There is a new buzz word going around schools called “growth mindset.” Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation and is the professor of psychology at Stanford University. Her research focuses on why people succeed and how to foster success. Her groundbreaking findings are making a difference in homes and schools across the country.
What is it? Fixed versus growth mindset
A fixed mindset means a child believes his or her intelligence is set and that there’s no changing it. With a growth mindset, a child believes persistence and hard work lead to success.
How can you help?
- Allow children to make mistakes.
- Praise them on the process (work) instead of the end result (grade).
- Help your child change their inner dialogue:
- Instead of “I can’t do this,” teach them to say “I can’t do this yet.”
- Teach them that mistakes and failures will help them learn and grow
- Instead of “I’m not smart,” try “I will learn to do this!”
- Instead of “That didn’t work!” say “There’s always Plan B!”
- Instead of “I give up!” have them practice saying, “I’ll try it a different way!”
- Instead of “This is too hard!” have them say “This may take some time.”
- Be mindful of areas that can promote a Fixed Mindset (undesirable mindset). Pay attention to:
- What children are watching (e.g., television, YouTube, etc.)
- What children listen to (music)
- What they are reading (books)
- Use commonsensemedia.org for reviews and recommendations for children’s media and technology
Read children’s books that teach growth mindset
- “Beautiful Oops” by Barney Saltzburg
- “The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires
- “The Little Linebacker” by Stephen Tulloch and Maria Dismondy
- “Almost” by Richard Torrey
- “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon” by Patty Lovell
- “You Be You” Linda Kranz
- “What Do You Do with an Idea?” by Kobi Yamada
– Maria Dismondy is a mother of three, reading specialist, fitness instructor and bestselling children’s author living in Southeast Michigan.