Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why

The Founder of Inspire Leadership & focuses on unlocking people’s potential by providing them with programs; mentorship and coaching into high performance

By Paul Tough

This week I picked an interesting read about how to help children succeed. The book is How Children Succeed by Paul Tough. Paul talks about different things including education, parenting, equity and student success. He even recently wrote another book: The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us.

In helping children succeed, Paul provides us with details on how personal qualities like perseverance, self-control, and diligence play a critical role in children’s success. The book is based on research and hence very interesting and credible information that we can use to help our children to succeed. Paul’s ideas are not only speaking to us parents, but also extend their target audience to policy makers, teachers and those who support children agenda especially from the perspective of how we can all improve the chances of our children positive future.

It is all about thinking of new ways that will encourage children to gain perseverance, self-control, drive and passion by not only teaching them these elements but also, creating an environment at home and away from home that will help to nurture these personal qualities. 

Paul considers three ways that can be used to create the required change:

  1. Need to change policies.
  2. Change of our practices.
  3. Changing our way of thinking. 

Key takeaways from the books include:

  1. How a child is talked to, received in the classroom and at home makes all the difference in how they work and how they see themselves.
  2. Words that we use on our children have huge effects on them.
  3. Children look up to someone who believe in them and who is available to hear them.
  4. Building relationships with our children is not enough – they need to know that what they are doing is also important.
  5. Consideration for expeditionary learning. This is learning that allows learning to be done through doing instead of listening. We need to give our children experiences of life and let them act instead of theory.
  6. Children need also to be affirmed and motivated all the time by helping them understand that the work they are doing in school, at home or in other settings is important and should be done well.

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