Have you ever praised your child for being smart or getting a good grade?

Well, chances are you actually discouraged them.

What? How come?
Because talent is a fixed trait, an individual is either talented or they are not.
Grade is the outcome, not the cause.
Focusing on your child's grades gives them anxiety. Emphasizing his or her talent demotivates them.
You might think that it will motivate them to get better – it actually does the exact opposite.

The solution: emphasize your child's effort. Encourage them to take baby steps.

Your child directly controls his or her efforts. But they can't directly control his or her grades. Encourage and praise your child's efforts. Do not focus on his or her grades.

This is a mistake a lot of parents make. I have made this mistake myself, in the past!
This might seem ridiculous to you - grades are important! Grades are crucial for college, for GPA and for scholarships.
I agree, they are important in the school system – as a measurement tool.
But focusing on grades doesn't help in raising them.

Imagine playing basketball. Would watching the scoreboard help you? No! You will get hit by the ball!
You need to focus on making plays, passing the ball and taking shots – you need to focus on taking action.

That's how you improve your grades as well – by taking action and emphasizing the effort, not by focusing on the goal.

Key takeaways:
Praise your child when they put in the effort, not when they receive the grade.
Encourage your child to do their best, no matter what grade they have or expect to have.
Explain to them that results come after putting in consistent effort.

Effort is measured in baby steps. Grade is a distant feedback. Help your child focus on the baby steps that they can take - today.

Grades are feedback your child receives after tests and quizzes.
Grades are the outcome – one that can't be directly controlled. It is not always correlated to the effort put in.
Sometimes your child might do his or her best and still get a C. Sometimes they might not put maximum effort and still ace the test!
That can be really, really confusing! “I did my best and still got a B. What's the point?”

What is very real, right here and right now, is the baby steps. Small actions that your child can take right now. If taken consistently, they guarantee success.
One more problem solved. One more formula understood. One more line figured out. One more question asked. One more mistake corrected.
It doesn't matter if you are aiming for a C or an A – those baby steps will help you progress.

Key takeaways:
Ask your child about specific, small actions they can take immediately.
Encourage your child to focus on small wins.
Give your child examples of how they can take small steps.
Celebrate your child's small victories.
Children remember how you make them feel.
Show your child that you appreciate their effort.

Action kills fear and anxiety. Emphasize effort to drive action.

Your child is likely anxious to begin.
He or she may be overwhelmed and confused.
Action kills all of that.
Moreover, the power of baby steps is how specific and manageable they are.
Help your child focus on baby steps.
Ask your child about small actions they took.
Ask him or her about small actions they are going to take.
Remind them that every homework is finished one problem at a time.
Emphasize that even the hardest problems are done line by line.
Encourage them to take baby steps and celebrate small victories.

Key takeaways:
Instead of talking about the results – grade – talk about action – what to do to learn more.
What have you done so far?
What can you do today?
How can you fix the mistakes?
What can you learn from them?
What should you do next?
What are you going to do next time?
Show passion for action, regardless of the outcome.
Be very action oriented, and your child will adopt that mindset.

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