Informed Families Catalyst

How a Positive Attitude Can Affect Your Child’s Future

Posted by Informed Families on April 23, 2023 at 10:55 PM

If you want your child to do well both in school and in their career, it turns out that helping them maintain a positive attitude may be the most effective technique you can use.

Screenshot 2023-04-23 at 10.47.00 PM

According to a study by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers, their outlook on learning matters just as much as their IQ.

The Findings

For their study, the researchers focused specifically on math skills. They analyzed the math skills, IQs, and attitudes of 240 kids ages seven to 10, asking them whether they “liked” or “hated” math.

Then they gave them fMRI brain scans while having them do some basic arithmetic. Those who said they liked math did better and those who said they didn’t like the subject did worse on the tests.

But in analyzing the brain scans, they found that the hippocampus—the area of the brain linked with memory and learning—was significantly more active during the test in kids with a positive attitude toward math.

The researchers concluded that liking a subject actually helps a student’s brain work better.

“Attitude is really important,” the study’s lead author Lang Chen, Ph.D. and a postdoctoral scholar in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, said.

“Based on our data, the unique contribution of positive attitude to math achievement is as large as the contribution from IQ,” he added. “Having a positive attitude acts directly on your memory and learning system.”

How to Help

1. Watch your own attitude.

If you want your child to have a positive mindset, you need to have one yourself. Kids are sponges and mimic your behavior. Do you let minor setbacks discourage you? Do you try to find workarounds for obstacles you encounter?

2. Help them notice their successes.

Sometimes kids can only see what they did wrong, or what they didn’t achieve. Encourage them to see what they did right, what their strengths are, and what they’re good at.

3. Monitor their self-talk.

When you catch your child saying negative things about themselves, take time to explore why they feel that way, and how they can turn that perspective into a positive one. “What did you learn from that?” “At least you gave it your best effort, didn’t you?”

For more tips on how to help your child maintain a positive attitude, see this month’s Family Table Time kit. If you want to see the beneficial impact Family Table Time can make on your family, you can try it for free for four weeks.


Topics: parenting, parent involvement, positive parenting, teenagers, teens

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts