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For Your Kids To Become Achievers, You Must Have High Expectations Of Them
PHOTO BY @Love portrait and love the world/iStock
  • Many of us want our kids to be smart, to be on top of their class, or receive recognition for their talents, thus, we do everything we can to ensure they develop the necessary skills to do so. We enroll them in classes, train them, and encourage them so that their potentials are maximized. But did you know that the simple act of believing in your kids creates such a big impact that it can drive them to become achievers?

    According to Professor Neal Halfon of the University of California in Los Angeles, data from a national survey involving 6,600 children born in 2001 suggest that parents’ expectations of their kids affect the attainment of the goal. 

    “Parents who saw college in their child’s future seemed to manage their child toward that goal irrespective of their income and other assets,” he said. 

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    Psychologists refer to this as the Pygmalion effect, a phenomenon where other people’s expectations of a person affects the latter’s performance. It suggests that when you expect highly of someone — such as a parent of her child’s performance in school — he is likely to attain it, as much as he is bound to fail if the parent believes he will. Whichever it is, the Pygmalion effect shows how a belief can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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    Now how do you apply this phenomenon in relation to your children’s academic performance? Here are some suggestions:

    Develop a “growth mindset” in your child.

    A child’s mindset, or how he perceives his abilities, plays a key role in his attainment of goals he sets. “Students who believed their intelligence could be developed (a growth mindset) outperformed those who believed their intelligence was fixed (a fixed mindset),” says Dr. Carol Dweck, Ph.D., a professor of psychology from Stanford University. Aim to instill in your child a growth mindset.

    Avoid comparisons. 

    No two children are alike — not even twins — so it’s never fair to gauge one child’s ability against another. You may sometimes think that a little competition is an effective motivational tool to get your child to want to do better, but this route may actually backfire. Be cautious about your use of words.

    Allow room for mistakes.


    Part of any person’s achievement of success is experiencing failure. While it’s natural for any parent to want to shield her child from life’s disappointments, going through these helps build a person’s character. Showing your child that you believe he can overcome those challenges will, in turn, make him believe in himself and grow up to be resilient.

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