Parenting with a Growth Mindset?
Most of us have a combination of fixed and growth mindset; we are not all fixed or all growth mindset only. On a day-to-day basis, we may encourage our children to learn from their mistakes or to look for opportunities to turn a situation around. However, the moment our children come home with an unsatisfactory result, we switch to a fixed mindset faster than we can say “Jekyll and Hyde”. Suddenly, we are reprimanding them for not putting in sufficient effort and practise.
While a growth mindset is about living up to one’s potential, it is not about telling children that they can achieve anything they put their minds to. Dweck notes that having a growth mindset does not involve believing that anyone can become anything they want with enough education and effort. Not everyone can become Einstein or Mozart just because they try.
What we advocate and practise influence our children. Giving ourselves space to learn from and modelling grace when we make mistakes, teach our children more effectively than lecturing them. Teaching them how to show effort when circumstances are tough, will foster perseverance.
Without acknowledging that success depends on several factors, we end up teaching children that they did not achieve because they did not put in enough effort. This is an equally damaging perspective to send our children out into the world with.
In the world of superheroes, parents are the true superheroes. Shaping a child’s world views into ones that promote independence, perseverance, compassion and patience can feel like a tall order. With a family mindset of growth, parenting can be an exploration of firsts and unknowns.