In a world where kids are constantly distracted and require constant gratification, kids are struggling to regulate their own confidence. They are becoming prisoners of their own mind. We believe it is important to expose kids, from an early age to the wonders of their own mind and capabilities. In doing so, we can encourage self-awareness and a willingness to be their own superhero.
A simple approach; challenging their fixed mindset and encourage a growth mindset. What are these you ask? A person with a fixed mindset believes they’re ‘smart’ or ‘dumb’, talented at something: painting, music or football, or not. They may believe the world is made of some gifted people, whom the rest admire from the sidelines. Conversely, kids with a growth mindset appreciate anyone can build themselves into anything they want to be “make it possible”. They recognise that people aren’t ‘smart’ or ‘dumb’, that there are no talented geniuses; only hard-working people who have chosen to take their abilities to the next level. Everything is within their control and everything is POSSIBLE.
Supporting this, research has found that those who believed they could develop a particular skill did much better than those who believed they couldn’t get better through effort.
“We found that students’ mindsets—how they perceive their abilities—played a key role in their motivation and achievement, and we found that if we changed students’ mindsets, we could boost their achievement. Students who believed their intelligence could be developed (a growth mindset) outperformed those who believed their intelligence was fixed (a fixed mindset).” Dr Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University.
Tips for developing a Growth Mindset and encouraging your child/children to unleash their inner superhero:
Explain to kids how their brain works like a muscle. With consistent effort and hard work, it can develop and grow.
Encourage effort and growth, don’t praise and tell students they are smart or talented.
Enjoy the journey. Praise kids for the effort they displayed during the process of developing a skill. Remind them of the current skills they have developed and ask how they felt when they first began. Have them associate their own growth through their own experiences.
It’s not about the result, but rather the journey. Grades and scores can be misleading and limit the opportunity for growth. Praise the effort that was put forth for the result.
Challenge the word “fail”. Embrace this concept. Explain that failure is a result of a breakthrough. There is nothing more satisfying than overcoming a challenging. Harder the problem, greater the satisfaction.
Use the word “yet”! When you hear your child saying things like “I can’t do this” or “this is hard”. Make aware to them and state that “I can’t do this YET, but I will continue to try.
Most importantly, share your experience and struggles. Demonstrate vulnerability of trying new things and embracing failures!
In essence, your child is a blank canvas. It is important to be aware of the attitudes and behaviours you expose to them. Do you want your child to be a go-getter or child who expects handouts?