Giving Your Child a Growth Mindset | Part 1

Giving Your Child a Growth Mindset | Part 1

It matters how our children THINK!!

“I don’t want to try! I can’t do it!” “I did try and I failed!” “I look stupid! People are laughing at me!”

These are painful words for a parent to hear because we feel our children’s pain. But letting our kids miss the opportunities to grow and learn in life will handicap them from developing and maturing. Fear steals the joy in our childhood and adult lives.

How do we help our children have an appetite to learn and no fear of failure?

How do we give them a GROWTH MINDSET? The following paragraph comes from the book”MINDSET”, which I highly recommend:

After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.

The importance of this mindset is illustrated in this story, that actually caused me to write the Best Buddies song “NEVER GIVE UP!” We had taken our children ice skating at the Galleria in Dallas over Christmas break. We also took some of the kid’s friends with us. One of the little boys, who seemed so athletically confident  in other sports, crouched along the side of the rink paralyzed by fear. He refused to try or even accept coaching. I’ll never forget that picture in my mind.

Honestly, it broke my heart. I knew it was vital for kids to somehow “normalize” the fear of the unknown.  They must learn to keep trying and be willing to fail until they learn something!

The narrative on “NEVER GIVE UP!” (Best Buddies CD/DVD #3) makes it so clear that learning something new is one of the greatest pleasures of life, and it is a sign of strength, not weakness, to fall and just get up and try again!

Mindset is a great book ( Carol S. Dweck, PhD.).  It presents the idea of a growth mindset and what it looks like to live it out! But, how do we inspire such a perspective?

Here are some thoughts:

1.REWARD EFFORT! Celebrate your child!  Just trying is a victory! Trying twice is a double victory! A beginner, whether playing violin, football, or learning the multiplication tables, can relax and know if it takes three  tries or thirty, one week or five that it’s is okay because winners never give up! Every “failure” teaches us how not to do it! Every try gets us closer to success. Make it real to your child that LEARNING IS FUN! So celebrate anytime they are learning anything:

2.MAKE IT CLEAR THAT NO ONE IS GREAT AT EVERYTHING, BUT EVERYONE CAN BE GREAT AT SOMETHING!  It is so important to teach our children that it’s okay NOT to have a “gift” in certain areas or even an aptitude at all for certain sports or activities. It’s just great to learn new things and enjoy them! As parents, we must model to our children the reality that learning really is an adventure! And in the process, we discover our natural interests and giftings!

I smile just thinking of my husband who is a brilliant writer, communicator, football coach, and songwriter. But math is beyond his ability! Seriously! Adding 6 + 7 may push him over the cliff (Okay honey, if you’re reading this, I just thought this would  encourage most of us who have a smaller range of skill and abilities than someone like you!).

Our oldest daughter Destiny could read most anything at four years old(granted, as the first child, I spent hours teaching her phonics, etc., but she grasped it naturally!). However, though she was born into a rather athletic family and environment, trust me, catching a ball was outside her skill set (sorry, babygirl!!). Did it matter?  No! No to us! She found her strength and today as a Duke lawyer, fluent in Chinese, and being an incredible communicator, she doesn’t feel like a failure because she didn’t make the softball team (well, she did, but the whole team was terrible...).

A GROWTH MINDSET RELIEVES PRESSURE IN OUR CHILDREN! They understand that learning is one of life’s greatest prizes! Learning means there is something WE DON’T KNOW YET, but that’s okay!

Gift your child with a secure self-identity that is confident they have abilities and potential to learn many things, but understands that no one learns without failing or falling down during the learning process.

Make sure they understand they are a winner just by getting up and trying again.

Let’s talk some more about this next week (“Giving Your Child A GROWTH MINDSET” Part 2).❤️

Never Give Up!

DeAnza Duron

DeAnza DuronComment