Simple Process Helps Make Children More Successful

Many parents read anything and everything about bringing children up the right way. All sorts of facts and statistics are taken as gospel, even if the data is only supported by correlation and has no proof of cause.

Dr Carole Dweck has come up with an excellent way to get the best out of children in order to push them on to develop into the thinkers and creators of tomorrow. Dr Dweck believes we should be trying to instil a growth mindset in children, rather than a fixed mindset.

You’re probably thinking, “What does that mean?” It means you should praise your child for his/her ability to learn rather than praising them for accomplishing a task. Let’s work through an example. If your kid solves a math problem there are two ways you could praise him/her:

“You just solved that math problem! Good Job!”- This is a Fixed Mindset.

“You learned how to work out and solve that math problem so well! Good Job!” This is a Growth Mindset.

Rather than praising the ability to solve a problem, we should be praising the ability to learn how to solve a problem. This promotes growth and development. It stresses the importance of the learning process, rather than the outcome. It teaches children that learning is more powerful than any inherent intelligence they may believe they have.

According to Sal Khan from Khan Academy, it’s never too late or too early to give children this growth mindset.

“I think you can start from as soon as they can understand language. I think children naturally have a growth mindset. What I think happens very early, and maybe earlier than the school system is we project onto our kids where we say, ‘Look she’s so smart, she did that,’ and that can be good positive reinforcement but it has a risk of the child getting addicted to that type of feedback so they don’t want to take a risk where they might not get that feedback…or they don’t want to shatter their parents’ perception of them being smart.

“Everyone has a growth mindset about some things and a fixed mindset about other things. I might have a growth mindset already about math or science or academics because I’ve experienced it multiple times and know that if I struggle, that the pain will pay off.

But in basketball, as a kid, I probably had a pretty fixed mindset. I didn’t touch a basketball until I was 11. [I thought] ‘All the other kids are so much better, I’m never going to be [like them] …’ I had a fixed mindset but it was only in high school that I thought … if I go out there and keep practicing and put myself out there and take myself out of my comfort zone … and it pays off.”

Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, this is certainly an interesting approach to learning, and is definitely worth a shot.

Featured Image Via Twitter

After graduating from City University London with a degree in law, Craig is now a freelance blogger and writer. He works on his own blog that speaks on social and cultural millennial issues.