Does your child see themselves as a failure or the situation as a failure?
According to Carol Dweck in her million-copy best-selling book, Mindset -changing the way you think to fulfil your potential, “Failure can be a painful experience, but it doesn’t define who your child is. It should be a problem to be faced, dealt with and learned from.”
As a parent, it’s your role to help your child deal with a failing situation in the right way. There are 2 ways to deal with failure – you either give up on the situation or you learn from it and move on. Your mindset determines which of the two you adopt and teach your children.
You also have the ability to help your child change from a self-limiting mindset to a mindset of growth. It’s helping your child see that learning is about improving and expanding abilities and not just a case of ‘you know something or you don’t know.’
As a parent and teacher, myself, I’ve come to realise that the more you keep at something, the more you will improve at it. You’ll make mistakes along the way, but you’ll become better if you don’t give up, and learning is definitely not an exemption.
Whilst I can’t stop talking about one of my parents whose daughter smashed all the 11+ exams she wrote in September, I remember the days when she’d sit in my office looking to understand a step by step method to transfer the skills from one reasoning problem to the other. Her daughter wasn’t doing well enough in these areas of the practice papers and she wasn’t prepared to give up.
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I’ll continue to shout it out loud from the mountain tops, that it can only get better if you try and keep on trying!
Mistakes are a part of learning – Your child will make mistakes over and over again, and it’s your input that would determine how your child deals with this. At one of my speaking engagements, a parent shared an acronym for the word ‘Fail’ – First Attempt In Learning and I have since used this whilst teaching or speaking to my students. Making mistakes is inevitable, but the way you teach your child to handle this is what makes the big difference in the outcome and determines success. If your child failed at meeting a target grade, it isn’t the end of the world.
Your child needs to believe that they can move that grade from a C(4) to a B(5).
How to move from a fixed limiting mindset to a mindset of growth and success
As soon as you become aware of what your mindset is, fixed or growth, or even in the middle of both, exhibiting a bit of the two and accepting where you are at, is the first step of wanting to change.
Talking back to the fixed limiting mindset voice.
Whenever you hear your child say those words – “I think I can’t do it, most smart students are good at maths, to become good at it you have to spend hours and hours which seems pointless, you either get it or you don’t”
Get your child to talk back using words such as – “though I can’t do it now, I’ll keep on trying until I can get it.
There’s nothing wrong in putting in the hours and the effort as it will help me get better at it.”
Encourage your child to always Act on the voice that is contrary to the growth mindset and then it becomes easier until the mindset naturally evolves into the right growth mindset. This mindset helps your child believe that they can improve their academic or other abilities. They will have the right thought process to reach their potential and they will set themselves ambitious goals and achieve these goals.
Using these principles will help your child improve not just their academic grades, but much more.