Research shows that our minds tend to wander 50 percent of the time we’re awake.
So instead of identifying your child’s strengths, teach them that they actually can learn , shows that children will be more optimistic and even enthusiastic in the face of challenges, knowing that they just need to give it another go to improve.
And they will be less likely to feel down about themselves and their talents. We tell our kids: Know your weaknesses, and don’t be soft. We also tend to think that criticism is important for self-improvement.
But while self-awareness is important, parents often inadvertently teach their children to be too self-critical.
If a parent tells a child that she should try to be more outgoing, for example, the child may internalize that as a criticism of her naturally introverted personality.
It makes you afraid of failure, which hurts your performance, makes you give up more easily, and leads to poor decision-making.
And self-criticism makes you more likely to be anxious and depressed when faced with a challenge.
Most parents want their kids to be successful in life , so we teach them attitudes we believe will help them achieve their goals. A mind that is constantly trying to focus on the future — from getting good grades to applying to college — will be prone to greater anxiety and fear.
But as I learned while researching my book, many widely-held theories about what it takes to be successful are proving to be counterproductive: They may produce results in the short term, but eventually they lead to burnout and — get this — less success. While a little bit of stress can serve as a motivator, long-term chronic stress impairs our health as well as our intellectual faculties, such as attention and memory.
Here are a few of the most damaging things many of us may be teaching our children about success, and what we should tell them instead. As a consequence, focusing too hard on the future can actually our performance.