When you tell a child that they are good at something, the next time they struggle, they will think they handle it, because this is one of their strengths. It changes the way they look at obstacles. Suddenly they are are taking on difficulty, trying many different strategies, sticking to the process and achieving over time.

traveling-2222432_1920Many children are under the impression that you are either born with talent or you aren’t and there’s nothing you can do about it. As a result, many children are inclined to give up when they encounter challenges or difficulties with a particular task or topic at school. They don’t believe or trust that they can improve.

The same goes with negative comments. Children who are told negative things like girls are bad in math and sports will believe it. Children who are told: “It’s a gift, you either have it or you don’t.” Will also believe you and assume they don’t have it so what’s the point in trying.

Ultimately, to help build resiliency and a growth mindset, parents and teachers should praise children’s efforts to take on challenging tasks and overcome difficulties rather than focus strictly on grades or getting the right answer. I read a story online once that really touched me. A couple had two boys in elementary school. The first was proud to show his grades has he was in the 90%. His parents told him with a bit more effort he could get better grades. The second child upon hearing them chastise his older brother hid away his results. When his parents asked for them, he handed the piece of paper shaking. His notes were in the 70% and both parents praised him for his efforts. The older brother demanded why they were praising his younger brother who had bad grades and they replied that his little brother had spent hours studying and doing homework, putting in real effort into his studies, unlike the older brother who didn’t study at all and rushed through his homework. As a person who grew up with a learning disability and struggled through it until I got my university degree, this story touched me greatly.

I, unfortunately, couldn’t find the video, but if someone can send me the link, it would be greatly appreciated.