It was Christmas morning and Santa had delivered sparkly aqua roller blades.
My little girl was so excited.
She strapped them on and was ready to go.
By the end of the day she was over it and was adamant she couldn’t do it so I did was every good parent does and I agreed with her. No pep talk. Just Agreement.
She looked at me, shocked.
And then I added one more word….’yet’.
I’d seen a TED talk by researcher Carol Dweck who’s studied thousands of students, especially struggling ones.
Carol talks about the idea of fixed vs growth mindsets.
It's all about making kids believe they can improve.
In her research she found that students with a fixed mindset believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. Basically, you’re either smart or you’re not.
But on the flip side those who have a ‘growth mindset’ believe their success is based on hard work, learning, training and doggedness. They were more willing to try harder problems and believe doing this grows their brain.
So how does she suggest we encourage a growth mindset in our kids?
1. The power of ‘yet’.
I love the idea of adding yet. “Mum, I can’t do xx”….”No you can’t do xxxxx….yet”.
It gives them something to strive for and instills a belief that they will get there eventually.
2. Replace the word failing with learning
Thomas Edison tried over 10,000 times to invent the light bulb before he made it happen.
Colonel Sanders tried to sell his recipe and was rejected 1,009 times.
A growth mindset lets kids feel that failing is just part of growing and learning, it’s doesn’t label them as a ‘failure’.
3. Praising effort not result
Praise them for effort, strategy, focus and improvement.
Not only does it make sense, we’ve all tried something long enough that it eventually ‘clicked’, but it’s backed up with loads of scientific research.
I really hope this little bit of info sparks something in the way you see yourself, not just how we teach our kids to see themselves.
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Take care of you and yours,