Grades and Self-Esteem in School-Aged Children

Available for Interviews: Dr. Pete Loper

Dr. Pete Loper, MD, MSEd, FAAP, is a triple board-certified physician in pediatrics, psychiatry, and child psychiatry. He is also a professor and executive coach and is dedicated to mental health and wellness advocacy.

What Dr. Loper could say on
Grades and Self-Esteem:

Consistent with Carol Dweck’s research on “growth mindset,” struggle is a normal part of development. According to John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory, struggle in the context of the approach and exploration of new experiences is the rate-limiting step to healthy human development. Further, both Bowlby and his successor in Attachment research, Mary Ainsworth, identified the relationship between a child and their “experienced others” (parents, teachers) as the fundamental ingredient required to support continued approach and exploration in the context of struggle. Put simply, outcomes such as grades are a manifestation of the process, and your child’s willingness and motivation to engage in the process, i.e. to try, try again (growth mindset) is informed by a child’s interactions with parents and teachers. 

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