Did you know that your mindset can affect the way you learn? Even further, your mindset can affect the way you talk to your children, which can affect the way they learn and grow.
Learning is so important for a happy life. It gives us a feeling of accomplishment, which can boost confidence in our OWN capabilities, and encourage us to take on more challenges.
But it all starts with our mindset.
Carol Dweck studies human motivation (her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success) and in her research found that there are two main mindsets: growth and fixed. She explains that having a growth mindset is essential for success.
What is a Fixed Mindset?
A fixed mindset is where you believe that your intelligence, talents, and abilities are fixed.
Have you ever been guilty of saying any of the following:
“I can’t do it.” “I was born this way.” “That’s too hard.” “I could never do that.”
This “can’t” and “too hard” language reflects a fixed mindset.
What is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is a way of thinking and believing that you can develop your intelligence, talents, and abilities.
Can’t→ Can Give Up→ Let’s try a different approach Positive feedback→ Specific feedback
In Dweck’s studies, she found that 40% of students have a fixed mindset BUT everyone is a mix of fixed and growth mindsets (with nobody having a ‘pure’ growth mindset).
So, don’t strive for perfection here. The point here is to just keep swimming, er, learning!
How To Create A Growth Mindset
Want to teach your kids how to be resilient? It starts with how YOU talk to YOURSELF. Your kids are watching you, listening to you, emulating you.
Your brain can (and needs to) get stronger! Just like you need to exercise to make your muscles stronger, you need to learn to make your brain stronger. And baby, we were born to learn!
The more a person learns the easier it gets to learn new things. So, if you have a child who gets frustrated when learning new things, just encourage them to stick to it. Remind them that they are making their brain stronger 💪.
How To Spot a Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset In Your Kids (and Tips on Moving Towards Growth)
|FIXED MINDSET||GROWTH MINDSET|
|Ignores feedback||Learns from failure|
|Doesn’t try||Puts in effort|
|Gives up easily||Keeps going|
|Mistakes are bad||Embraces challenges|
|Avoids challenges||Learns from feedback|
Spanx founder, Sara Blakely, was encouraged to take risks from a young age. Each night at the dinner table it wasn’t the normal “how was your day” question. Her dad would ask Sara and her brother how they failed that day. He didn’t get upset or disappointed, instead, he would celebrate their efforts.
What did that do for Sara? It reframed her definition of failure. To her, “failure” became not trying vs the outcome.
Her growth mindset paid off because she now has a net worth of ohhhhh $1 billion.
So, what are ways to promote a growth mindset?
- Failing is learning. Fail often! Ask your kids how they “failed” that day. Show them that it’s okay to make mistakes. Remember your kids are watching you!
- Specific praise. No more generic positive praise. Instead of, “you’re so smart,” be specific, “you were really creative with how you built that lego wall, I would have never thought of that.”
- Effort over results. You have two kids. One child gets straight A’s but rarely studies. Your other child studies consistently but rarely gets A’s. How do you praise? Praising A’s might show your kids that it doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you get the A. Praise the effort and your children will learn that effort is important too. You can always find ways to work on results!
- Yet. The power of “yet” is often overlooked. “I don’t know how to do it,” and “I don’t know how to do it, yet” are two very different statements. It keeps the door open for future learning.
Raising Resilient Kids With Growth Mindsets
We exercise to keep a healthy and strong body. Now we know that we learn to keep a healthy and strong brain! You can grow your brain. That’s pretty cool.
As parents, we just want to raise strong kids who can thrive in the world, right? Teaching them to love learning (and promoting a growth mindset) is just another way to do that.
What are some other fun ways to grow your brain?
🎹 Music can boost learning. Homework playlist anyone?
😴 Catching ZZzZ’s improves memory and helps your brain solve problems.
🍏 The right foods can improve your brain function, memory, and concentration.
🤣 Laughing improves memory, reduces stress, and is just fun.
💪 When you practice what you’re learning, your brain gets stronger and stronger.
One final thought:
💡 Your brain has around 100 billion teeny tiny little cells (neurons) that send and receive signals from your brain. AKA the basis of learning and memory creation. That’s A LOT of learning capability. It’s also enough juice to power a light bulb. Remember that the next time you think you can’t do something.
So, let’s turn those “can’ts” into “cans”. It might take time, but don’t give up, YET!