During my online studies, I often become aquainted with information that springs out of my search results. An intriguing article caught my attention. It is titled “Why Positive Thinking is Bad For You.” That is not the typical trend of teaching in the last several decades.
There’s so much push to be sure everyone is “happy”. “Have fun,” the parent says as they drop their child off at private lessons (art, music) or at a dance class. Since when did instructors have to take on the role of ENTERTAINER while working at teaching skills to children?
I contend that we will encounter many situations in our life that will test our ability to adapt, change and find a solution for improvement. Being skilled at any task does not happen in an instant and it is often beneficial to have constructive criticism early on. Another generation may grow up thinking everything they do, say, make is cute, clever or creative. Most children have creative abilities — but only a few will excell beyond a standard skill. That goes for any form of knowledge be it math, science, music, athletics, reading, writing, history.
We need to be corrected when we give a wrong answer. We need to be encouraged to improve our skills. It is a rare 8 year old who “already knows how to draw” as I’ve heard retorted by students in the last 10 years. How can a child have that much self-confidence — or lack of interest in learning anything more — at such a young age? Perhaps parents hang every piece of artwork on the refrigerator — instead of sorting out a couple exceptional pieces.
Kids expect to get stickers, prizes, badges, trophies — just for showing up to an activity. How can we build strong, motivated learners and active, productive citizens if we continually say everything is good?