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

1, Apr 27, 2012

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

Filed under: Parenting 101 — admin @ 12:53 am

I remember when my son was little, I taught him math. As the result he could do multiplication when he first entered primary school. When he got good grades, I told him it was because he was smart. “If you are smart, you are supposed to be ahead so that you can help those lagging behind.”  With this story, he has lived up to this belief and has succeeded in graduating from one of the top institutions of higher education majoring in mathematics. Even if, at some point in his life, he is behind others, with this story, he is more likely to see himself in front of a group.

To be sure, this story-telling practice is not a modern invention. Humankind started telling stories since the most remote past in human history. Before written languages were invented, story-telling was the primitive and primary means that humans passed on to the next generation knowledge, experience and values.

Good stories, like the one told by this Jewish boy, play a positive role in a child’s life, as they are crucial in forming a high self-esteem in a child and contributing to his success. Nothing boosts a child’s self-esteem more than winning a hard-to-win competition or living up to a high expectation or solving a hard-to-crack problem or having met a tough challenge.

On the other hand, nothing ruins a child’s self-esteem and exerts long-term damages on his life more than starting his life with no story or sad story like telling him that he has not measured up because he is not that smart or because he is a loser or because he is not worthy.

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