(CNN) – Positive self-talk is a powerful tool. It can even help kids with math.
Dutch researchers looked at 212 children between 9 and 13. They asked them how competent they felt they were at math.
Days later, the kids took the first half of a math test. Then they were randomly assigned to talk to themselves before completing the second half of the math test.
Researchers found that kids who took part in self-talk that focused on effort such as “I will do my very best” improved their performance compared to those who didn’t.
Self-talk focused on ability like, “I am very good at this” didn’t have the same effect.
Other studies show that positive self-talk can also improve children’s performance in sports like handball, soccer and swimming.
The study was published Tuesday in the journal “Child Development.”
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