How many of us think that the characters of children are immutable? Or that their personalities are written in stone beyond change? Can a kid behave differently, if the parent expects differently and conveys that to the child? Let us find out.
One day an elementary class teacher informed her students that according to a research survey, children with brown eyes were superior to those with blue eyes. For the rest of the day, the students behaved according to the new set of expectations. The kids with brown eyes outshined even the brightest students with blue eyes, who were shaken by the recent discovery.
The next day, the same teacher strolled into the classroom only to announce that this time there had been a terrible mix up in her papers and actually it was the blue-eyed child, who was smarter than the brown eyed one. The tables turned. This time the blue-eyed students crowed and excelled and the brown-eyed barely functioned, immobilized by shame and self-doubt.
“How parents and teachers talk tells a child how they feel about him. Their statements affect his self-esteem and self-worth. To a large extent, their language determines his destiny.” (Haim Ginott)
Situation 1: Amna the Chatterbox
Amna is a child who talks non-stop. It can be annoying and even embarrassing for her parents at times. Naturally, sometimes they snap at her.
Parent: “Amna, you are such a blabber mouth. Can anyone ever get a chance to utter a word in your presence?”
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