Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Apr 25, 2012

The power of belief, the stories we tell the children — Part I

Filed under: Parenting 101 — admin @ 12:44 am

This is the second column that I am going to write for our local paper. I would like to share it with my readers here first.

When I was teaching sociology courses in 1990s, there were a few Jewish boys who were top students in my class. Still, they wanted to be better than the best. Once I asked one of them, “You are already the best. Why do you still work so hard?”

He answered, “You know, since God gave me such a smart head, I would waste it if I don’t use it.” With this belief and this positive attitude, this boy will without a doubt claim top prize no matter where he goes in the future.

Sociologists call it self-fulfilling prophecy. That is, if you believe you are smart, you act on your belief by working hard. And of course, the hard work will reward you top prize, which further confirm your belief.

As a teacher and a parent, I have been marveled at the power of belief on the one hand. On the other hand, I was wondering how this idea got into his head? Who told him God had given him a smart head instead of a dumb one?

We all know it was not from God directly. It was most likely from his parents or rather from the stories that his parents told him when he was little. It is this story that has motivated him to work hard and it will continue exerting impact throughout his life.
To be continued…

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