• Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

What should I do if my child shrinks when encountering difficulties? He or she may be suffering from learned helplessness.

My colleague in the office, Sister Zhang, has been yawning all the time recently and complained to us. After her children entered elementary school, they had to do their homework at 10 o\’clock every day, and it was 11 or 12 o\’clock when they finished washing and went to bed, so they felt that they didn\’t get enough sleep every day. . I was very puzzled and asked: \”Do primary school students have so much homework? How can teachers put so much pressure on children?\” \”It\’s not that there are too many homeworks, but that Yaoyao doesn\’t write them when he sees them. One moment he says he has a headache, and the next moment he says Thirsty, in short, all kinds of procrastination and evasion.\” Sister Zhang said worriedly, \”I don\’t know what to do anymore. He still finds it annoying to help him with his homework. When he gets angry, he says, \’I just can\’t, I just can\’t. Will…\’. After procrastinating for several hours, the homework I wrote was a mess and was scrawled.\” \”Yao Yao is very smart. How come he can\’t do his homework? Can\’t he follow the work?\” \”I used to be very smart. I don’t know why I’m becoming less and less experienced now. I say I don’t know any class before I even start it! I’ve become a big idiot!” Suddenly I remembered that I was a guest at Sister Zhang’s house, and Yaoyao was building blocks. Sister Zhang \”guided\” Yaoyao while chatting with us. \”This color doesn\’t look good here\”, \”The roof can\’t be crooked\”, \”Why are you so stupid to build it so low that it crooked\”. Yaoyao\’s interest and confidence in playing with building blocks were lost little by little, and he ran aside to watch TV. Sister Zhang didn\’t understand why, and complained to us: \”This child can\’t play anything for a long time, and has no patience!\” Thinking of this, you can understand why this situation occurs. It is very likely that Sister Zhang\’s mistakes in family education caused the child to suffer from learned helplessness. The child is not really incapable, but he sets obstacles for himself and thinks he is incapable. The so-called learned helplessness means that if a child repeatedly fails or is punished, he or she will feel helpless. This sense of helplessness is a kind of hopeless and helpless behavior and psychological state of reality that children gradually develop during the learning process. It is called learned helplessness. When the child encounters the same situation again, he will develop fear, his self-confidence will be damaged, and he will even break the pot and not make efforts. When every child is born, they are full of curiosity and desire to explore the world. They observe everything, crawl and touch everything they see, and want to study everything thoroughly. If you yell at this time, \”Don\’t touch this, don\’t touch that.\” The child will slowly form a psychological reflex: I can\’t touch any of these things. Children who feel that they cannot control their own lives will gradually develop a negative and hopeless mood, which may even lead to depression in the long run. In China\’s exam-oriented education environment, children are under great pressure to study, and learned helplessness is often everywhere. If they cannot learn a subject well, they will be criticized by their parents or teachers every time, and despised by their classmates. Children will not be interested in this subject. Your confidence will be slowly destroyed. Once a sense of helplessness is formed in one thing, it may be transferred and generalized to other learning activities. Children have no confidence in anything they do, and they mentally default to themselves that they can\’t do this or that, and they can\’t do anything. The child believes that efforts will not have a positive impact on the outcome. This kind of despair spreads, and the child does not have the confidence and willpower to overcome difficulties. Self-efficacy when doing thingsLow sense of competence means that children have very low confidence in their ability to use their intelligence to complete a certain learning behavior. If you panic and avoid when things happen, and don\’t use your subjective initiative, you won\’t be able to do what you can, forming a vicious cycle. My aunt is a person with a strong personality. She hopes that her family will be better off than her relatives and friends, so she is very strict with herself, working hard to make money and living frugally. Her requirements for her cousin are to do the best in everything, including academic performance. She requires her cousin to take the first place in the exam. But my cousin just didn\’t live up to expectations, and his academic performance was never very outstanding, and he was in the middle and lower reaches of the class. My aunt was worried. She had to watch her cousin do his homework when he came back from get off work, and made arrangements to enroll his cousin in various tutoring classes. No matter what her cousin wants to buy, she will say: \”I will buy you everything if you are the first in the exam. If you don\’t be the first in the exam, don\’t want anything.\” Even if the teacher does not announce the results after each exam, my aunt will try her best to find out about her cousin. results and rankings. If my cousin did better in the exam, my aunt would say that he was still too far behind and would be more than ten points short of the first place. If my cousin backs off, my aunt will be able to nag for days: How can I get into a good university after taking so few exams… After all the trouble, my cousin not only failed to improve his academic performance, but also became tired of studying and had a distaste for the exam. There is an indescribable fear that I will get sick soon before the exam, either with diarrhea or a cold. When the exam is over, my health will be better. My cousin told me that no matter how hard I try, my grades just can’t improve. He felt that every classmate in the class was better than him, and they could easily achieve good results without studying much, but he was so stupid that it was useless no matter how hard he worked. His aunt\’s nagging made him even more upset, so he simply broke the rules and allowed his grades to decline. When children infected with learned helplessness analyze failure, they tend to attribute failure to internal, stable, and universal causes, usually intellectual factors. Thinking that the problem is all your fault, that the consequences of this problem will destroy all aspects of your life, and that no matter how hard you try, it will not help. Simply let it develop and stop making efforts. The more frustrated you become, the more discouraged you will be. Losers look for reasons, while winners look for methods. People who do not think that failure is due to their own incompetence will not fall into a pessimistic and desperate situation when facing problems. Instead, they will adjust themselves and seek methods. The more frustrated they are, the more courageous they will become. Easier to succeed. Avoiding is like a giraffe burying its head in the sand. It does nothing to solve the problem except temporarily paralyzing yourself. How can parents help their children avoid learned helplessness in family education? When children fail, they are already feeling very lost and frustrated. At this time, we as parents need to give more guidance instead of blaming them. Too many accusations are tantamount to adding salt to the child\’s wounds. Not only will it not restore the child\’s confidence, but it will make the child even more frustrated and less confident in himself. Parents who love to criticize cannot create confident children. Nor can we conclude that a child has no talent in this area just because of his occasional mistakes. Once a child is labeled as being incompetent in a certain area, it will be even more difficult to rebuild the child\’s confidence. If the child labels himself \”failure is because his intelligence is not high\”, then the child willIt is easy for a child to give up the courage to try and work hard, and become a \”deserter\” when encountering difficulties. It is necessary to evaluate children positively. When failure occurs, by recalling the achievements of the child, let the child understand that the failure is not due to poor intelligence, and guide the child to attribute the cause of failure to changeable factors rather than to his own intelligence factors. Start with small, easy-to-do things around you, let the children try the taste of victory and success, and at the same time give them some rewards and encouragement. Success can best awaken children\’s interest in learning and improve their motivation for learning. For example, if your child\’s grades are lower in the class, you can set a small goal for your child. Next time, how many points will you get in the test? Compare it not with other outstanding students, but with your previous self. Focusing on surpassing others can easily lead to a sense of hopelessness, so it is better to surpass yourself.

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