parents and the growth mindset
- Every word and action from a parent to a child/adolescent sends a message
- As an experiment, listen to what you say and “tune in” to the message you are sending. Are they messages that say to the child/adolescent:
- You have permanent traits and I am judging them (negatively and/or positively)
- You are a developing person and I am interested in your development.
- Now, how do you use praise? Remember, praising intelligence or talent sends a fixed mindset message.
- Instead – focus upon processes – strategies, effort, choices
- Practice integrating the growth mindset praise strategies into your interactions with your child/adolescent
- Learn from your interactions – watch, listen and reflect upon your interactions when your child makes a mistake. Remember: constructive criticism is feedback that assists the child/adolescent to understand how to fix something. This is different to feedback which labels the child, or excuses the child for the mistake.
- At the end of each day, review the constructive criticism you gave to your child/adolescent (either with your partner or by yourself in a journal for example) and approach from a growth/learning mindset yourself so that you improve, become an even better parent and maintain motivation to keep improving your communication with your child/adolescent.
- Parents often set goals for their children/adolescents to work towards.
- Remember, innate talent is not a goal. Expanding knowledge and skills is.
- Lowering standards should also be watched for as this does not raise self-esteem, but neither does raising standards with no way of attaining them (break into steps and plan). Provide feedback on their process of achieving them.
- Ask yourself:
- Do you honestly believe your child/adolescent will never be able to learn well?
- Do they think of themselves as permanently dumb?
- Are you a fixed mindset parent?
- Are you intolerant of mistakes yourself?
- Do you try to motivate your child/adolescent through judgment? [Instead give them respect and the “coaching” they need]
- Instead work with them to try and figure out:
- what they do not understand
- what learning strategies they do not have.
- [Remember to remind yourself about the growth mindset and the process of learning.]
- Ask them to give their full commitment and their full effort
Source: (Dweck, 2012)
Mark Taylor | Registered Psychologist | Canberra ACT | 0467 087 300