MAXIMize the Moment Junior Volume 2, Issue 11
I hate Math! It makes me feel so stupid. I'm so bad at Math that it's not even worth trying. But my mother doesn't let me quit. I try again and again to explain Math is too hard for me-that I don't get it and never will.
"Alan," she says, "Right now, I'm more concerned about your attitude than your average. 'Whether you think that you can or that you can't, you're usually right.' You need to change your thinking about this. Let's focus on what you've done right. We'll go through your old tests and see what you did right. We can build from there. If all you ever think about is your mistakes, of course you're going to end up hating Math and doing poorly in it. From now on, we're going to concentrate on success-the ones you've experienced already and the ones to come."
We go through my old tests and I start to notice a pattern. It's not that I get everything wrong-which I thought was the case. I'm actually pretty good at fractions. If all my hard work at understanding fractions can make a difference, then time and effort of on the other stuff should work, too. And I know that my positive attitude will help. Like my mom said, "Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you're usually right." From here on out, I'm thinking that I can.
This week's maxim is "Whether you think that you can or that you can't, you're usually right."
- "Whether you think that you can or that you can't, you're usually right."
- Optimism - I have faith in myself and my future; I am able to see the good even when things seem bad.
- Hope - I believe that the future holds good things, even if I am frustrated or discouraged right now.
- Perseverance - Even when things go wrong, I continue to try; I don't let challenges get me down.
- Aspiration - I know I can improve and I work to make that happen.
- Determination - I am willing to work, to try, to fail, and to keep trying to achieve my goals.
- Patience - I look at long-term goals and do not let frustrations overwhelm me.
Homeroom Discussion Information
- Do you agree with this week's maxim? Why or why not?
What kinds of situations might it apply to?
- Do you think it's important to have a positive attitude? Explain.
- Do you think it's important to believe in yourself? Why?
- Can you think of a time that your mindset (either positive or negative) affected your performance? How?
- Is "feeling negative" the same as being in a bad mood? How are they the same? What makes them different?
- What helps you to have a positive attitude when you are feeling discouraged or frustrated?
- Are there friends who help you by keeping you in good spirits and hopeful?
- What can you do to help a friend who is feeling discouraged or frustrated?
- What sorts of things do you think make it difficult for us to fulfill our hopes and dreams?
- List some tips for sticking with a plan of action. What kinds of things can be helpful?
- How can other people support you? What can they do or say to help you to "stay on track" towards your goal?
- How do you balance having a positive attitude with having realistic goals? Is it important to do that? Why?
Five tips for maxim-izing your family time
- Take this opportunity to ask your children about the challenges they face. Ask them what kinds of things frustrate them and make them discouraged. Encourage them to suggest ways you can help.
- Try to think of signals to help each other and yourselves be aware of your level of frustration. Also, together think of positive ways to deal with that frustration.
- Think of examples of people who have struggled and then persevered. Tell your children about these "perseverance heroes" and encourage them to find their own.
- Talk about times that you have struggled and later persevered. Describe that experience and how it made you feel.
- Use this conversation as a time to get feedback from your kids. Try not to be too hurt if your child makes a negative comment. Try to recognize that most children have not developed the level of tact and the ability to constructively, gently criticize that we expect from adults. Also, remember that their willingness to be open with you is significant-it demonstrates a great deal of trust in you and in your relationship with them.
- Alan's mother finds a great way to help to him. What are some things you need help with? What can I do to help?
- What are some good things and bad things about deciding to quit?
- Why is it a bad idea to get in a habit of giving up when things are hard?
- When it is too soon to quit?
- Is it ever a good idea to quit? How can you know when it's a good idea to just walk away from a situation?
- Do you feel like the people around you push you to succeed? Is that a good thing or not?
- How can we tell if we are putting too much pressure on you? How will you let us know if our expectations for you are too high?
- What do you think is worse: to be too hard on yourself or to care too little?
- How do you think we're doing at balancing expectations for your success and understanding at your mistakes and the things you struggle with?
Be sure to acknowledge the courage your children show in talking with you about these issues.
- Henry Ford Heritage Association
- Time 100: Builders & Titans-Henry Ford
- A Science Odyssey: People and Discoveries-Henry Ford
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