28 mars 2016

Avoir des attentes réalistes

Selon cette auteure, le fait de dire aux enfants qu'ils peuvent réaliser tous leurs rêves n'est pas une très bonne idée.

Nous le faisons avec les meilleures intentions, mais les effets négatifs peuvent être nombreux:

What could possibly be wrong with telling our kids they can be anything? Plenty.

First, studies show that pursuing overly-ambitious goals can be harmful (...) they find that when people are focused on a goal, and failure to achieve that goal has high costs, unethical behavior increases.

(...) Many kids report feeling intense pressure to achieve in school and beyond, and many more kids say they have cheated.  As Rutgers professor Donald McCabe, a noted authority on cheating, says: “I don’t think there’s any question that students have become more competitive, under more pressure, and, as a result, tend to excuse more from themselves and other students, and that’s abetted by the adults around them.”

(...) Telling kids that they can do anything—whether fueled by imagination or hard work—obscures the critical role of chance in success. Not every child who wants to be a surgeon or sports star can become one, even if they work hard at it. At the same time, in every success story there is the grace of good fortune. As Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman puts it: “Success = Talent + Luck. Great success = A little more talent + A Lot of Luck.”

While Kahneman acknowledges that skill is a key part of success, his work emphasizes that chance plays a predominant role. 

(...) If parents promote the idea that success is primarily determined by variables within our child’s control, even such noble things as skill and effort, we are ignoring the overriding influence of chance, to the detriment of our children. When they fail at something (as inevitably we all will) children who don’t recognize the significant role of random chance in determining life’s outcomes may blame themselves or stop trying.

Conversely, those who do achieve prominent success may overestimate their role in it, and see those who have more average resumes as inferior or less deserving. On a societal level, as Malcolm Gladwell has argued, ignoring the role of chance means that we overvalue the achievements of individual stars and also miss opportunities to use our collective institutions to alleviate inequities.

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