Brains or Strains?

This summer I read a blog by Dr. Charles Fay and the Love and Logic Institute. As a parent, the article resonated with me so I thought I would summarize some of the key points for you.

In this blog, it asked a series of questions about what we, as parents, want our children to be. What is best for them now to prepare them for tomorrow’s highly competitive workforce? Do we want them to give up easily when an assignment gets difficult, or do we want them to persevere and have the confidence to keep going when times get tough? Do we want them to take an easier class so they get a good grade or the harder class which pushes, but may result in a lower grade? What’s more important, stellar grades or the grit to keep trying and growing?

To best prepare our children, as parents and educators, we can:

  • Focus less on brains and more on strains.
  • Blame successes on perseverance and the effort they gave, rather than the ease in which they succeeded.
  • Teach them that failure is part of learning and is not final. By focusing on perfection, we decrease their chances of taking healthy academic risks and may limit their ceiling of potential. 

Will you join me in focusing on the strains, rather than the brains, of learning? Focusing on the brains may limit students as they may think, 
“If I try something challenging and fail, I might not live up to what people think of me. I’m not going to take that risk. I will play it safe and take the easier route.” Instead, let’s encourage our children to take academic risks and show them that with effort and perseverance, the sky’s the limit!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family and that 2019 blesses each of you with an abundance of health and happiness. Thanks for reading!

Sherri Stengel