Adversity is something that we all experience at some point in our lives. It can be anything from a minor inconvenience to a life-altering event, such as a pandemic. No matter what it is, how we handle adversity says a lot about who we are as people. Some people crumble under the pressure while others find strength they never knew they had. Facing the adversities COVID brought upon us is challenging, but there is always hope for a growth mindset.
We all had to learn new ways to live our everyday life. We had to learn new ways to school, to shop, to keep in contact with each other, to use new technology, to stay healthy and to spend more time than usual together. It might feel like we only lost, but what we need to emphasise is that whilst there were many challenges, those challenges also helped us grow. What we want to teach is a Growth Mindset.
Here Are 6 Ways to Build a Growth Mindset in Your Kids.
1. Focus on effort over outcome.
A grade that has been earned with hard work (whatever that grade is) should always be rewarded over something that was achieved without effort.
“You studied hard for that exam, and your marks show that.”
“It was a hard assignment, but you didn’t give up. You kept going and working hard. I loved the way you kept trying different things until you found something that worked.”
2. Catch them being persistent.
Any time you see them putting in effort, working hard towards a goal or being persistent, acknowledge it. It doesn’t mean you have to gush with praise every time they apply themselves, but it will mean a lot to them that you notice.
“You’re working hard at that aren’t you.”
3. Encourage a healthy attitude to failure and challenge.
Speak of failure and challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow.
“This year you had to learn maths from your computer. That was hard, but look how much you know now.”
4. Use the word ‘yet’, and use it often.
When they say “I don’t know how to do it,” encourage them to replace this with, “I don’t know how to do it yet.” Keep doing this, and soon they will learn to do it for themselves. Self-talk is a powerful thing.
5. Encourage them to keep the big picture in mind.
It’s where they end up that matters. The stumbles on the way are just part of the journey. Learning takes time and the path won’t be straight – it will be crooked, and full of opportunities and challenges, exactly as it was meant to be. Highlight the things they accomplish. Even if you need to reflect on the challenges faced this year, do it with focus on the end result.
6. Give permission to fail.
Take the anxiety out of learning. Giving kids permission to get it wrong sometimes will broaden their willingness to take risks and experiment with ways of doing things. This will expand their creativity, problem solving and readiness to embrace challenges.
You can help your child remember the progress made through the year by using the Superpower Kids I’M CAPABLE OF LEARNING Printable.