Help your child succeed in his projects, succeed in school, succeed in life, yes, but how? Is success only a question of intelligence? Not so sure It was the title of a book by Paul Tough, published in 2012, that caught my attention: this book is called “how children succeed”. It highlights the importance of certain skills, which are similar to character traits, such as perseverance, curiosity, or even determination. Indeed, according to him, these skills would be decisive in success since they would count for half with cognitive skills. So, if we want to help our children succeed then we need to help them acquire not only cognitive skills but also these equally essential non-cognitive skills!
We are often used to thinking that success is closely linked to intelligence and therefore to our cognitive skills. Moreover, the school basically values these skills, which are easier to measure and assess. Indeed, being strong in math is measured by a grade. On the other hand, having exceptional curiosity or even extraordinary perseverance is difficult to measure. That said, even if it seems essential to develop the multiple intelligences of our child (see the article, the eight bits of intelligence present in your child ), Paul Tough reveals to us that the non-cognitive skills, which have no direct link with intelligence.
Developing Certain Non-Cognitive Skills
Each child, in the activities he experiences on a daily basis, in sports, games, homework, participation in household chores, will have the opportunity to be encouraged in the basic skills essential to his success:
Good news To acquire these skills, there is no need to spend huge sums or have time to spare. That’s pretty reassuring, isn’t it? Indeed, cooking, doing homework, practicing a sport, walking in the forest, building a cabin, everything can be an excuse to develop non-cognitive skills. That being said, there is no miracle recipe but habits to have on a daily basis in order to develop skills that are often abused by screens or “everything right away”.
Help Your Child Succeed By:
- Do not do for your child what he can do on his own, it will not help him to succeed on his own.
- Cut a tedious activity into small tasks: your child may be stuck in front of the magnitude of what he has to accomplish. Thus, by cutting the activity into several small steps, you will encourage him to persevere.
- Do not place him in front of expectations that are too demanding for his age, which could thus discourage him.
- Let him do it at his own pace. Thus, he knows that he will not be interrupted in his momentum and that he will be able to go alone until the end.
- Be positive and believe in it: read the article the Pygmalion effect. Thus, if you are convinced of his success, then he will persevere more easily until the end.
- Teach him to fail: help him understand his mistakes and learn from them in order to adjust his behavior and progress towards achieving his goal.
- Self-control is closely related to emotions. For some children, this self-control is very difficult to grasp.
- Sport, good sleep, a diet not too rich in sugar: in short, a healthy lifestyle is already a first step.
- Play down their anger, nervousness, agitation …humor is often a good remedy for channeling emotions
- Do small breathing exercises, stretches, movements. In kindergarten, I often practiced the “conductor” to refocus attention for example.