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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.
Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.

Henry Ford

It’s no secret that our internal beliefs determine our behaviour. And our behaviour in turn determines our results.

Our beliefs about school and learning are usually formed subconsciously. It’s fantastic when these beliefs are empowering, such as: I am the best in my class at English, I like maths and I’m going to get a good mark in the test, etc. On the other hand, limiting beliefs can crush a student. I suck at maths, I’ll never get an A, I’ll be lucky if I pass my exam.

We often don’t think about what we do to limit ourselves. It’s not a normal thing to do! But if your child wants to do well at school they need to believe that they can!

Actually, scrap that. If your child doesn’t believe they can pass (or get an A or a good grade) then they won’t.

If your child thinks that they will do well at school, their subconscious mind will get to work at making sure they do the amount of work that will make that happen.

When I was at school I believed that I was much better at maths than I was at English. And I usually got better marks in my maths tests than I did my English essays.

But looking back now I can tell that I made that happen.

Not only did I do all of my maths homework but I went over extra problems too, especially when I knew we were going to be tested on them. The effort I went to for my English class was much less. Sure, I did all of the set homework. But never once did I write a practice essay unless I had to.

I wonder what would have happened if I had believed I could top my class in English.

Fortunately, beliefs can be changed. A good way for your child to do this is for them to have an idea of what they want to get out of school – (I hesitate to use the word ‘goals’). If they have something to work toward, a “goal” that they believe that they can reach, they’re on their way to making it happen.

You can help programme that inner voice now

What does your child believe about their learning? Ask them what they want to achieve this school year. Or in the next couple of years. Ask them what they think they are capable of.

The answers may surprise you.

They might only be aiming to pass maths when you know that they are capable of much more. If that happens, just ask why. Why do they think that’s all they can muster? Why are they aiming so low?

You might be able to uncover a silly reason they’ve created that seriously affects their schoolwork.

Once you both know what they’re aiming for – make it official. Write it down on a piece of paper. Type it up if you can. And then stick that piece of paper somewhere prominent in your house (maybe in your child’s study space) so that they see it constantly.

Positively affirming the belief that your child can do well is far more powerful than being spurred on by the pain of failing!

Image Credit: Brittany Gardner on Flickr



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