Promoting Self-Efficacy in your kids

Self-efficacy is defined as a personal judgement of "how well one can execute courses of action required to deal with prospective situations". Cheryl Vrkljan from Beyond the Classroom explains how to promote self-efficacy in our children.

Start by recognizing their efforts first!  Instead of focusing your attention on the times when your child is successful, try to consistently recognize the times when they are putting effort into what they are doing. The more effort that is given, the more you continue to recognize it.  This is particularly important with kids 0-6, as they are learning things for the first time.  

Let's be honest, no one can control whether kids are successful or not. Whether it's learning the alphabet, remembering a song, or learning a sport, all kids can do is try. It's all they've got.  

So get in there, and start to openly recognize your child’s efforts, win or lose, and they will come to understand that what is important is their effort.

This kind of recognition promotes an internal sense of self-efficacy, which is what you want for your kids!  This kind of internal belief is what will give them the courage to keep trying, and continue to be open to trying new things.  It will also help them learn to persevere through tough times, which they will inevitably face as they grow.  

It is super important that your child starts to believe that his/her successes are due to her level of effort (which she can control), rather than an natural level of talent or skill (that she can’t control).

Recognizing effort is extremely helpful for kids who struggle. It is also helpful for kids who achieve success easily because it pushes them to continue challenging themselves. 


Visit Beyond the Classroom to learn more about helping your child who may be struggling in school.