Our mindsets determine the goals we set for ourselves, how hard we’ll try and how we deal with failure. Mindsets are important for all of us, but as parents we need to consider not only the mindsets we’re adopting for ourselves, but the mindsets we’re cultivating for our children.
I’ll have to admit, social media scares me, it’s an area I feel out of my depth, it’s unfamiliar and it makes me feel exposed to criticism. When it comes to social media, I’m probably in a ‘fixed mindset’ – one that makes me think ‘I’m just not a social media person, I can’t do this, what if I fail?
Rather than a fixed mindset, Professor Carol Dwek has determined that the best mindset for our confidence and success is a ‘growth mindset’. One where we believe our talents and abilities can be improved if we give it a try, work hard and focus on what it is we want to improve.
Research is showing that our mindsets are set within the first 3 years of our life and mainly through our interaction with our mother or significant caregiver. It seems that the way we praise is incredibly powerful in setting the mindsets our children will adopt. When we praise effort, persistence and focus, we let our kids know that we value them giving something a go, sticking with it and focusing on ways to improve. These are all things they have control over. The outcome, is not.
Praising outcomes may lead to anxiety, fear of failure and a fragile sense of self. The child who hears, ‘you’re so fast, so funny, so great at math etc.’ fears that they may not always be able to perform as the fastest, funniest, best in math. Over time this may lead to a child who holds themselves back, preferring to quit whilst they’re ahead and while everyone thinks they are so fast, funny etc.
So, this is me… my first blog post, posted. Tick! I’ll tell my kids – Yep, even mum has to do hard stuff that scares her and that hopefully, over time she’ll get better and more comfortable because our brains are built to learn!
What mindsets are you cultivating? Follow up on Facebook this month as we’ll share more on the magic of mindsets, praising for growth and the power of YET.