And now researchers are finding that hope is an important part of growing up and succeeding in school.
The New York Times interviewed Dr. Charles Snyder, a professor at the University of Kansas. He has developed a scale to measure how much hope a person has.
"Students with high hope set themselves higher goals," Dr. Snyder said. They also know how to work to reach their goals. As a result, they are more likely to be successful in school...and in life.
Students with high levels of hope have several things in common:
- They turn to friends for advice on how to achieve their goals.
- They tell themselves they can succeed at what they need to do.
- Even in a tight spot, they tell themselves things will get better as time goes on.
- They are flexible. They find different ways to reach their goals.
- If hope for one goal fades, they aim for another.
- They can break their goals into achievable chunks. "People low in hope see only the large goal, and not the small steps to it along the way," said Dr. Snyder.
Most important, Dr. Snyder has found that parents can teach their children to be more hopeful. "Hope can be nurtured," he said. Help your child develop the qualities shared by hopeful people. As you do, you'll be setting the stage for success in life. And that's something worth hoping for.
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