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There is no doubt that parents play a critical role in the growth and development of children, particularly in helping them adopt a growth mindset. An action as simple as teaching them to accept mistakes as part of learning can go a long way in instilling a growth mindset that is a requisite for succeeding not only in class but also in life.
To understand what a growth mindset entails, it is important to learn how it differs from a fixed mindset: According to Dr Carol Dweck, a fixed mindset promotes the belief that knowledge and intelligence are static and inherent. Conversely, a growth mindset holds that abilities and intelligence can be developed with practice.
Why is a growth mindset so critical?
Ideally, it leads to many benefits, including:
• Encouraging intrinsic motivation
• Increasing happiness and life satisfaction
• Reducing anxiety
• Closing the achievement gap, etc.
Helping a child to have a clearer understanding of growth mindset (especially the fact that they have control over their brains' growth through their actions) can set them on a path to adopting a positive mentality. Remind them that through hard work, practice, and asking questions, they can strengthen their brains to improve their thinking.
That said, read on to see how you can promote a growth mindset in your child.
People learn from mistakes, and children who understand this have an easier time developing a growth mindset. Talk positively about the mistakes you have made and how it has helped you tackle life challenges more effectively. This way, children learn that taking risks and making mistakes along the way is part of the learning process.
Emphasize that failure teaches resilience, and trying hard is the only way you can grow. Also, try not to fix everything for them; let them experience disappointments as this is the only way they are sure to develop strong character.
Creative thinking is an essential component of growth mindset that allows an individual to assess situations from a fresh perspective. Here, you can show your children you believe in their ability to learn by giving them challenging tasks that require creativity. Among other benefits, challenges teach the importance of staying open-minded, brainstorming ideas, staying flexible, and role-playing scenarios.
Positive feedback is described as 'the most powerful single moderator that enhances achievement.' Parents can offer positive feedback to guide on what steps a child should take to improve, identify and reward positive qualities, and motivate them to act on the assessment given. Keep in mind that feedback needs to be meaningful, timely, and positive and should focus on encouraging a child to work toward their goals.
The words you use when talking to your child can have a significant impact on their development; negative language can erode their confidence and inhibit their ability to develop a growth mindset. On the other hand, positive language can go a long way in empowering and supporting them in the learning process.
Remember that even the smallest words matter in shaping their perspective of learning. As a parent, you can ensure you are mindful of your language by practicing positive vocabulary, being honest and direct, choosing your words wisely, and avoiding the use of certain words, such as 'can't.'
Indeed, children need to adopt a growth mindset to succeed in their education and life in general. More importantly, parents have a critical role in ensuring kids view learning as a process and not an inherent trait. This can help them overcome obstacles and approach learning with a positive mind.
At Futures Academy, we help children develop a growth mindset by incorporating student-focused programs and one-to-one instruction. Contact us today to learn more!