When expecting a child, parents read various books on the things to expect during pregnancy, on how to raise a child, to avoid dangers and so on.
However, few people talk about one simple thing in child upbringing, which can help them become more successful in the future.
Dr. Carol Dweck argues that a person’s future depends on what type of thinking will be developed in childhood: a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.
A fixed mindset implies that our character, intelligence and creativity are static, given to us by nature.
A growth mindset means not being afraid of challenges and seeing the defeat not as a proof of stupidity, but as a springboard for development and new opportunities.
The type of thinking developed in early childhood influences a person’s career, relationships and, ultimately, the ability to be happy.
Here are a few simple examples of how to distinguish between these two kinds of thinking. You should praise the child not for talent, but for his/her ability to learn.
A child is reading a book to you:
- FIXED MINDSET – “What a smart boy/girl you are!”
- GROWTH MINDSET- “See how hard you’ve tried and what you’ve achieved! Here’s what you can do! “
The child assembles a puzzle quickly:
- FIXED MINDSET – “That’s my boy(girl)! You can do anything!”
- GROWTH MINDSET – “Oh, it’s too easy for you, I have to give you a more complex puzzle. It turns out that you learn so fast! You will handle a more difficult task, as well! “
The child got a “B” for the test:
- FIXED MINDSET – “You got a B for the test? Well done”.
- GROWTH MINDSET – “You got a B for the test? So you know the topic well. I bet that if you try and write the test again tomorrow, you will not make the same mistakes and will surely get an A! »
It would seem that the difference in communication is almost invisible, but its influence on the child’s fate can be overwhelming.
When you praise the child not for the talent but for the diligence and ability to learn, you let him/her understand that he/she is not a miracle by nature, but with hard work and perseverance one can achieve a lot. Failures and mistakes are a normal thing. The child’s self-esteem will not suffer, because he or she will know that everything depends on effort, and one has many chances to prove it.
Dr. Dweck and her colleagues conducted a study on this subject: they monitored a group of seventh graders who were deliberately instilled different types of thinking for two years. Here are the results: in two years, the children’s grades did not change, everyone kept studying at the same level, but the goals pursued at school were completely different.
The primary goal for the children with a fixed mindset was to look smart in the eyes of others at any cost, and their behavior was aimed at eliminating opposite situations. Children with the growth mindset were not afraid of failure, their main rule was to learn in any case and at any cost.
Who will go through the trials of life and develop more easily? The conclusion is obvious. So think about the type of thinking you are instilling in your child. This is really an important part of the upbringing process, which should not be omitted.