Growth can be a purely physical process, but it can alternatively be mindful. In the latter case a kid should possess what is known as a growth mindset which can correct their perception of their experience. So, when they fail, they chalk it up to learning, when they are frustrated, they try to find a way out, and every stumbling block is an incitement to use a creative approach. It all sounds very well, but it’s not applicable so easily! Children are not known for going about analyzing their situations and settling for the most advantageous way to act. They do get put down by unlucky circumstances. How do you teach growth mindset to teenagers?
Teach them about the workings of the mind
Teenagers are often educated about their bodies and processes they are going through; yet they know much less about what happens in the brain. Do some exploring on the matter together.
Watch some videos, read a book dealing with the way the brain is functioning – what parts it contains, how it functions in terms of information and emotions.
Learn about “neuroplasticity” and get to know how people master new knowledge and develop their abilities using their mental capacities.
There is a special comic in the Teen Edition of the Big Life Journal which puts across some fundamental knowledge of neuroplasticity.
Make growth education a permanent fixture
The pattern is as follows: parents acquire the habit of lecturing, and their pre-teens and teens grow to turn their deaf ears to sermonizing. Adults may not be aware of how exactly their kid’s brain is working. Why not instate the term “growth mindset” in the family and make it an ongoing conversational topic?
Explain the work of the growing mindset on instances taken from day-to-day life as reflected in talks on TV, happenings at the kid’s school, and reading other people’s confessions.
Don’t omit to tell the child(ren) how you gained experience both in your childhood and recently.
Insist on frequent usage of “yet“ in important issues
If you customarily listen to your kid whining that it’s so difficult to do this and that, you may have to admit that they are not proficient at their activities YET. This short word can express a lot when used like this:
- “No, you’re not the best player in your school team yet.”
- “You don’t comprehend your maths home tasks yet.”
- “You’re not quite up to the mark with the guitar yet.”
As your child learns to add “yet” to their complaints, they will grow to realize that with the passing of time, things may fall into place – of course, if they throw in some effort and doggedness. Initial failures don’t mean they will last for long.
Goals can be without pressing
We all have goals, but while grown-ups tend to be more realistic, adolescents are more likely to build castles in the sky. They are not so sure about where they are really going, nor how to set about getting there.
Yet you can transmit your own wishes and dreams to your kid. But it can end up with your forcing the child into your mold instead of supporting their aspirations.
Make a point of deciding on the goals – the main thing is to do this without regarding the particular nature of the goal.
Once you have decided, back it up with something like a vision board – maybe even for the whole family!
Become full of grit
If you attempt to achieve something, you have to have grit, that is, patience and staying power to see situations through. Those who have grit, or stamina, stick to their goals and never rest before they attain them.
So when you feel your kid is about to back down, talk to them about grit and the importance of never caving in. Remind them of the desired result. Explain that if they develop grit this quality will surely give them an edge over their peers and make winners out of them.
Single out pliable efforts for praise
You know how important it is to give praise to your child(ren). Yet if you intend to foster the growth mindset you should give praise a bit differently. You need to concentrate on pliable efforts, meaning those whose results are in strict dependence on how much effort they put in the activity.
Mark the episodes when they display perseverance, refuse to give up although their task is clearly very difficult; pay attention to the fact that they are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task, feel scared. Praise of such pliable efforts will show them that what is chiefly being appreciated is their unyielding efforts, their better control over their lives. Besides, their self-confidence will receive a great boost – and they might start to register it.
To solve arising problems sit down together and brainstorm
The young ones keep encountering facers – especially if they try to become independent. Keep encouraging them rather than lecture them.
So your kid failed a test? You can easily get them to arrange for another test with the teacher – but it would be much better if you want over the test and figured out the exact nature of the problem. Do not propel them to move further, deal with the difficult experience so that the kid can be reassured.
Observe your own response
While you are working on developing an efficacious growth mindset in your child(ren) don’t forget to read your own inner response to the process. Analyze just how you discuss the young one’s troubles and perceive their difficulties.
You might tend to go overboard over trifling mistakes and flaws, if so, your kid will grow careful about reporting their progress and discussing their goals for fear of (unnecessary) criticism.
The growth mindset evolves with some struggle; it will be good if your kid is aware that you are both working on it!
Don’t avoid teasers
One of the real psychological dangers is to live in the constant fear of making mistakes. Mind that your kid is passing through the phase in life when they don’t have enough self-assurance, so mistakes come even worse for them, and there is little wish to take risks.
So get ready for gradual development. Prepare to stifle negative reasoning that will cross your mind, making people fear being active and pushing themselves on. Brace yourself to tackle things in spite of possible failures. That’s what life is about.
“To me, fearless is not the absence of fear. To me, fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death,” ~Taylor Swift