“How should I raise my kid so that she can be successful in life?”
Every parent spends a significant amount of time thinking about it
and so starts the ‘mission.’ Schoolwork, homework, tuitions, extracurricular activities, etc. occupy the majority of the kid’s day. However, in pursuit of making them successful, we load them up with more and more tasks but forget to impart some important skills that will help them cope with any difficult situations. Developing growth mindset is one such neglected life skill which is crucial to perform better in life.
What exactly goes wrong?
Both you and your child need to believe in one mantra in life; despite of any shortcomings, the brain can grow stronger with time and proper training. You must believe that your kid will shine in whatever she chooses to do instead of assuming that she can do well only in certain things. The latter belief is that of a fixed mindset. When you constantly compliment your kid’s intelligence, for example, “You’re good at science,” that limits the child’s potential. She starts believing that some people are naturally good and bad at something and chances are, she will not explore other areas thinking that she can not do it. But when you compliment your child for her hard-work, efforts and creative thinking, that boosts the belief in her that she can achieve anything with proper efforts and strategies. This type of thinking is the thinking of a growth mindset, that can help her in becoming more intelligent and persistent in life.
In a study conducted by Carol Dweck, a professor at Stanford University, it was discovered that kids who accepted challenges believed that abilities could be improved and those who avoided had a fixed mindset. Those with a growth mindset performed well in various tests and tasks.
Why the growth mindset is essential for success
The drawback of praising and encouraging a fixed intelligence is that the kids start believing in their limitations and don’t even try to push their boundaries. They avoid challenges and stay in their comfort zone. When situations get tough, they lose confidence soon and stop giving efforts. On the contrary, when parents encourage their efforts, kids learn that if you put enough efforts in anything you can be successful, hence, broadens their area and possibilities of success in academics, skills, achievements and overall life happiness.
A big part of having a growth mindset is not to let failure stop your kid from working on improvement. It’s essential for your child to know that setbacks can actually provide a way forward. Tell your child it’s OK to speak up when something isn’t working. Encourage her to self-advocate, make decisions and ask for help from the people around her.
Tips to Encourage Growth Mindset –
- Compliment their efforts and emphasise their process instead of results.
- Tell your kids that problems can be solved; encourage problem-solving behaviour.
- Acknowledge and appreciate when they are showing a growth mentality.
- Don’t stress more on scores. Your kid will do good at some subjects and not so good in others, and that’s okay.
- Prohibit rote learning. Instead of getting the correct answer, focus on whether your kid understands the concepts.
- Tell them, that it’s okay to be wrong and make mistakes. Mistakes are part of life, evidence that we are learning.
- Encourage group discussions and topic-related activities.