Teach Your Children Well (About Failure)
A study published in Psychological Science presents a new way to look at one of the most universal of all human experiences -- failure -- and suggests that how one's attitude toward failure is formed in childhood might be an indicator of future success.
Co-authored by psychology professors and colleagues at Stanford, the study's title is a mouthful: "What Predicts Children's Fixed and Growth Intelligence Mind-Sets? Not Their Parents' Views of Intelligence but Their Parents' Views of Failure." But one of its central takeaways can be stated pretty simply: how children think about the concept of "being smart" appears to be more closely related to their parents' reactions to perceived failure than to their parents' ideas of what constitutes intelligence.
"The more parents believed that failure is debilitating," the study found, "the more likely their children were to see them as concerned with their performance outcomes and grades rather than their learning and improvement."