If teachers and parents want children to develop resilience and strength, a better approach is to teach them self-compassion, said Dr. Kristin Neff, a psychology professor at the University of Texas and author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself.
How Self-Compassion Supports Academic Motivation
When a student develops self-compassion, the seat of motivation shifts.
Neff said that there is an empirical link between self-compassion and growth mindset (the belief that intelligence is malleable and responsive to effort). Research shows that students who adopt a growth mindset thrive on challenges, show resilience in the face of obstacles and view failure as part of the learning process.
How Adults Can Teach Children Self-Compassion
* Trade Criticism for Supportive Feedback
* Model Compassionate Self-Talk
* Be a Good Friend to Yourself
* Calm the Nervous System
Self-Compassion and Trauma
Dr. Patricia Jennings, associate professor at the University of Virginia and author of the new book, The Trauma-Sensitive Classroom, said that these children “often feel very bad about themselves, and their ability to feel compassion for themselves may be impaired. They don’t even know how to accept compassion from other people yet.” In these situations, caring teachers can literally rewire some of the neural pathways associated with attachment.
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