We are looking at the idea of a growth mindset and how that can be such an important characteristic to develop, not only in ourselves, but also in our children. The great news from the research is that you can nurture and encourage a growth mindset even if you are a die-hard fixed mindset kind of person. Last week, we looked at how to develop a growth mindset in ourselves. This week, we’ll look at another important question: “How do we develop a growth mindset in our children?”
The question of developing a growth mindset in our children leads us to more questions —How are we raising our children? Are we raising them for now or not yet? Are grades their biggest goal in life? Is getting an A the biggest form of validation for them? Do grades establish their self-esteem? Are there things we are doing that actually sabotage a growth mindset without even realizing it? These are important questions for us to ask as a school and as parents.
So, what can you do at home to encourage a growth mindset? Well, much like last week, the first thing you can do is to learn more about it by reading articles and books. Here are some articles that focus specifically on steps to take as parents:
- 5 Tips for Parents (Oxford Learning)
- 5 Parenting Strategies (Imagination Soup)
- Growth Mindset for Parents Class (Mindset Kit)
The following are three suggestions I would like to mention briefly:
- Praise Wisely
- Praise students for the process, hard work, and effort, not just for the completed project.
- If you praise just their talent or intelligence, you will have kids who are afraid of failure.
- Reward the answer “Not Yet”
- Help students respond to obstacles and failure with “not yet.”
- “Not yet” helps them see challenges, setbacks, and obstacles as part of the process and creates persistence.
- Teach Kids About the Brain and Growth Mindset
- Help them see the growth process, understand the brain, and explain that the brain can grow and change, that it is not fixed.
- Interestingly enough, after testing thousands of students, those who were taught about the brain and growth mindset showed a sharp increase in their grades.