Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Learned Mastery vrs Learned Helplessness

One of the most important concepts of Brain Development, Education and Success is that successes lead to more successes. As any great athlete will tell you, success is 90% mental and 10% physical. The major boundaries that are created for us are of our own making, because we tell ourselves we cannot do something or aren’t capable. This develops an attitude of learned helplessness where we are bound by confines imposed on us by our minds.

The same is true for the feeling of helplessness, which leads to a greater feeling of helplessness. The key to success is to achieve a greater understanding of the causes of your past successes and learn how to replicate them. Your mind changes constantly. It is highly adaptive. Simple changes in the way that you think can make the difference between fulfillment and misery. We’ve all seen people who have everything we think is necessary for success and yet seemed to be depressed. Then we’ve seen others who, we would think, have every reason to be unhappy and yet seem to be joyous and full of life. What is the difference between those who can never find reasons for happiness and those who almost never see a reason for sadness? The difference is in how and what they think. The Russian author Anton Chekov wrote, "Man is what he believes." If you can learn the principles and strategies of successful men and women, you can use their methods to achieve whatever you desire.

Learned Mastery vs Learned Helplessness

A primary hope and desire is for every child is that they become a responsible, contributing member of society.

It is up to the parent/s to teach their child how to become self-reliant and independent. At the same time the child needs to know how to honor boundaries, know their limits, and have an overall respect for life.

With this core base most children will develop the self confidence they need to tackle any endeavor of their choosing.....knowing they can be successful. This is called Learned Mastery.

In a concept called "Learned Helplessness", coined by Dr. Seligman, is the belief that one has no control over their situations. Operating under this belief leads to an "I can't do" attitude. Unfortunately, for children they learn this behavior from their peers, authority figures or even their parents.

Some Tips and Pointers

o Creating goals that are attainable in order to ensure that the child is aware of the progress they are making.

o Offering positive feedback and affirmation for changes and progress made.

o Including the child in the program by making sure they know they reach their goals and they do the program.

o Offering proper support so the child learns to be motivated about their program and has the desire to be a part of the change.

o Establishing strategies to support the parents with the use of parent-child behavioral management skills specific to the child's needs.

o Teaching them how to stretch the challenge in order to "go for more".

o Re-assessing your child's progress and their overall improvement.

Based upon the results of re-assessment the program can be modified and new goals set.

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