How To Instill A Growth Mindset Into Your Child
It is hard to imagine children thinking negatively about their ability to learn. The sad reality is kids get discouraged just like we do. They also have discouraging thoughts when they think they have failed at something.
How do you encourage them to believe in themselves and their abilities? You can do so by instilling a growth mindset from a young age. When they accomplish small goals let them know you see how hard they worked.
Let’s talk about a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset can be very harmful especially to a young child. When you have a fixed mindset you believe that if you are not good at something, you never will be.
A child with a fixed mindset believes that when they don’t accomplish something, it’s because they are not smart enough. Children with a fixed mindset believe that if they fail at something it is because they were not born intelligent.
So you see how this can be harmful? Yes, you want to praise your children when they they bring home that A or B, but it is important that you praise the effort they put into getting that good grade. Try not to praise them by telling them the reason they got the grade is because they are smart.
A person with a growth mindset has the desire to keep learning. They see a challenge as an opportunity for growth. People with this type of mindset do not give up easily.
Children with a growth mindset understand that it takes hard work to achieve their goals. They understand their achievement comes from the effort they put into the work they did.
So, how do parents have an impact on what type of mindset their child has? The influence parents have on their children comes from how they praise them. Let’s talk about this…
Constantly commending your child or applauding them for their achievements is a good thing, but it depends on how you are doing it.
If your applauding them and telling them how smart they are when they achieve a goal or overcome a challenge, you are instilling a fixed mindset.
A different approach is to commend them on how hard they worked to achieve the goal they were trying to reach. When you praise them for working hard, it takes their focus off of being smart and more on how hard they worked.
When kids are being praised for working hard they are developing a growth mindset.
They learn that working hard is how they become successful. They learn that their abilities and talents can be strengthened by hard work.
Carol Dwek, is a psychologist from Stanford University who spent years researching this idea.
She spent years researching how to make the educational system better. Upon her research, she discovered people with growth mindsets are always interested in learning and becoming more successful at what they do.
You can help your children develop a growth mindset by..
- Telling them as often as you can how proud you are of the effort they are putting forth.
- Encouraging them whether they accomplish their goal or not.
- Using the word learning instead of failing
- Encouraging them to challenge themselves even more after accomplishing a goal.
Children love making their parents proud, but they must also learn that they don’t have to get it right all the time. Teach them that just because they don’t get it right the first time does not mean they never will.
Let them know that they are not a failure and that they are always still learning. Learning does not mean you will never get it, it means that there is room for growth.
Talk to your kids openly about your struggles, and tell them how you came out on the other side. Let them know about the challenges you faced and how you did not give up.
If they see how you maintained a growth mindset through your challenges, they will be encouraged and will understand that they do not have to be perfect.
Encouraging your child to have a growth mindset can be challenging especially when they want to give up. They may want to do something less challenging because it is easier. Let them know that when they give their brain a challenge they are helping it to grow.
It is perfectly normal to not be in this state of mind all the time. It is okay if you find yourself saying something that may promote a fixed mindset. If you don’t expect your kids to get it right all the time, you should not expect the same thing from yourself.
The important thing to remember is let your child know that no matter what challenges they face, they must keep trying and never give up.