How can I help my child develop a growth mindset?
- March 15, 2019
- Posted by: SumLogix Team
- Category: Psychology
This is next blog in the series on fixed and growth mindsets based on research by Stanford professor, Dr. Carol Dweck. The links to the previous blogs are below:
1. Fixed and growth mindset children and math
2. Is my child in a growth or a fixed mindset?
Dr. Dweck’s research shows that children with a growth mindset are better able to handle challenges than children with a fixed mindset. The children with a growth mindset can learn new things more quickly and adapt faster. They are more resilient and persistent.
As mentioned in the previous blog, “Is my child in a growth or a fixed mindset?”, it is easy to tell when a child has a growth or a fixed mindset by giving him or her a challenging task like a difficult math problem to do. A child with a fixed mindset will avoid or give up quickly, while a child with a growth mindset will persist and will try and solve the problem.
If your child is in a fixed mindset and you want him or her to develop a growth mindset, below are a few action steps you can take:
1. Give him/her challenging tasks to do or problems to solve. However, be careful that you do not give tasks that are beyond his/her capabilities or require use of a concept that he/she has never done. Appropriate tasks or problems should be achievable based on the current skills and knowledge that a child has. Often times you might start of with something a little easy, which a child might be able to do without difficulty and then move to something harder.
2. Initially, a child will likely react negatively. We have had reactions like a child calling a problem stupid, tearing up the paper, crying in frustration, or giving up and sulking. If the child reacts negatively to challenging tasks or problems, tell him/her that those tasks and problems are what will make him/her grow. Bring the child back to his/her comfort level and again take the child out of the comfort zone.
3. Discuss the growth and fixed mindsets with your child. There are several articles and videos on the growth and fixed mindsets in addition to the blogs on our website that might help you.
4. Praise your child for hard work and persistence. Use phrases such as, “You did very well by attempting that problem and finding out X or Y.”, “You worked hard and it shows in your approach to that problem.”, etc.
5. Do not praise your child for intrinsic attributes that he/she has, such as, intelligence. Do not use phrases such as, “You figured it out! You are so smart.”, “I know you are smart and that you can do it.”, etc.
6. Use stories of failures. Most successful people did not get success without their fair share of failures. If a child realizes that failure is a part of the learning process, he/she will accept it more readily.
7. Do not give up. It’s not an easy process to change the mindset of a child. But, it can be done.
We hope that by using the tips in this blog, you will be able to change your child’s mindset to a growth mindset.