I’ve Got a No-Quit-Go-For-It Attitude! What Research Can Tell Us about Children and Determination
As you now know, the Powerful Word of the Month is Determination.
Wish your children showed more stick-to-itiveness and determination? Turns out, it’s a very important predictor to success. Researchers have suggested a strong link between enhanced self-determination skills and doing better in school and out of schools for students with and without disabilities. Here are the details:
- Let them get involved: Allowing children to use their self determination skills and providing the opportunity for them to do so, can be enormously helpful in their academic outcomes. When students with disabilities get involved in planning, decision making, and implementation of their educational programs they tend to achieve better academic success than their peers who did not get involved and use these self-determination skills. Studies have also found positive results when students get involved or take a leadership role in determining their IEP (Individualized Education Programs) and transition goals.
- Support their autonomy: Research shows that when we support the autonomy and independence of students within the classroom, students are more self-determined, motivated, and more apt to perceive themselves as competent. This, in turn, predicted the larger likelihood of students staying in school rather than dropping out.
- Understand your parenting style: Parenting style can have an impact on children’s acquisition and development of self-determination skills. Parents who involve their children in more decision-making, were more likely to foster determination skills in their children. Interestingly, researchers have found that Caucasian parents were more likely to foster these self determination skills in their children as compared to Asian and African American parents. This may be due, in part, to cultural differences, expectations, and norms.
- Determine if you’re Allowing your Child to Live Up to Their Own Potential: Parents with typically developing, non-special needs children, were more apt to foster determination skills in their children than parents of children with special needs. Specifically, parents of children with disabilities were less likely to involve them in household chores and interacting with salespeople, to allow them to make their own decisions, to teach goal setting and recognition of their weaknesses, and to involve them in making choices and decisions when dealing with unexpected and undesired behaviors. These parents also tended to exert more control in their children’s post-school career and living arrangements. These students wound up with less determination themselves.
- Know what to teach: Parents can help support children’s self determination skill development by teaching certain skills at home and enrolling their children in programs that help to foster development in the following areas: Choice Making, Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, Independent Living, Risk-Taking, Safety Skills, Goal Setting & Attainment, Self observation, Evaluation, Reinforcement, Self instruction, Self understanding, Leadership, & Self Awareness. (We will be going over many of these skills at our Powerful Words Member Schools this month—and you can also reinforce these skills when out in the community!)
Looking forward to a Powerful Month!