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Could a fixed mindset be preventing your child from learning?
Parents have a direct impact on their child’s mindset, and the same can be said of a carer or teacher, even they can potentially influence a child’s mindset. Children observe their parents’ actions and language and use that to set the bar on what is expected of them. You can manifest a growth mindset in your child by being aware of your daily interactions. Always be aware of how you praise them. Talk to them about how the brain works and how it learns. It is also important to teach them how to deal with failure and transforming mistakes into learning opportunities.
Mental and emotional development
A study investigated the influence a parent’s emotional investment had on a child’s emotional susceptivity and competence. The results concluded that the parent’s emotional involvement does affect the emotional competence and regulation of a child. Much has been said of the relationship between a child and their parent, but a child’s learning capacity does not solely rest with their parents. Teachers, guardians, role models, and even coaches may play a huge role in a child’s learning potential and their ability to fulfil it.
One of the basic mindsets that may pass on and influence children, is their view of failure, or “failure mindset”. Mindset scholar Carol Dweck and Kyla Haimovitz did a study on ‘’failure mindset and found that a parent who viewed failure as debilitating, was concerned about their child’s abilities. Therefore they focused on whether or not they were successful instead of helping them to learn from their failure. As a parent, your belief about failure can also predict your child’s mindset regarding intelligence. A parent’s perspective on failure has huge implications on how they perceive failures. Difficulties that their children may face and these behavioural differences may affect their children’s view on intelligence and ability. Encouraging parents to adopt a failure is enhancing perceptive, could make a big difference to their children, allowing them to develop a growth mindset about intelligence.
Become more invested
There’s no doubt that one of the most prevalent learning tools available to a child or young person is their parents, guardian or teacher. Without knowing they pass multiple actions and reactions, emotions and mindsets. To ensure that the right attributes and mindsets are passed on to our child we can make an active decision to be more invested. Make time to truly invest emotionally in your child and their development. One effective way to do this is to join a group that share the same focus, as it can remove some of the isolation that may come with the journey of being a parent. It can also help to keep you more involved in your child’s life. Sharing experiences and solutions may also offer a new perspective on the development of a child.
Be an example
Children normally look at their parents and use them as an example on how to act and react to situations, especially on an emotional level. An emotion that can easily be passed on to your child is a positive attitude. This does certainly not mean ignoring the negative, but rather choosing to focus on the possibility of a positive outcome. Someone who is a positive thinker acknowledges a situation and approaches it productively. Positive thinking stems from a neutral situation such as starting a new job, a new school, meeting a new teacher or making new friends, in which the positive thinker chooses to focus on the positive aspect of the situation and aims to make more of it. The best way to foster positive thinking onto your child is to be a role model. The more optimistic a parent is, the better a child can understand the principle and implement it into their own life. Be expressive about it. When in a neutral situation such as the changing to a new school, engage with your child, ask what there is to look forward to? If they reflect a negative attitude, help them re-align it, with aid and advice. Reassure them that the worry they feel is only going to worsen things and that they should rather be open-minded and embrace the change and see it as an adventure with new opportunities and a chance to make new friends. By taking on this approach you will aid them in forming a positive attitude from the situation.
Acknowledge negative situations
Having a positive attitude does not make you oblivious to the negative. Acknowledge the downside but emphasize how dwelling on the negative points will not help the situation. If your child has a broken arm you must show empathy and acknowledge the pain with reassuring statements like “I know your arm is in pain and it’s making you feel upset” but always remember to also offer an alternative to negative attitude as well. You can suggest that you can draw some awesome pictures on his cast and get his friends to do the same. The earlier you teach your child the principle of positive thinking, the more equipped they can become in applying it when they are faced with a negative situation and they are on their own.
Remember that although parents do play a vital part in the development of a child, they are not the single variable that may dictate a child’s learning potential. The environment, peers and teachers contribute almost just as much. The building blocks, however, does start at home and parents can definitely provide a solid foundation that can form the basis of a child’s mindset.
Programs such as the GT scholars programme offers an enriched environment, promoting growth and learning, with high impact courses, workshops and programmes are designed to give young people aged 11-16 the strategies and skills they need to achieve their aspirations. If you would like to keep up to date with the latest enrichment activities and workshops in and around London, sign up to our newsletter.