ParentTip: Steering Girls Away from Destructive "Performance Goals"
By Rachel Simmons
Parent & TeacherTip: Girls are vulnerable to adopting “performance goals,” a desire to achieve for social approval. This diminishes intrinsic motivation — a learner’s most precious resource — and resilience.
How do we help a girl center herself beyond what others may think or reward her for? Ask her this question when she’s facing a challenge:
What is the minimum benefit you could gain from this situation?
Sure, you know she wants an A on the test – that may be the ultimate prize – but what is the least she could get out of this experience? Is it learning something new? Toughening her test taking muscle? In other words, what else is there? If she can find some value beyond the outcome she is driving for, she is likely to be tougher in the face of not getting it.