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Drat! A "Sue" Moment
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I had an unexpected phone call which interrupted my last entry (already four paragraphs long), and when I turned back to my computer, it was gone, gone, gone. Guess the Universe was trying to tell me it was drivel, not worth keeping. And I don't even have a cat to blame it on....

I was writing about resilience. It seems that people with a belief that intelligence and competence are malleable and can be enhanced, that learning and growth can occur at any age and for any mental capability, tend to be resilient in the face of adversity.

To the contrary, people who believe that intelligence is fixed and unchanging, determined by their genes, tend to have very different, very difficult experiences in life, becoming defensive and helpless when it all goes to hell in a handbasket (which it most certainly does, at one time or another).

We really ought to reinforce with children and youth that they can do anything, can deal with anything, can push the boundaries successfully. An attitude of "can do" and a clear expression of support will go a long way towards making a resilient adult.

I know that my own mother was like that, constantly telling me that I could do anything (she did not let me focus on the things I could not do, such as play basketball). Her belief in me, in my ability to grow and learn, has supported me all these years, even though she herself is long gone.

I cringe when I hear parents telling their children that they are stupid, clumsy, good-for-nothing, bad. Those words stay with them, in the back of the mind, all their lives and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Children need support and guidance, boundaries and encouragement, especially when they are at their most aggravating. Why is that so hard to understand?

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