Helping Your Child Learn To PERSEVERE and SUCCEED

One of the most important things we can do as a parent is to help our kids understand that failure and mistakes can help them improve and grow! Teaching our kids to develop a “growth mindset” can drastically change how our children think and learn. Ultimately, it will help them persevere through challenges in order to succeed.

What is a “Growth Mindset”?

According to Carol Dewck, a growth mindset is the belief that the most basic abilities can be developed through effort, dedication, and hard work. This is very different than a “fixed mindset” where the belief is that basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. Growth mindsets can instill the basic belief in a child that they have the ability to learn, regardless of natural talent, or intelligence. The good news is that a growth mindset can be taught!

Here are three ways to encourage a growth mindset in your kids:

Teach your kids about the differences between a fixed mindset and growth mindset. Teach your kids how to recognize each type of mindset through using specific examples. Take examples of phrases like “I’m not good at this”, “this is too hard”, or “that doesn’t work”, and then teach them how to transform those phrases into a growth mindset way of thinking: “what am I missing?”, “this may take some time”, or “I’ll have to figure out a different way to tackle this problem”. You can also use a great book like Making a Splash by Carol Rieley to teach your kids how effort and persistence are crucial to achieving success.

Help your children to recognize their own inner positive and negative self-talk. Help your kids become aware that they have an ‘inner voice’, and that this inner voice speaks to them in positive and negative ways. Once children become more aware of how they speak to themselves, it allows kids to be able to challenge their own negative self-talk, and replace it with something more positive.

ALWAYS recognize effort over success. Your child cannot ultimately control whether they are successful, but they CAN control the amount of effort they put into something. Over time, your child will come to believe that success is due to effort and hard work, instead of talent alone.

As parents, it’s our job to model a growth mindset for our kids. Our children are very perceptive, and learn quickly through how we react to challenging situations. Let your children know when things are hard for you, and let them hear you say positive phrases about persevering out loud. Eventually you may notice that your kids will start to repeat what you are showing them!