What Does It Take To Be a Successful Student?
                                                By Carolyn Nekula, Psychology Intern                 
                                                          September-October 2017

As your child heads back to school this month, it may feel like it’s a fresh start for her. It can be a chance for her to do better in a subject she usually struggles in or for the first time try out for a sport (and maybe even make the team!). You may be thinking “What can I do help my child be more successful this school year?”

In a popular “TED Talks” video, Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about her extensive research into factors that make a student more likely to achieve. She finds that those students with “grit” are considerably more likely to do well in school. Grit is defined as being able to stick to goals, meet a challenge, and exert self-control. The good news is that anyone can build grit. Although psychologists have yet to pinpoint exactly how, here are some helpful tips to begin helping your child build grit this school year.


  1. Help children build a “growth mindset”. Teach them to accept that there are things about themselves that they can improve, show them how to work through setbacks, and remind them that failure is not permanent.
  2. Reframe problems to help children find a new ways to deal with them rather than by just giving up.
  3. Don’t take “I don’t know” for an answer. Work on having children really think through a problem and come to a solution.
  4. Teach children to have a more flexible mindset. This promotes them to look at a problem as less of something that will defeat them and more of an obstacle that they can overcome.
  5. Build a little bit of time into children’s day for them to have self-reflection. You can join in on this and talk to them about the things they accomplished that day and the things they should continue to do to keep moving forward.


Link to TED Talks video: 
 


 

Resources

https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance#t-327925

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