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 to teach their children 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. It is here where she explains her very profound, yet simple idea – the differentiation between two mindsets namely a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
Mindsets shape the way in which we perceive our abilities and it also impacts 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 smart 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. Essentially, this mindset lends itself to the idea that there are no smart or simple-minded people but rather those that have or have not unlocked their intellectual potential. This mindset allows you to be more receptive to learning and improving through hard work.
As a parent, you don’t only want your child to be successful, but you want them to have the know-how on handling setbacks when they occur. Their journey to success should be a fulfilling and a 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 in reference to yourself. As a parent, you must remember that developing a growth mindset within your child starts with you, so start showing your child your excitement for challenges and how mistakes can be regarded as a learning opportunity. Share instances in your life journey where you have encountered success, failure and challenges.
Brain Knowledge – Showing your child how the brain works, has a positive effect on 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 learn that it is adaptable and that it can change and grow depending on how we use it. Equipping your child with the knowledge that the brain has extraordinary ability to change and evolve based on our experiences illustrates that we have a lot of potential 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.
Embracing Mistakes – Your child needs to know that making mistakes is a natural part of a learning journey. This approach facilitates in building self-confidence in the mere act of trying anything. Your child will be less anxious about whether he is going to make a mistake. Another great method is to have daily learning discussions with your child, whether it is in the car, during dinner or at bedtime. Ask questions like what they learned that day or what mistakes they made and what they learned from it.
Power of “YET” – It is important to have an ear-on-the-ground approach when it comes 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 rather on the next step to their achievement. Look out for words such as “I can’t”; “ I don’t” and “I won’t”. As soon as 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.
Use these 4 tips and start nurturing a growth mindset in your child today. It will allow them to go through life knowing that they are in control of their own ability and that they can always improve by learning. Hard work and persistence does pay off but the underlying secret to success is to obtain and maintain a growth mindset.
Get started by looking into GT Scholars programmes that support your child into 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.