Parents usually think about how others will see and think about their children, especially when their child is not extraordinarily intelligent. Such children are sensitive too and feel every little mistake as a big blunder and doubt their abilities too. This sense of dwelling on mistakes significantly affects their potential. Therefore, as a parent, helping your child become confident in what they can do is a must, it will ensure their success in both life and school. Now you will be thinking that how can you assure your children that they are not less than anyone and can prevail over hurdles? Here comes a role of the Growth mindset that you have to promote in your children.
What Is a Growth Mindset?
Dr. Carol Dweck at Stanford university studied the ways that how young children face cognitive challenges, they have found out that children experience two types of mindsets respective to intelligence, it is either a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.
Children with a growth mindset are open to challenges and accept their mistakes, they know that with a consistent try, they can become smarter and improve their skills and capabilities. Such children are also good grades achievers at school because of their determination and resilience.
Sadly, many children have fixed mindsets especially children that are less intelligent or with special needs. Not all children follow a way of thinking, they don’t seem too persistent in solving their difficulties, and most give up. Such kids think that they may fail when they try and it’s all set in stone and they have limited abilities.
How to Foster a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset can be cultivated in children simply by replacing their thoughts about learning and intelligence. You can apply these strategies to change the mindset of your children and help them succeed in academics and overall well-being.
1. Find a better way to encourage kids – Reward
Sensitive and special Kids need more effort to remain engaged in activities and things. Usually, most kids give up at the start of difficulty which is natural. While parents encourage children by praising their results, talent, intelligence, and other instincts, however, there are other ways too to motivate your kids.
Instead of praising, parents and teachers can reward their children for their efforts and focus and thus can foster a growth mindset. You can observe their strategies to improve their mistakes, solve problems and tackle challenges, and then you can praise the efforts that will make them persistent in the face of difficulty.
2. Use encouraging expressions
Here we would like to draw attention to the language that we use to encourage children or discuss failure or struggle. Usually, the teachers and parents use simple language for schools, teachers usually mark score cards as “As” and “Fs” grades to denote their passing or failure, honestly, that doesn’t help sensitive or special children much to understand their failure or struggle. The same is the case with their assignment marks. Seeing the “F” label as their result causes children to doubt their abilities and intelligence.
Thus, using expressions in ways that built their confidence in their capabilities is the best way to discuss their success and failure.
- Make them understand that there is nothing like “I can’t” it is just “they have not mastered that skill yet”
- Explain to them that failing is the only way they learn better, “I failed” is not the solution but, “I need to try a different way” is the best way to face failure
- Tell them to replace “I give up” with “I could seek help to crack a problem”
Assure your children that they can improve and there is always a solution to every problem. This will help them to understand that intelligence develops by the time when we experience things. It will also encourage consistent behavior and the importance of continuous effort.
- Show your child what a growth mindset is – Model a Growth Mindset
The best way to develop a way of thinking in your children is by modeling a growth mindset behavior. It is a challenge for you as a parent! As many, parents with a fixed mindset, working with your child through the stage of changing your perspective towards a growth mindset, is the ultimate success for your child.
Encourage taking healthy risks and explain how to push yourself out of your comfort zone to face challenges and risks. Show your children that asking for help is a good sign and useful. Sel-talking about each opportunity will highlight thinking to approach challenges.
A growth mindset is a way to prove to your child that past failures do not determine your present success, but only your participation in the present with consistent effort creates your chance of success. Challenges are unavoidable, but how your child finds a way through them, is what matters. And how parents’ guide their children to get through it is the key to promoting thoughts.