If I tell you the sky is the limit for the children with a Growth mindset, you would wonder what a growth mindset is.
In fact, many of you might be new to the concept of mindset.
Let me explain to you what a mindset is, well mindset is a belief whether an individual has fixed or changeable traits
Our mindset plays a critical role in how one copes up with the challenges life throws at them.
Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychologist is widely known for her work in this field. She found that your mindset plays a significant role in determining achievement and success.
A growth mindset contributes to greater achievement, increased effort, and more resilience.
There are two different types of mindsets:
- Growth mindset
- Fixed mindset
I will explain the two mindsets with an example.
In a study, kids were given a difficult problem to solve. Some children took the problem as a challenge and as an opportunity to learn. However, there were others who felt that it was impossible to solve the problem they were being scrutinized and judged for their intelligence
The kids who took the problem as a challenge are the ones who have a growth mindset because these kids when faced with a difficulty believed that they could learn and were open to learning.
However, the other kids who believed that there was nothing they could do to tackle that problem because it was out of reach of their knowledge and abilities had a fixed mindset.
A child develops a mindset early in life due to his experiences, education, and culture from which he establishes beliefs and attitudes.
Here, in this video without going into details I am only going to dwell on how we can inculcate a growth mindset in children.
Children are like sponges, who absorb whatever is present in their environment.
As caregivers and guardians, it is our pivotal role in making subtle changes in our interactions so that they grow with a mindset that is more beneficial in building up a positive outlook towards every challenge that comes their way.
Building a growth mindset
- We can encourage them to use sentences with “yet” at an early age. For example-If, a child says, “I don’t understand this”. We should ask him to replace this statement with, “I don’t understand this yet”. This essentially means that those things take work. The power of making this small change in our conversation paves the way to perseverance.
- The second step is to enlighten the children about the scientific functioning of the brain, its neuron cells, and the connection neurons develop as we use our brain. Our brain grows constantly, creates and destroys neural pathways forming thought and behavior patterns. If the learning activities are so designed that the child fails more often, it will stimulate more neural activity than the successful completion of that task.
- The next thing that’s important is to acknowledge the effort instead of the outcome. When you praise the effort put in by the kid in accomplishing a task rather than focusing on his abilities you instill confidence in the child that his intelligence can be cultivated through efforts.
- Building a never give up attitude: For building resilience one needs to stay optimistic, keep cool, and accept failures as a form of helpful feedback. A good approach can be to break a large activity into small portions which are achievable for the younger child and for the older child to acknowledge accomplishments as they move ahead towards their goal.
- Many times kids think that asking for help would be even worse than failing because then everyone would see that he doesn’t get it. It is a poor choice for learning. Kids should be encouraged to seek help and guidance if they are not able to move ahead in tasks.
- If and when a child fails, make it a teachable moment. A child’s failure is a chance to teach acceptance and problem-solving skills. For example, Could she study differently? What can I learn from this?
To summarize, I would like to say that the whole point of inculcating the growth mindset in kids is to help them believe that:
- With effort, they can build their ability.
- They should see challenges as an opportunity to grow.
- If something is hard, it will push them to get better.
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