Nurturing Our Minis Potential
Hey there, amazing parents and friends!
As we gear up for another whirlwind school year, packed with adventures, challenges, and that infectious energy that only kids can radiate, we often find ourselves wondering: How can we best nurture our mini's potential? Should we tuck sweet notes into their lunch kits, shower them with daily affirmations, or drown them in a sea of hugs and kisses? What's our secret recipe for making them feel capable, cherished, and totally prepared to conquer the world?
Well, get ready, because we're about to dive deep into the incredible realm of growth mindset – a total game-changer in the universe of our mini learners.
Growth mindset – heard of it? If not, don't worry, you're in for a mindset life hack that will benefit your parenting. This is like a secret sauce for helping our kids not just survive, but thrive in the face of challenges. It's all about teaching our kiddos that their abilities and intelligence aren't set in stone. Nope, they can totally grow and evolve with effort, dedication, and a dash of that can-do attitude.
Easier Said Than Done?
Sounds simple, right? But here's the scoop: While the concept of a growth mindset might seem straightforward, it's not always the easiest thing for us parents to put into practice when offering encouragement to our kids.
Fixed mindset praise can inadvertently reinforce the belief that abilities are fixed and unchangeable. It's important to avoid this kind of praise and instead focus on fostering a growth mindset. Here are examples of fixed mindset praise to be cautious of, maybe even things you were told as a child:
Fixed Mindset Praise:
1. Praising Innate Abilities:
- "You're so smart/talented!"
- "You're a natural at this."
- "You're the best at (insert activity)!"
2. Avoiding Challenges:
- "Don't worry, you're good at this. You don't need to try so hard."
- "Stick to what you're good at."
- "Why try that? I don't take you for that type."
3. Comparing to Others:
- "You did better than everyone else!"
- "You're the smartest one in the class."
- "Look at how much better you are than [name]!"
4. Focusing Only on Results:
- "You got an A, so you must be really smart."
- "No one plays to lose."
- "Winning makes it all worth it."
5. Avoiding Effort and Challenges:
- "You're too smart to struggle with this."
- "Let's do something easier so you don't get frustrated."
- "If you're having this much trouble, it's probably not for you."
- "You're a math person/athlete/artist."
- "You're just like [family member] in [skill/subject]."
- "Some people are good at this, and some aren't. You're good."
7. Not Praising Effort:
- [No acknowledgment of effort or process, only focusing on outcome.]
- [Ignoring attempts to improve or learn from mistakes.]
Effective Praise and Compliments.
It's essential to be mindful of the praise we give. Instead of fixed mindset praise, focus on recognizing their effort, strategies, perseverance, and readiness to tackle challenges. This encourages the development of a growth mindset, where they believe abilities can improve through hard work and dedication.
A growth mindset isn't limited to academics; it's like a secret tool for excelling in sports as well. Coachable, goal-oriented athletes enjoy the highs of winning and also value the process, including practice, teamwork, and sacrifices. This can be challenging if they have a fixed mindset, which leads to excessive pressure for perfection.
With a growth mindset, they don't feel the need to always "get it right." They understand that actively working on their learning goals will bring rewards.
Imagine if your mini believes their talents are fixed, like puzzle pieces they can't change. They might think, "I'm either naturally good at this or not," leading to low confidence and avoidance of challenges to appear perfect.
Benefits of Praising with a Growth Mindset
Now, let's flip the script. Imagine if your mini believes that their abilities are more like seeds that can be nurtured with effort, practice, and patience. This growth mindset fuels their fire to embrace challenges and see mistakes as stepping stones to progress. They might think, "I can learn and improve with practice and determination."
A growth mindset encourages them to embrace challenges, keep learning, and understand that making mistakes is a part of growing and becoming even better at things.
Encourages Effort and Persistence: When you praise your child's hard work and effort, you're reinforcing the idea that success is a result of dedication. This motivates them to keep pushing forward despite difficulties.
Reduces Fear of Failure: By praising the process rather than just the outcome, you're teaching your child that failure is a stepping stone to success. They'll learn to embrace challenges instead of avoiding them.
Promotes Learning: When you focus on their progress and learning journey, your child becomes more inclined to seek knowledge and develop new skills for personal growth.
Boosts Self-confidence: Compliments that highlight their effort and improvement build a strong sense of self-worth. This empowers them to believe in their ability to overcome hurdles and they can impact the outcome.
Strengthens Relationships: When children receive feedback that acknowledges their hard work and growth, they are more likely to open up to you, fostering a deeper parent-child bond.
Psst, if you'd like to grab Carol Dweck's book "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success." It's packed with gems about the magic of mindset. And guess what? You can snag it on Amazon.ca, or audible.
We adore our minis, don't we? They are truly the best little humans and have incredible capabilities!
We hope this post has given you a boost of energy to handle the upcoming back-to-school season, whether it's for preschool, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, or beyond. Enjoy all those exciting first moments, and please let us know if this change in mindset has made a big difference in your home!
You've got this. We're here with you!