Step 1: Understand the Big Picture

To help your bright & quirky child thrive in the world, it helps to start with the end in mind and build a solid foundation. In Step 1 of the Action Plan, you'll get a clear understanding of what makes our kids so exceptional, understand the essential paradigm shift that will orient your child toward the path to thriving, and learn how to 'flip the script' to empower your child's success.  Let's get started!


  1. Claudia on July 24, 2020 at 8:42 am

    I almost skipped doing this “assignment” and I’m so glad I didn’t. This is more powerful than I realized. I looked back on our 2nd grade report cards and found plenty of opportunities! Here’s a snippet from my 8 yr. old’s actual report card:

    K enjoys art and the art-making process and when he can focus and apply himself, he demonstrates strong natural ability. He often struggles with verbal and physical self-control that includes blurting out at inappropriate times and moving around during group discussions, instructions, or work time in a way that distracts other students. He also becomes easily distracted because of time spent socializing rather than using his work time effectively. He responds to redirection but not always the first time and questions why he is being given a particular direction.

    And here’s my flip to a possibility narrative: K enjoys art and the art-making process and he demonstrates strong natural ability. While K blurts out responses at inappropriate times, we’ve been working on strategies such as encouraging him to write down what he’s thinking about and doodle while he listens. He responds very well to praise and positive feedback which has been an effective way to get him to redirect. He loves to socialize and needs to move so we’ve incorporated ways to channel his energy and desire to connect into the classroom such as having him pass out the art supplies or run an errand. His unique view of the world is reflected in his art and he often approaches his art in novel and unexpected ways that are a joy to see.

  2. Lisa on March 13, 2020 at 7:07 am

    I can definitely see strengths/positives about my 13 yo B&Q daughter but it’s difficult for me to figure out her passions. She loves gymnastics (great at this but not Olympic great ?) but my limited visions keeps me from seeing how this could play out in her future. Is there a document that could help me pull back the layers to understand where her passions may lie? What would be the best approach to start a convo with her about her passions?

    • Stacy & Dan on June 15, 2020 at 10:06 pm

      I am asking this same question for my 13 yo son. His spirit has been squelched too many times to count. I want so much to surface his passions, but I always get “I don’t know” with no desire to talk about it. So, you’re not alone, LIsa.

    • Lauren on June 19, 2020 at 12:49 am

      Great question, Lisa! A recent B&Q expert Girish Vencat talked about a free online strengths and interest inventory through his company It could be something your daughter may enjoy doing and would spark a conversation of the topic of her strengths and interests.
      -Lauren with the B&Q Team

  3. Sandra on March 3, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    One question… can I or the school focus 80 percent on my son’s strengths (which he is very strong in math, spelling and science) when the light has extinguished (due to focusing on the negative) and he is disconnected and disruptive in school and being constantly pulled out of class?

    • Stacy & Dan on June 15, 2020 at 10:00 pm

      This is such a good question from you, Sandra. I hope later modules have been able to help you. I’m just starting on module 1, so I don’t have anything to offer, except encouragement from anyone that is asking the same question.

    • Lauren on June 19, 2020 at 12:58 am

      Oh, we hear you on this one, Sandra. I’m so sorry to hear the lights have dimmed in your son’s eyes. You’re right, there are definitely things we can do at home, but school plays an important role too. Some of the resources here at B&Q will help you help your child’s teacher see him through a more informed and compassionate lens. Teachers need to understand our childrens’ strengths! Check out this one hour workshop we did last year on writing your child’s advocacy letter to give to a new teacher.

  4. Amy Harris on November 12, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    I’m finally getting to this. My child is 17 and a senior in high school. I feel like I am so late to the party. Hope this helps.

    • Angela Woltanski on January 18, 2020 at 6:15 am

      My motto is better late than never! I’ve been a member of the Idea Lab for almost a year and I’m just getting started. The message in this first step was such a great reminder and powerful message!

  5. Cath on November 8, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks so much Debbie. I need this so much right now. My son’s self concept has suffered greatly because of his struggle with dyslexia and I cant quite seem to shift it. I’ll keep on trying!

  6. Amanda on November 5, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Module 1 and I am already crying. Debbie, when you talked at the end about what feelings might be stirring up with me, you really hit home. I have all the coulda woulda shoulda moments sitting there. I am so grateful. I can’t say it enough! I am so grateful bright and quirky exists. The way you just explained our kids has given me a way to articulate to others in a positive way that feeds my son’s mental image of himself in such a nurturing way. It feels so good to absorb this information and I can’t wait to use it!!

    • Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz on November 11, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      Amanda, Thanks for the kind words! I try to make B&Q the resource I needed in the early days of this 2e journey for my family. So glad you’re finding it helpful! Warmly, Debbie

  7. Mary Kristen on November 4, 2019 at 9:32 am

    I’m catching up! Here’s my possibility narrative for our 8 yo:
    Avery’s high verbal aptitude, coupled with his incredible memory for detail and deep interest in art and design could make him an innovator and game changer in a technology that doesn’t yet exist. Once he is connected with someone, Avery has an innate ability to empathize with them in a range of emotions. These characteristics are desired in 21st century leaders, so let’s get him the tools to help him be successful.
    (I borrowed the last line from your example narrative for Jonathan Mooney!)
    Thanks! Looking forward to going through these modules. I appreciate the script!

    • Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz on November 11, 2019 at 1:26 pm

      Way to flip the script, Mary! Your son sounds amazing!

  8. Juanita Durand on November 3, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    This was very helpful, thank you very much!

  9. Hakki on November 2, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Worksheet is what I needed as focusing how I can bring up the strengths and likes of my child to the IEP meeting. Thank you.

  10. Andre and Willa on October 31, 2019 at 6:22 am

    Thank you – it has been our attitude/approach from day one – love to have a lesson on how to flip those around us (friends/family/professions) as we are treated as being airy-fairy or just trying to make ourselves feel better because of his challenges. But it was also good to work through this and to affirm it is the right way and to keep going 🙂

  11. Khuloud Alsulaiteen on October 29, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you so much, this step was just on time.
    There will be parent-teacher meeting this Thursday and I’m so thrilled for it, I’m just trying now to find the right, positive vocabularies to start the meeting with
    Thank you

    • Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz on November 11, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      Glad it was helpful, Khuloud. Keep us posted on how the meeting went! Warmly, Debbie

  12. Kara on October 28, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Love this! My 14yo freshman just finished IEP assessments and we have our first meeting to review the results tomorrow afternoon. I feel armed with some new tools and vocabulary. Thank you!

  13. Leanne on October 27, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Flip the Script is brilliant! I wish I knew about that idea when going through our son’s IEP. I even sent the teachers Seth Perler’s webite, but unfortunately the school had no desire to educate themselves further on what 2e means. They only wanted to focus on what “fixing” our son needed. We decided to focus on what we could do for our son and found a better fit for him at Fusion Academy. I can’t wait to learn more about how to support and help grow my son’s confidence back.

  14. Rachel on October 27, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    We just pulled our child from school, and I’m going to spend this week looking at new programs. I’m definitely going to start the meetings by saying, “My child is great with words and language, and she’s a natural leader who loves to help her friends. I want to help her figure out how she wants to use those skills in the rest of her life by encouraging her to explore the arts and humanities to see where her passion lies.”

    • Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz on October 27, 2019 at 9:02 pm

      Rachel, yes! Way to lead with strengths. Love this! Please keep us posted on how things go.

    • Adina Docter on October 31, 2019 at 9:30 am

      …um, I guess we could look at what happened to our son as a huge new possibility..even though it means his original dreams are dashed and he does not get to finish hs, at least not the way he wanted…this is a possibility to reinvent himself into something more whole w more possibilities? The question is how do I get him to see that? He is still grieving. Truthfully, so am I. Also, his mental health is almost the worst it has ever been. A mixed script here, I know. I just want to be transparent and ask honest questions.

      • Marcia on November 12, 2019 at 8:44 am

        Hi Adina,
        I don’t know the rest of your story, but seeing your comment without a reply yet makes my heart go out to you. I have had some dark times myself on the journey. Grieving is like medicine you need to get better, but hopefully he will get through it soon. When I really started to focus on my teen’s interests, interests that I was aware of, but couldn’t really connect with or see how she could access or gain from directly before, good things began to happen in a flurry of small wonders, resulting in that new direction. Really listen to what your son’s heart’s interests and abilities are and pursue others that can contribute to his learning and doing those things and kind of let the rest (your expectations, etc) go. “Where interest and ability come together magic happens” it did for us. Keep the faith, don’t be discouraged now, great things are coming. This is the first time I have entered my thoughts about anything on B&Q. Keep asking the hard questions. There is always a way, sometimes it just isn’t apparent until the time is right. Reading over this, my comment may not be helpful, but know that you are not alone.

        • Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz on December 5, 2019 at 8:19 am

          Thanks for asking the hard questions, Adina and Marcia. Grieving seems to have a schedule of it’s own. Experimenting with new, positive mindsets, like flipping the script, can be very helpful and bring new possibilities as we get comfortable with a new normal.

  15. Catherine on October 27, 2019 at 11:50 am

    Hi Debbie,
    I am so excited that I found your site! I am hoping that this is a game changer for my 15 yr old daughter!

    I have been trying to complete step 1; however, I can’t type on the worksheet. Is there something that I need to do…flash player?
    Thank you,

    • Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz on October 27, 2019 at 9:03 pm

      Hi Catherine,

      It’s a pdf. Just print it out.



      • Susan on February 1, 2020 at 6:29 pm

        There are smart PDFs and dumb PDFs. You can fill in smart PDFs. Would be great to have one eventually.

        But this is a good framework.

  16. Lisa Lundgren on October 27, 2019 at 8:05 am

    I am really looking forward to next modules! It sometimes surprises me when lightbulbs go off or I don’t feel so alone anymore, but that keeps happening to me here. It’s encouraging for me. Thanks.

    • Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz on October 27, 2019 at 11:04 am

      Thanks for the feedback, Lisa. So glad you’re finding it helpful!

    • Sharon on October 27, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      I’d love to hear what was your lightbulb.

      • Sharon Hochberg on October 29, 2019 at 11:13 am

        I always had an inkling to work on both the strengths and weaknesses of my student, but I was becoming complicit to the school settings I have around me. This talk was a definite green light for me to go forth and accentuate the positive qualities in a way much more than I have been. This was a wake up call to me. thank you!

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