As a father, I have made the mistake of focusing too much on my child’s grades instead of on his attitude. However, research from Stanford University in 2014 shows that attitude is a better predictor of success in life than IQ score. Success in life directly relates to how you handle failure. Long-term success builds on a positive attitude and an ability to adapt and learn from challenges and failures, not just test scores and schooling.
Fixed Mindset Vs. Growth Mindset
Additional studies in attitude and performance suggest that core attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset desire to look smart. Believing they cannot be changed, they avoid challenges and obstacles. Viewing their efforts as fruitless, they give up. When confronted with change, they feel overwhelmed and hopeless.
A growth mindset creates a desire for knowledge. People with this mindset embrace challenges and learn from criticism. Although their IQ may be lower than someone with a fixed mindset, they consistently outperform their peers. Helping your kids believe that they can succeed and exhibiting a positive attitude are both important to help them find future success.
Teaching My Children to Develop a Positive Attitude
A positive attitude helps children to see things from a bigger perspective. Attitude drives behaviors as a reflection of thinking and beliefs on an emotional level. I have worked to provide them with the courage and persistence to try something new. While knowledge is one of the key building blocks of success, I can help impart that to my kids and show them that a positive attitude comes from within.
Values to Give My Kids
I am now focusing on the following when raising my children.
- I instill the importance of resilience and growth. Obstacles will be present in their lives; teach them how to overcome them. In order to grow, they will need to bounce back from their failures.
- I empower them with love and guidance. Empowered people are more likely to pursue their passions. The world is full of people who have not lived up to their potential.
- Help your child discover his or her abilities and encourage them to strive for excellence in all that they do. Help them understand that while they don’t need to be perfect, they should always try to do their best.
- I speak frankly about my own setbacks to my child and share how I overcame obstacles.
- I teach them how to react positively to their feelings and learn from rejection. While there will always be someone more naturally talented or knowledgeable than my child, a positive attitude can make up for it.
- I help my child develop their growth mindset.
- I teach my child to set goals and expect results.
- I help them understand the importance of taking action and being flexible as they follow their endeavors.
- I do not get frustrated if my child falls behind their peers in academics. While you want to encourage them to perform well academically, remind them that academics do not have a higher value than a positive attitude. As long as they exhibit a positive attitude and work hard, they are creating a foundation for success.
Most of all, I believe that my child can succeed and help him or her surround themselves with positive people. These keys will help propel my children toward success.
About the author: Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and freelancer, with experience in writing and outreach for organizations that help troubled teen boys and parents. Tyler has offered personal, humorous and research backed advice to readers on parenting tactics, problems in education offering an official review about education, issues with social media, various disorders, addiction, and troublesome issues raising teenage boys. Connect with Tyler on: Twitter | Linkedin