What is the Pygmalion effect and how does it affect children

Did you know that if you expect good results from your children, it is very possible that your children will obtain those good results? In many cases, parents do not have high expectations of their children as to whether they will be good at math or good at sports. If you see that they do not stand out, you usually think that it is because they do not have qualities. Nevertheless, that generates that you are involuntarily influencing your child's performance. This is what is known as the Pygmalion effect. and today we give you the keys so that you can use it to your advantage.

This effect is not something new, its discovery dates back to 1968 in the research that Rosenthal and Jacobson carried out in the Oak School where his main objective was to find out if poor children failed or improved because of high or low expectations the teacher had of them. In order to modulate the expectations of the teachers, they gave them false information about the abilities of their students.

These authors discovered that when a teacher believes that a student has low intellectual abilities, not only makes less effort to teach you, but even his behavior is such that even that little effort will be unsuccessful.

The Pygmalion effect at home happens when the expectations you have about your child's ability and abilities are very low or very high, in that case, depending on the Pygmalion effect, your child would look exactly as you see it.

Despite the fact that on many occasions we think that we are not telling our thoughts or our opinion about them, your child is able to notice it by how you unconsciously behave with it, many times eye contact, and the way you address him reveal more about you than what you say. The way to convey those expectations has to do with behavior and the different way of treating others:

- Verbal or non-verbal communication: It is useless to say that we believe in him if later we do not accompany him with gestures or tone of voice. In general, in a conversation your child will pay attention to 80% of how you say it and how you express yourself than what you are saying.

- Lack of attention: Call less frequently and attend children less depending on what issues. For example, if you think your child is bad at playing soccer, when he is playing a game, you will encourage him less or go to see him less.

- Higher number of criticisms and more often: In this case, you will advise him more on what he has and does not have to do, what you interpret as a way to help him improve is nothing more than a way of transmitting to your child that you know that he does not have many skills.

- Less work and less effort is required of them: Therefore, if you know that your child finds mathematics difficult, you will only demand a fair pass or you will even tell him that nothing happens because he leaves that subject. So then he will do even less to pass.

Nevertheless, we can use this effect to our advantage. If instead of thinking that your child has a low capacity and you avoid the topic of talking about notes, you think that he is intelligent and you recognize him in front of more people, you can encourage him to have greater confidence in himself and end up improving not only his performance but also their self-esteem.

It is not about lying about something that does not exist but about create a more motivating environment in which you are able to feed that effort and that concern that you have about its development, for this you need to be attentive to any small progress it makes. For example, maybe he is not bad at mathematics, surely there is some part that has something better and that is what you have to value and encourage him.

It is not about magically increasing his capacity or being deluded and setting goals that are too unattainable, but rather about maximizing that potential that he already had. If you believe in him, he will believe in himself. This effect is increased even more if you have a positive self-esteem, since that will inspire your child to have it too.

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Video: The Pygmalion Effect (November 2021).