Teach your child how their brains work.
According to many researchers, children start to develop a growth mindset just from learning about how their brain works and grows. Once they understand that their brain physically grows connections as they practice and learn new skills and concepts, they get excited about the learning process and feel less worried about making mistakes.
Once children learn that the connections between neurons strengthen the more we practice a skill, the more they understand how effort and persistence boost their intelligence and learning becomes easier.
There are many stories out there that demonstrate to children what their neurons – connectors are and what they do. My favourite to use is from Class Dojo. Check out the recording below. You’ll find your children will love these characters and the learning about their brains that goes along with it.
For children with a fixed mindset, the classroom can be a scary place. They see school as the place where their abilities are evaluated, not as a place where their abilities are developed. Their goal in school tends to be to show that they are smart or at least to avoid looking dumb. For them, mistakes are a sign that they lack talent.
For children with a growth mindset, the classroom is a more exciting and less judgmental place. They believe they can develop their ability and tend to see challenges as opportunities to grow because they understand that they can improve their abilities persevering. If something is hard, they understand that by continuing to have a go combined with the power of Yet, they will get better.
How do we teach our children to go from fixed to growth?
There are ten ways to teach growth mindset. These are:
- Show your child how they learn. Discuss with them how our brains actually work for learning.
- Teach your child about fixed and growth mindsets and how our brain functions with these mindsets.
- Model growth mindset thinking as much as you can.
- Discuss negative and positive self-talk and how this impacts the two mindsets.
- Recognise effort over success.
- Teach them the power of Yet.
- Help them set S.M.A.R.T goals.
- Celebrate mistakes and struggles. Both are equally important.
- Avoid labelling your child.
- Model growth mindset behaviour.
Each of these will be discussed individually beginning next week with showing your child how they learn – the workings of the brain.
Have fun with your child. Teach them to have a go. Show them what this means. Chat to you next week.