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How to Prevent Impostor Syndrome in Your Child?

  • 15th Jun'21

According to a new survey from Brigham Young University, about 20% of college students suffer from impostor syndrome. Impostor Syndrome is more prevalent than you might think.

When a person feels like a fraud despite a track record of achievements, he or she is suffering from Impostor Phenomenon.


How do parents set their children up for the impostor phenomenon?

Parents have a significant influence on the development of their children's personalities. According to Dr. Clance, there are two ways parents could make their child feel like an impostor. 


  • Criticism 

In this type of upbringing, they consistently hear criticism. It leads them to believe that no matter how good they are if they aren't flawless, they aren't worth much.


  • Generic Praise without any Details

General praise without any specifics is a gentler way through which families instill impostor feelings in their children. Dr. Clance found that when parents speak highly about their children without focusing on detail, they set unrealistic expectations for their children. This eventually results in kids hiding grades from you, even though they’re decent, thinking they’re not perfect scores, and they don't want to disappoint you.

When your child just reveals their best and masks their flaws, the child will begin to feel like a fraud. You should know how Impostor syndrome affects your health and how to overcome them? This will help you prevent your child from it. 


How can parents help to prevent Impostor Syndrome in their children?

The first thing that, as parents, you should understand that Yes Impostor Syndrome is real and ways to deal with it. You should avoid is to stop seeking perfection from your kids.

Observe what your kids are doing well at. Listen to what they think they are good at and what’s hard for them. Help them paint a realistic picture of their strengths and weaknesses. Make them understand mistakes are not the final outcomes but just a bump in the road. Teach them that they’re a work-in-progress and how they can focus on fixing those problems. You can also research on how to deal with Impostor Syndrome using gamification? 

When a person can see their own mistakes as proof that they are trying and learning, it’s unlikely that they’ll feel like an impostor. 

Besides, you must praise specifically rather than generally. It boosts their confidence as you appreciate their effort rather than the outcome.

Simply put, make them feel seen, heard, and good enough. 


If you want to learn in detail about how to prevent imposter syndrome in your child, read the below article:


The Impostor Phenomenon: Overcoming the Fear That Haunts Your Success by Dr. Pauline Rose Clance(1985)


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