Zoom Will to Win: Helping Children Succeed

Will to Win: Helping Children Succeed

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Part of the Series : Child of Our Time: A Year-by-Year Study of Childhood Development (12 Parts) | Child of Our Time 2013 

Why do some children give up on problems easily while others persevere? What makes a boy or girl afraid to try in the first place? This program studies the factors that help create a resilient personality and the reasons why some children back down from challenges. Visiting a group of 25 seven-year-olds, the film observes them with their parents and on their own as they undertake practical tasks gauging motivation, self-confidence, and assertiveness. The tests include the Tower of Hanoi, a building project requiring concentration and planning; a group of three puzzles—designated easy, medium, and hard—that reveal a child’s estimation of his or her own abilities; and a card game between parents and offspring, rigged to show how the kids cope with losing. A BBC/Open University Co-production. Original broadcast title: Will to Win.

Closed Captioned

Child Raised with Privilege (03:30)
Six-year-old William has opportunities and encouragement to succeed. But is this enough to guarantee success in later life? Children learn early on that some jobs and people in society are not valued as much as others.

Child Raised in Unstable Environment (03:03)
Young James is being raised in an unstable environment in which his mother Carol has been on welfare for 11 years, she has had three partners-- one violent--and James' dad kidnapped him after stealing from Carol's apartment.

Family Crisis Affects Children (03:50)
Six-year-old Eve fantasizes about becoming a fairy when she grows up. Eve's life seems idyllic, but her father must undergo major surgery, a fact that frightens and saddens her.

How Do Children Learn Coping Skills? (04:38)
Children's coping skills are challenged when they are put in front of an intimidating panel of adults. Monitoring devices track their stress levels. Only one child is terrified. Why? This segment looks at her family's lifestyle.

Parents Model Successful Behavior (04:05)
To achieve goals in life, one must plan ahead and focus on that plan. Does the drive to succeed get passed on from parents to children? Megan's father is driven to be successful, and he hopes Megan will learn from his example.

Development of Self-Belief in Children (03:49)
In an experiment, children with the most opportunities in life chose harder tasks to complete. James, whose lifestyle is unstable, seems to lack the will to win. Lacking good parenting herself, his mother has trouble maintaining control over him.

Childhood Behavior that Predicts Success (04:02)
James does well in school, but is less successful coping at home. He has learned how to making friends and influence people--vital skills for achieving success in life. He still must learn to read other people better.

Parental Influence on Child's Will to Win (03:11)
Rich or poor, parents have opportunities to help their children develop the will to win. A struggling young mother excels in her home care worker profession and hopes to inspire her daughter to seek excellence.

Initiative: Inborn, Nurtured, or Both? (03:33)
Mastering new skills requires "more will than skill." Megan lives on a farm and sees her parents working hard every day. They include her in farm projects, but do not force her to work. She does her homework without supervision or nagging.

Child's Desire to Win (03:02)
Even the most talented people need to be inspired and stimulated to achieve. Six-year-old William wants to come out on top of everything he does. His teachers try to focus on enjoyment and participation, but William only wants to win.

Will to Win/Fear of Loss (01:36)
How do six-year-olds cope with losing? In an experiment, children play their parents in a rigged game of cards. How do they cope when they keep losing? Children react to losing in different ways. For one child, losing is painful.

Children Cope with Emotional Hardships (03:22)
Eve's father has an operation that could put him a risk. Six-year-old Eve's fear and concern carries into her play, her desire to win, and her outlook on life. Life seems unfair to her--until her dad comes out of surgery.

Children Learn to Compete (02:51)
In an experiment with parents and children, researchers observe if a competitive spirit in parents carries over to children. From an underprivileged family, James is not always willing to push through his fears unless there is a prize for doing so.

Success and IQ (01:56)
Studies show that a higher IQ is associated with success in later life. James' IQ is low, but higher than both his parents. The challenge for James is his mother's low expectations for him vs. the school's higher expectations.

Different Styles of Parenting (04:04)
William's mother pushes him to achieve, to seek the highest levels of success. She is driven to push because she feels she was held back in life. His success will be her success. His father takes a more natural approach by modeling behavior.

Mother/Daughter Relationships (02:26)
A mother quits her job at which she was skilled and appreciated and now feels lost. Her daughter responds to the instability by withdrawing. Mother seeks guidance from a spiritualist, who tells her that her child needs more attention.

Childhood Experiences Shape Adulthood (03:58)
After Eve's father recovers from surgery, she bounces back to her usual competent, positive self. Eve's coping ability will serve her well in adulthood. Childhood experiences are crucial to shaping adulthood and future success.

Length: 60 minutes

Copyright Date: 2006

Will to Win: Helping Children Succeed



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