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The Harder I Try, the Stronger and Smarter I Get!

I want to continue to help you understand how to create a “growth mindset” in yourself, your child and your home.

Dr. Carol Dweck, in her 2006 book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” said "Human intelligence, creativity, athleticism, and other qualities are not fixed traits we’re born with. Rather, they’re malleable ones that with time and effort can be changed.”

She identified two types of mindsets. We will look at the “fixed” mindset this week then next week we will look at the “growth” mindset. It is important for you to understand why the two mindsets are the key to your child’s success in school and life. When you do you will not be able to help but strive to develop a growth mindset in your child as fast as you can!

People with a fixed mindset believe if you aren’t natural gifted at something or don’t catch on to it right away, you might as well forget it. Often people of a fixed mindset work very hard to “prove” themselves in those areas where they already excel and “cover up” or avoid areas in which they don’t.

Dr. Dweck indentified five key areas in which the actions of people of opposing mindsets often diverge:

Fixed Mindset

  1. Challenges – Challenges are avoided to maintain the appearance of intelligence.

  2. Obstacles – Giving up in the face of obstacles and setbacks is a common response.

  3. Effort – Having to try or put in effort is viewed as negative; if you have to try, you’re not very smart or talented.

  4. Criticism – Negative feedback, regardless of how constructive, is ignored.

  5. Success of Others – Other people’s success is viewed as a threat and evokes feeling of insecurity and vulnerability.

Growth Mindset

  1. Challenges – Challenges are embraced stemming from a desire to learn.

  2. Obstacles – Showing perseverance in the face of obstacles and setbacks is a common response.

  3. Effort – Doing hard work and putting in effort paves the path to achievement and success.

  4. Criticism – Criticism provides important feedback that can aid in learning.

  5. Success of Others – Other people’s success can be a source of inspiration and education.

Most people are not simply one or the other. We are typically a blend of both and often it is different in different environments and with different people. Next week I will give you a test to see where you stand!

Watch for more to come as we help make you “Growth Mindset” parents!

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