus on things that matter most.

ChristyPhotoIn addition to being an experienced financial planner, Christy is the mother of twins and niece of the late Zig Ziglar, legendary speaker and motivator. Her books incorporate a favorite Zig Ziglar word of encouragement to highlight the wisdom and message of the story. Ideals Children’s Books loved the concept and agreed to be the publisher.

Can’t-Wait Willow was the first Shine Bright Kids picture book. It’s about making good decisions and learning how to put off the good in order to have something better in the end (delayed gratification).

RaiseBrighterKids_270 squareWillow exceeded all expectations, going into reprint much earlier than expected and was names a “Most Beloved Bedtime Story of 2013” by Red Tricycle, as well as the “Children & Teens Book of the Year” by Book Gateway.com. The second book, Must-Have Marvin, is headed for reprint and was named one of the “Best Books of 2014” by Atlanta Parent Magazine. It stresses relationships and valuing people over possessions. The third book in the series, Whatever Wanda, is scheduled for release in April of 2015; it will emphasize the importance of a positive attitude.

It certainly looks like Christy, the Shine Bright Kids and Ideals Children’s Books are moving in a direction that would make Uncle Zig very proud, indeed.

For more information about Christy and the Shine Bright Kids, visit the website [link], where you’ll also find free materials and activities for children and families. (Check the free materials page here on the Network, also.)

To access Christy’s radio-style interviews and articles on The Changing Behavior Network, use the search box on the right by typing in “Christy Ziglar.”

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Dr. Daniel Trussell

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADr. Daniel Trussell is a Licensed Professional Counselor, positive psychology coach and author who has spent his career helping individuals and families reduce and prevent mental health concerns and problems. Currently CEO of WebStar Behavioral Health, he comes from a background in clinical and senior executive positions in managed care, non-profit and governmental agencies. Dan has a clear picture of the concerns and the costs.

But he also has a vision for solutions, especially when it comes to the health and vitality of families. Dan’s most recent work, How Families Flourish: A workbook for family optimization, is a compilation of 50 years of research findings in the fields of psychodynamics, family structure therapy, behavioral analysis, attachment theory and positive psychology (the science and study of happiness).

DTrussellHow Families Flourish: A workbook for family optimization, written to be both informative and interactive, is divided into three sections. The first section identifies 18 characteristics of families that flourish and experience highest levels of life satisfaction. This section also explores common mistakes made by families that are floundering and languishing.

The second section of the book introduces a taxonomy of universal character strengths that broadens and builds positive emotional experience, increases resiliency to life’s challenges and deepens healthy family attachment, respect and communication.

The third and final section, “The Family Charter,” is a step-by-step guide for constructing an action plan for creating and sustaining optimal family functioning.

How Families Flourish: A workbook for family optimization will help any family and its members improve as they strive to flourish. The book is a must-have for any professionals working with families.

Dr. Trussell also provides workshops, webinars and individual consultation with parents seeking to overcome oppositional behavior problems in the home and create more family harmony.

To learn more about Dr. Trussell and his work, go to his website [link]. He has also provided an excellent and generous resource to our page of free professional materials here on the Network.

To access Dr. Trussell’s radio-style interviews and articles on The Changing Behavior Network, use the search box on the right, typing in “Dr. Daniel Trussell.”

Identifying and Cultivating Your Child’s Core Strengths (Dr. Daniel Trussell)

BTAboutThem
(Email subscribers: Go to the website to see the many “freebies” offered by our guest experts and to listen to radio-style interviews on the podcast player.)

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Most parents want to help develop their child’s strengths but don’t know where to start. It can be overwhelming to determine what your child’s strengths are and then to set up experiences where your child is challenged to activate those strengths.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I ask parents to describe their child’s strengths, I get answers like, “He’s good at getting his way,” or “She excels in soccer” or “He’s a natural artist.” While these are all skills worth cultivating, I want to challenge you to think differently about strengths. In their landmark book, Character Strengths and Virtues ( Oxford University Press, 2004), Peterson and Seligman developed a taxonomy of universal virtues and the strengths associated with each of those six virtues.

Six Virtues
The six virtues found in all cultures include Wisdom, Courage, Humanity Justice, Temperance and Transcendence.

Acting on these virtues not only defines an individual as living a superior life, but also leads to greater life satisfaction both individually and collectively.

Strengths
Peterson and Seligman assigned different strengths that embody each of the universal virtues. They are listed below.

Wisdom and Knowledge— acquiring and using knowledge

Creativity

Curiosity

Judgement and critical thinking

Love of learning

Perspective

 

Courage— accomplishing goals in the face of opposition

Bravery

Persistence

Integrity

Vitality

 

Humanity— strengths of befriending and tending to others

Love

Generosity

Social and emotional intelligence

 

Justice–strengths that build community

Teamwork

Fairness

Leadership

 

Temperance–strengths that protect against excess

Forgiveness and mercy

Humility

Prudence

Self-control

 

Transcendence— strengths that connect us to the larger universe

Appreciation of beauty

Gratitude

Hope

Humor

Spirituality

 

While some of these strengths become evident in the first years of life, others do not develop until adolescence. Although young children can express forgiveness, for example, it is almost always conditional and typically includes an element of revenge. It requires emotional and intellectual development, along with an abundance of life experience to be able to show mercy, forgiveness without revenge.  Young children can  tell jokes and be funny, but humor, the capacity to change another’s affect through bittersweet observation, is often not cultivated until much later in life.

Cultivating Core Strengths

To cultivate a child’s core strengths, that child must be exposed to activities that align with their strengths. No child will have all the virtues and strengths; a good rule of thumb is to determine the top five and the lowest five.  Plan abundant activities that allow a child to use their top strengths and limit activities that require use of their lowest strengths to maximize life satisfaction and general well-being.

If you child is high in appreciation of beauty, you could attend art exhibits, hike to beautiful places or find environments that allow her to get in touch with her appreciation and awe. Conversely, if your child is low in persistence, assign chores that don’t pay great attention to details.

To download a list of activities associated with each strength mentioned here, send me an email to drdanieltrussell@gmail.com or go to 264 Character Building Activities for Kids

 Daniel Trussell, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, CPCS is author of How Families Flourish, a parenting guide using the constructs of applied positive psychology. To learn more about his program go to http://www.howfamiliesflourish.com