iStock_000022995040Small.jpgDo your kids have the following 7 traits?

  1. Grit;
  2. Self-control;
  3. Social intelligence;
  4. Vitality;
  5. Gratitude;
  6. Curiosity;
  7. Optimism.


These are the key strengths needed to be a successful and happy person, according to Bruce Ferguson, a senior consultant for The Hospital for Sick Children and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto.


The traits come from a relatively new branch of psychology, called Positive Psychology, which focuses on what can make normal life more fulfilling, rather than just the treatment of mental illness.


“The core of mental health is knowing who you are,” Ferguson says.


To be successful in school and life, as we all want our children to be, our kids need to be happy. If they aren’t happy, good grades, accomplishments and awards mean nothing. This list gets to the core of what can make or break a person’s mental health.


Ferguson’s list comes from the fuller list of virtues and strengths outlined in the Positive Psychology Character Strengths and Virtues Handbook. Here’s the list:


  1. Wisdom and Knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective, innovation;
  2. Courage: bravery, persistence, integrity, vitality;
  3. Humanity: love, kindness, social intelligence;
  4. Justice: citizenship, fairness, leadership;
  5. Temperance: forgiveness and mercy, humility, prudence, self-control;
  6. Transcendence: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humour, spirituality.