Why you shouldn't be afraid to overrate your child

Why you shouldn't be afraid to overrate your child

Recent research from University College London has sparked a new conversation around something that we've known to be true for some time. 

The research itself is about gender stereotypes coming into play when parents assess their children's abilities. Parents (and teachers) both tend to overestimate boys' skills more than girls' skills in maths. 

Over time, this overestimation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The kids whose parents were most overconfident about their abilities (mostly boys) tended to do better. Then, as children move through the school, this means the gap between girls and boys in maths starts to widen.

There's an important discussion to be had here about pervasive gender stereotypes and how they limit girls' ability to fulfil their potential. But there's another really important take-home for parents, regardless of their children's gender: 

Don't be afraid to overrate your child.

This doesn't mean showboating them to other parents or hothousing them to study to the detriment of play and relaxation (although a little bit of work at home does go a long way.)

It's more about how you can influence your child's mindset and belief in their own abilities to bring about those self-fulfilling prophecies. 

Research over the years has proven time and time again that children do better when more is expected of them. 

As parents, the most significant thing you can take from this new study is that healthy encouragement, positive talk and an absence of self-limitations is the way to help your child reach their true potential.  

So, lay on the encouragement, praise effort, and believe that the sky's the limit. 

About Komodo - Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost primary maths and literacy skills. Designed for 5 to 11-year-olds to use at home, Komodo uses a 'little and often' approach to learning that fits into busy family life. Komodo helps users develop fluency and confidence in maths and English - without keeping them at the screen for long.

Find out more about Komodo and how it helps thousands of children each year do better at maths and literacy – you can even try Komodo for free. 

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