Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Johnny Lingo's Eight Cow Wife

There is a story of Johnny Lingo which you can read and has been made into a short film. The story is one of a Polynesian trader who goes bargaining for a wife. No one can understand when he offers the unheard of sum of eight cows for a girl that most consider not worth even two cows. Johnny, it turns out, is a good trader after all.

People live up to or down to others expectations of them. Tell a kid they are stupid and they will believe it for the rest of their life. Treat a kid as if they are intelligent and they perform better in school. As quoted in ERIC Digest 116 July 1997 on Expectations for Students:
Students tend to internalize the beliefs teachers have about their ability. Generally, they "rise or fall to the level of expectation of their teachers.... When teachers believe in students, students believe in themselves. When those you respect think you can, you think you can" (James Raffini 1993).
Living to expectation applies not just to students, but to your sweetie as well. Criticism, labels, names and other put downs will start to be internalized by your sweetie. Compliments, praise and other expressions of approval will also be internalized and reflected by your sweetheart.

The lesson of Johnny Lingo is that if you want to have the best spouse on the planet, treat them as if they were already the best.
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