Focus on Effort, Not Outcome

Do you get excited when your children get everything right?

Or do you get excited when your children make mistakes and feel like what they’re doing is hard?

Studies show that when we praise or reward kids for being brilliant, they get caught up in ‘proving’ how good they are. And this leads to them avoiding things they could fail at — because failure might mean they’re not so good after all.

But research also shows that when children make mistakes and we celebrate their determination and persistence, they develop a mastery focus. And they get excited about challenges and failing – because challenges and failure mean they’re getting better.

This is a counter-intuitive finding — for confident children, focus on process, effort, and mastery — not outcome. Teach kids that failures are opportunities to learn. And if success comes easy, play it down and find them a real challenge so they can really master something — and celebrate real success.


Originally published at Mum Daily. Photo by Gustavo Fring.

About the Author: Annette Spurr

Annette Spurr runs her own business at Blue Box Media and is also the Managing Editor at Mum Daily. As a wife and mother, Annette has discovered the power of gratitude journalling.

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