Developing A Growth Mindset | 2018-09-06


Developing A Growth Mindset

Magazine Desk

6 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Developing A Growth Mindset

There is a common belief that talent and intelligence are something that you are born with. If you believe that talent and intelligence are something you are born with (and stuck with), then it’s likely that you have a fixed mindset. The good news is that scientific research conducted over 30 years has proven that by changing your mindset, you can achieve in ways you never dreamed of – and that having a growth mindset produces high achievers in school and beyond. They have also found some way out for this. You will probably notice that these are really approaches that work for solving any problem in life. It is good to apply growth mindset to more than just school work. You should want growth mindset to become an overall attitude, not limited to school work. 


Teach your kids that it's okay to be wrong: You know how hard it can be to try something new when you are afraid of failing. Teaching your child that it is okay to make mistakes will motivate your child to try a new challenge. In the process of making that effort, they will learn what works and what doesn't.


Try out new ideas: Various problems and tasks require different strategies and methods to be completed. If your child is struggling with a problem, ask them if there is another way that might work to solve the problem. Even though you will be tempted to solve the problem for them, don't do it. If your child is really stuck with an issue, help them brainstorm what else they can try to solve their problem or complete their work. Try asking them what other resources they have that they can check for more info, such as different places in their textbook and online websites. 


Keep trying to solve a hard problem: Some problems require several steps in order to be completed. Rather than telling your child the right way to confront the problem, ask them to work their way through. Sometimes the next steps become clear after the first steps are taken. Sometimes your child will realize that they need to approach the problem differently. The thing is that they can't get there without taking those first few steps. 


Encourage mistakes: It is recommended to remind students that mistakes help their brain grow. When someone easily finds an answer, they have shown the knowledge they already have without learning anything. When someone makes a mistake, they are forced to find out why and then learn something new in the process. Using the saying "Mistakes Make My Brian Grow" not only takes away some of the fear of possibly being wrong, it validates the effort required in making a mistake. It then goes even further into encouraging learning. Rather than rewarding someone for being smart, it encourages a path of continuous learning.


Teach to pay attention: This isn't just making sure they are following a series of steps to complete their English paper or perform a math algorithm. This is asking them to look at how they themselves chose to solve a problem. Did they draw out a picture to gain a better understanding of what they are trying to solve? Did they look for the specific questions they were being asked by an assignment? Problem-solving strategies can often be used in other situations that may not appear related on the surface. You can ask your child how they decided to solve a problem or praise them for stopping to think about which approach to take to solve a problem. You can ask about this as soon as they complete work if you are sitting near them while they are working, or when you look over their work to see if it is completed.