I read a great article today by Michele Ranard on the NYParenting website about why some children fall apart when faced with a negative situations, while others seem to roll with the punches.
Here’s the article.
“A few years back, my first-grader stepped off the school bus in tears. The words he squeaked out between sobs cut me to the soul. He said, “My teacher hates my reading ‘cause I’m stupid.”
It was the start of the school year, and he had been placed in remedial reading — a group of five students, pulled from the classroom for specialized instruction with a reading specialist. When I asked around, it seemed my son was the only student struggling with self-image over the placement. So why do certain children fall apart when faced with negative evaluation, while others seem to roll with the punches?
A fixed mind-set
Part of the answer may be due to what Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck refers to as a fixed mind-set. Due to the interaction of genetics and environment, some children react with more hopelessness than others. Since academic success at school is evaluated as pass or fail, some children may be reinforced to regularly think in narrow terms and constantly monitor themselves, thinking: “Am I a winner or a loser? Will I succeed or fail?”
“People with a fixed mind-set believe that their traits are just given…and nothing can change that,” Dweck writes in her book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.”
Here are some indications that your child may have a fixed mind-set:
Michele Ranard has a husband, two children, and a master’s in counseling. She is happy to report that her son made great progress and has learned invaluable life lessons as a result of his academic struggles. ©2011 Community Newspaper Group