Kolbe + Kids, Understanding Your Child's Instinctive Strengths

November 01, 2022

  • Kolbe A™ Index
  • Podcast
  • Relationships

When should kids and teens start to understand their instinctive strengths? We say, the sooner the better. Clare Willson agrees.  

Clare was enlightened by the Kolbe Index as a teen in the early 90s.  

“Things made sense to me in a way they never had before,” Claire remembers. “I had always been a good student. I loved school, I loved learning, but I never understood why I struggled in certain ways… and seeing my Kolbe result helped me understand why that was.”  

Clare describes feeling a lot of stress while doing something she thought should be easy  outlining an essay. Clare could not plan how her essay would flow until she started writing it, and she felt completely stuck. The teacher who introduced Clare to Kolbe encouraged her to try things her own way.  Because he knew her Kolbe MO, he suggested she lean into her conative strength to be flexible and revise her outline as she went. This simple yet profound advice changed Clare’s perspective. It helped her start to see her struggles as untapped strengths, and to understand that doing things her own way was the clear path forward.  

Fast forward, and Clare’s working as Team Strategist with Riff Creative, as well as a Kolbe Certified Consultant, a Kolbe Certified Youth Specialist, and a former educator. All this experience with Kolbe helped Clare acknowledge and work with her natural way of doing things, and she now uses Kolbe in her work to help others recognize their unique strengths.  

The Permission Slip For Doing Things Your Own Way

Clare also uses Kolbe in her personal life, as a mom.  

“A family is also just another type of team,” Clare emphasizes, “and I want to have the best teamwork with everybody that’s in my life, including my child.”  

Clare described getting her Kolbe MO when she was a teen like getting a “permission slip” to do things her way. Now, Clare offers others, including her son, the same permission. 

“It lets me see (my son) for who he is,” Clare adds. “It lets me see him for the talents that he can bring into this world. And it helps me understand how to spend my energy as a parent.” 

During the tumultuous months of spring 2020, Clare and her son worked Kolbe into their daily tasks.  

“It was everything. It was, how do we do school? How do we do our routines? How do we do meals? How do we do your chores? How do we set up the physical environment? Every day his lesson was centered on his Kolbe.”  

Clare’s son used his “permission slip” as he learned to read and write in cursive. Because Clare knows her son is a 7 in Implementor, she knew he needed a tangible lesson. By setting up a large sand tray for him to trace his letters by hand, she engaged his tactile needs and ultimately, he learned the concepts in his own unique way.  

Her son thrived through a very uncertain time due to their mutual recognition of the way he needed to approach and execute these tasks. The biggest difference that it’s made for my family is understanding my son’s Kolbe.” 

How Can I Support My Child’s Authentic Abilities? Enter: The Student Aptitude™ Quiz

Kathy Kolbe defines success as the freedom to be yourself. This applies to your kids, too!

“I think it starts with understanding that the conative is a separate, special part of the mind,” Clare explains. “It’s a real gift, and there’s a pattern that is predictable and that exists not only with you, but with each of your children. And if you can find a way to work with that, dial it in and play to those strengths. You don’t have to be an expert… you just have to start out and learn as you go. And be really curious.”

The Student Aptitude™ Quiz is a wonderful place to help your teens start to discover their conative abilities and find that freedom. As a parent, the SAQ is a simple and informative way to understand how your child gets things done. It can serve as a launching pad to your child’s success and satisfaction in life.

The Student Aptitude Quiz offers insight into the way students innately interact with the world around them. Middle school, high school, and undergraduate students receive immediate, individualized results they can access at any time. Every result includes descriptions of the student’s unchanging authentic abilities. The SAQ is full of tips and tricks for more aligned study habits and better communication, as well as incredible resources for continued education and career choices.  

When children and teens work with their authentic abilities, they blossom. When the adults around them support them with curiosity and acceptance, they thrive.

Help your child thrive with the Kolbe Student Aptitude™ Quiz.  


Watch or listen to our full conversation with Clare Willson below and continue to tune into the Powered By Instinct podcast!

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  • Kolbe A™ Index
  • Podcast
  • Relationships


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Why You Should Get Certified in Kolbe — February 29th, 11:00 am ET