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Growth Mindset: The one thing you or a private tutor should be teaching your child
Dr Carol Dweck said it best: “If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is teach them to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy the effort, and keep on learning.” The Psychology Professor from Stanford University presented and popularised this philosophy in 2007 through her book, Mindset. Here, she explains her very profound yet simple idea – the differentiation between two mindsets: fixed and growth mindsets.
Mindsets shape how we perceive our abilities and impact how we view the world around us. With a fixed mindset, a person believes that their core personality, talents, skills, and overall intelligence are fixed traits. In a fixed-mindset world, you are either perceived as intelligent or simple-minded. On the other hand, a person with a growth mindset believes that skills and talents can be developed through consistent effort and persistence. This mindset makes you more receptive to learning and improving through hard work. Essentially, this mindset lends itself to the idea that there are no smart or simple-minded people but those who have or have not unlocked their intellectual potential.
As a parent, you don’t only want your child to be successful, but you want them to have the know-how to handle setbacks when they occur. Their journey to success should be a fulfilling and satisfying one. This will only be possible if your child takes on a growth mindset. There are a few ways that this can be done. Let’s look at some practices you can adopt today:
Growth Mindset Role Model
Take charge of the language you use about yourself. As a parent, you must remember that developing a growth mindset within your child starts with you. So, show your child your excitement for challenges and how mistakes can be a learning opportunity. Share instances in your life journey of success, failure and challenges.
Showing your child how the brain works positively affects how they view learning. Teach them that the brain is a muscle that will grow bigger and stronger through continuous hard work, perseverance and practice. They will know that it is adaptable and can change and increase depending on how we use it. Equipping your child with the knowledge that the brain has an extraordinary ability to change and evolve based on our experiences illustrates that we have a lot of potentials to develop into much more than we ever believed. GT Scholars has an interesting article on Study Habits which is an interesting read on this topic.
Your child needs to know that making mistakes is a natural part of a learning journey. This approach facilitates building self-confidence in the mere act of trying anything. Your child will be less anxious about whether he will make a mistake. Another excellent method is to have daily learning discussions with your child, whether in the car, during dinner or bedtime. Ask questions like what they learned that day, what mistakes they made, and what they learned from it.
Power of “YET”
It is important to have an ear-on-the-ground approach to monitoring your child’s language. This will give you an indication of whether they are thinking with a growth or fixed mindset. Teach your child not to focus on their shortcomings but on the next step to their achievement. Look out for words such as “I can’t”, “ I don’t”, and “I won’t”. When your parental radar picks up on this, complete it by saying ‘yet’. Try to introduce story books where the character learns to do something he did not think he could do or where he learned from mistakes.
Hard work and persistence pay off, but the underlying secret to success is obtaining and maintaining a growth mindset. Use these four tips and start nurturing a growth mindset in your child today. It will allow them to go through life knowing they are in control of their ability and can continually improve by learning.
Get started by looking into GT Scholars programmes that support your child in reaching their full potential here! The GT Scholars programme wants to help young people aged 11-16 to achieve excellent grades and reach their future goals.
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