At the end of last term, Preparatory School teacher, Jane Edwards, and I attended the annual Positive Education Schools Association Conference at Geelong Grammar. There were some outstanding speakers but one of the most powerful was Professor Lea Waters who is  an  Australian academic, researcher, psychologist, author and speaker who specializes in positive education, parenting, and organizations. She has recently written a book called “The Strength Switch: how the new science of strength based parenting can help your child and teen to flourish”. Lea shared something of her own story and difficult up-bringing with a mother who suffered from a significant mental illness. As someone who was told she was never enough, it seems quite a revolutionary idea for her to study, and put into practice with her own children, the concept of strength-based parenting (SBP). It can be defined as deliberately identifying and cultivating positive states, processes, and qualities in our children. It is about connecting your kids with their inborn strengths in their character (e.g. humour, kindness) as well as their pursuits such as writing or sporting ability (

A recent study conducted by Dr Waters found that children of parents who used a strength-based approach to parenting were less stressed, and felt more able to cope with the demands of life. One strategy she suggests to use is Strength Spotting – deliberately looking for the good qualities in your children, their strengths, skills and talents. There are a range of other ideas and information you can find on her website The Strengths Exchange -

Jane and I both purchased Lea’s book and thought it would be great to study as part of a book club with other parents. If this is something that would be of interest to you, please let myself or Jane know, and we will look into setting this up. You can contact us at:

Liz - T: 08 8276 0395 or Email 

Jane – T: 08 8276 0376 or Email 

Liz Collins
Head of Wellbeing