Self-esteem plays role in students' success.


Self-esteem plays role in students' success.

A student’s perception of their abilities can actually affect how well they do in school. For example, regardless of actual skill level in mathematics, if a child believes he is effective in math he may perform better than another child of similar ability who does not think he is capable of doing well.

A 1993 report on perceived self-efficacy revealed that children who think that an ability can be acquired do better generally than those who believe that ability is inherent; that one either has it or doesn’t. Students who approach challenges thinking they can learn the skill often take mistakes in stride and perform better than the child who wonders if they possess the skill or not.

So cheer on your child and encourage them to tackle everything with a positive outlook, a little perseverance and a can-do attitude!

A confident child is generally a happy child, ready to learn and well-equipped to overcome many obstacles that may come his way. Here are a few simple ways for supportive adults to help boost your child's self-assurance.

Easy Confidence Boosters:

Encourage children to try – Remind your kids that the heroes they admire were once children who had the courage to learn something new, and with practice became successful.

Catch them in the act – When your children are behaving well, praise them! Adults are often quick to find fault with poor behavior and can forget to positively reinforce acts of kindness and good manners.

It can't hurt to ask – Teach kids to ask for what they want. Learning to speak up to teachers and adults (like store clerks and librarians) will increase confidence and encourage them to act independently.

Give them A for effort – Reward children not solely for their academic achievement, but for their thoughtful approach to homework and for consistently doing their best.

Beat a personal best – if your child is reticent to join a team sport, find one that requires no competition except against oneself. Skating, skiing, sailing, swimming and running are only a few activities that challenge a child to improve his own progress, without comparing efforts against teammates.

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Stanford University, “Perceived Self-Efficacy in Cognitive Development and Functioning” by Albert Bandura. Educational Psychologist, 28(2), 117-148 Copyright 1993, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.