USA: verbs not nouns make children persistent

07 December 2018

Encouraging children ‘to help’ rather to be ‘helpers’ can make them more persistent when carrying out tricky daily tasks.

Nouns Vowels iStock

Research from New York University and published in Child Development suggests that using verbs, such as encouraging children to ‘help’, ‘read’ and ‘paint’, could lead to more resilience following setbacks than identifying them as ‘helpers’, ‘readers’ or ‘artists’.

Children aged four to five were asked either to ‘be helpers’ or ‘to help’, then given the opportunity to assist in clearing up some toys, a situation designed to bring up difficulties.

Children asked to be helpers rarely helped in challenging situations that didn’t benefit themselves.

Picture credit | iStock