Failures and challenges are inevitable! But the way one perceives it and puts in the effort to learn from those failures is what keeps us going further in life. And the attitude to progress in life comes in handy with a growth mindset.
We often underestimate the significance of the right mindset that should be instilled in the child in their foundational years. A fixed mindset makes a person view their traits as fixed and resistant to change because of which can lead to bad decisions and less effort, thereby reducing the chances of success in an individual’s life
But what is a growth mindset? A growth mindset is a proactive approach that can help your child flourish and be productive in diverse aspects of their personal and academic life. It not only welcomes learning but also boosts the self-esteem and self-worth of the child even in the face of big challenges. When your child employs a growth mindset in their day-to-day life, they accept more of their positive traits whilst working hard to improve on their weaknesses.
You can easily cite some traits in your child that can categorize them in one of the types of mindsets i.e Growth mindset/Fixed mindset. Listed here are a few comparisons between the two:
Challenges: A child with a fixed mindset avoids challenges, they fear failure and are thus reluctant to do things out of their comfort zone. On the other hand, a child with a growth mindset sees challenges as opportunities to make mistakes, learn & grow.
Criticism: A child with a fixed mindset doesn’t take up criticism sportingly. They either take it as an attack or try to avoid it to look smart. But a growth mindset in kids helps them accept criticism constructively which leads to overall improvement.
Inspiration: A child with a growth mindset feels inspired when others succeed however a fixed mindset makes the child threatened, jealous, leading to unhealthy competition.
Learning: A child with a growth mindset is not only a self-learner but also seeks help from multiple sources (teachers, friends, family, community, etc). A child with fixed mindsets easily gives up once they can't achieve certain goals. They lack persistence.
Until now you must have understood the crucial aspect that an emotionally healthy mindset plays in a child’s life. To develop a growth mindset in your child, we are listing a few brilliant tips to make your kid more successful and most importantly a learner for life:
The effort is the real hero: Describe the efforts put in by your child and not the end result. Eg. If your child is able to solve a difficult math problem, instead of saying, "I’m so proud of you!" or "You are so smart" etc. Say, "I see that you have been practicing every day" or "I see that you sought help from your teacher, putting in the extra after-school time and now you are able to solve that math problem".
When you state the outcome e.g. "I’m so proud of you!" or "You are so smart", you are telling your child that only because they solved a math problem, he/she is smart. When you describe efforts, they start getting into the habit of trying, practicing & persisting. We know this is very difficult not to praise your child but it will come with practice.
Remove the negations: Children or even adults tend to use “not” “can't” “won't” a lot more time than it should be. These negations not only destroy self-worth but also makes the mindset more inclined towards being fixed and rigid. Stop using these self-destroying phrases and instill the same in your child.
Learning not failing: Next time when your child makes a mistake, fails, or scores less in any activity or exam, don’t emphasize the failure or unintentionally compare your child. Instead, ask what did the s/he learn? What can they do to improve? Together sit and come up with solutions.
Growth mindset books: There are plenty of books available in the market which through storytelling tries to instill a growth mindset in your kids. A few of them are:
Bubble Gum Brain (Julia Cook)
Making a Splash (Carol Reiley)
Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It (JoAnn Deak)
Digital platforms and apps: Information & help is now available at your fingertips thanks to the digital era. We found a perfect app that will empower you as a parent to foster not only a growth mindset in their child but also other 21st-century skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, effective communication, grit, financial literacy, values, etc.
Employing these growth mindset activities would surely unlock the reservoir of healthy habits and traits in your child's personality.
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This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.