Why it's more rewarding how easy it is for children (and do not try hard)

What's going on? Traditionally, the second childhood has been a period of illusions, a moment of happiness, when the child discovers himself (self-concept) and realizes how many things he is capable of doing, thinking and feeling for himself (self-esteem). If you feel that the effort is worth it, you go on to complain about a job that "costs them" and the "easy" seems much more rewarding.

It is eight o'clock in the afternoon. Alberto, 10, arrives home after a "strenuous" day at school, in swimming and in English. The professor has called his attention several times and to top it all, he asked him to go to the blackboard just when it was time to solve the problem that he did not understand. He has left the school enraged, just wanted to get home, lock himself in his room and never return to school.


But when he arrived, he found that his mother had already returned. She has started to explain her problem but while she was checking the mail she told him to go to her room soon, if she wants to play with the video game console or watch television and then start doing homework.

In fact, Alberto has gone to his room, thinking it was a disaster, he has turned on the video game console and of course he has spent the rest of the afternoon playing; At least here he wins, and if not with restarting the game, the matter is fixed and also no one will scold him.

Two types of children in relation to the effort

According to a joint study of the universities of Chicago and Stanford, led by psychologist Carol Dweck, exist two types of children based on their attitude to the effort. The first type, belong those children who think that the success of their achievements depends directly on their skills, intelligence and talent, and the second, those who know that there is no success without work, effort and perseverance.


This is the reason why for some children it is more rewarding how easy, specifically, especially for the first group. So children who think that their achievements of their abilities when something does not go well with the first or the second, usually let it run. While those children who do not give up until they do well, they will try again and again until they get it.

However, the study goes further analyzing the state of mind of each of the groups of children. The group of children who think that success depends on their innate intelligence or their talent was more elusive to accept challenges because they thought they were not going to achieve them. These children also showed a low tolerance for frustration, not fitting their mistakes well.

In contrast, the group of children who know that their success depends on work and effort were more optimistic when accepting new challenges. Their constancy and perseverance make them see the apprenticeship as an endless road.


Lack of illusion and childish pessimism

Both in the classrooms and in the consultations, it is possible to find sad, disillusioned, "unmotivated" children, who from the age of seven say phrases like these: "Why am I going to try it? This is very bad for me "," I do not serve at all "" often roll, this is very tired "...

The tendency of some children to pessimism, low self-esteem, little eagerness to overcome, low tolerance to frustration, lack of social skills, are often motivated by several factors:

1. Pessimism can have a physical origin: poor diet, lack of sleep, sensory deficiencies, diseases are important reasons for pessimism. There may also be some psychological factors that lead the child to this state (certain character traits, imbalances or psychological changes ...).

2. Pessimism can have a social origin: The current hedonistic culture that only values ​​immediate pleasure, materialism, individualism, incessant competitiveness can mark a personality that has yet to be developed. Likewise, the affective deficiencies in the home can come to make a deep dent in the character of a boy of this age.

3. Pessimism may have a family origin: more specifically in the educational style of parents, in the rhythm of life that we impose on children from a very young age (excess of activities, of very high expectations, little time in the open air, solitude ...) It seems that sometimes, Parents lose sight of the fact that the goal of our children's education should be to help them be happy people. But true happiness is the one that does not depend on external things or events, but the one that is inside us and helps us to interpret that reality in terms of optimism and illusion.

In search of children's happiness

Motivating and encouraging the illusion in children is fundamental to cultivate in them the culture of effort. Precisely, the ideal age to do it is to start from the second childhood, that is, between 6 and 10 years.With enthusiasm and strong self-esteem children are able to strive to achieve what they want and at the same time set new goals and objectives without sparing work.

And to assess that the effort is worthwhile, children should be happy and should not fall into pessimism, discouragement or laziness. To make children happy, parents need to reflect on the educational style we are printing on our family. The most usual thing is that parents are permissive. However, in the words of Professor Aquilino Polaino: "The permissive style in education has already given of itself everything that had in it and its fruits have been bitter." We must "return" to a style that does not confuse permissiveness, letting do and comfort With love or with freedom, child happiness requires the safety of the child, and this security supposes a style of their own in education, a style that goes through balanced and appropriate employment according to the child's age and personality, discipline and freedom and for the measureless expression of love, of a human love that is, half necessary rigidity and half infantile tenderness ".

Marisol Nuevo Espín

It may interest you:

- The value of effort in early childhood education

- Consequences of the praise of effort in children

- 30 ideas of commissions for your children

- Educate in the culture of effort

Video: Work Hard In Silence, Let Success Make The Noise - Study Motivation


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