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Why should we strive for a growth mindset?
New research shows that people with a growth mindset - those who believe that they can learn just about anything, although it may take effort and perserverance -- are more successful and happy in life. Brain-based research negates the notion that intelligence is "fixed" from birth. (How Mindsets Affect the Classroom, Mary Cay Ricci)
Knowing this, how can we help our kids?
The best thing we can do is to praise them for their effort.( i.e., Wow, you worked very hard at that!, Congrats for not giving up, you solved the puzzle and now we can move on., ) One of the facts I recently learned that has stuck with me is that the brain grows when we make mistakes. It does not grow when we solve problems easily, but rather when we are challenged.
So, encourage risk taking. Help your children to know that mistakes are important for learning, it is part of the process of growing our brains. Help them to understand that feedback is good and that we should try to use it when we can. Help them understand that none of us are perfect... If we are then we have stopped growing and have become stunted. Most of all, love them the way they are, but give them the support to make mistakes and keep growing on their own. Let them know that you Believe that they can do it...