Just recently, a number of people in my social media account shared this link “Why some students fail and other students succeed?” by Angela Lee Duckworth. She was talking about “grit” as the possible reason why some people succeed. People with growth mindset are most likely to have this character.
Carol Dweck in her book MINDSET: The New Psychology of Success talks about two types of mindset people have: The Fixed Mindset and The Growth Mindset. This is one of the wittiest visuals I saw to differentiate the two mindsets.
Here are some ways we can help our kids develop GROWTH MINDSET:
- A test score is NOT forever
A test measures important abilities, but it DOES NOT measure how smart your child is or how smart he or she will be later in life. Those with fixed mindset believe otherwise. Do not let one test define your child. Do not let a failed entrance examination or low scores diminish their potential to succeed. Dweck mentioned in her book that at one point NASA did not look at applications of astronauts with histories of pure success but rather considered those with records of significant failures and bounced back from them.
A low test score can get a child to study harder for the next test or look for ways to best remember the lessons taken up.
- “When do you feel you are smart or special?”
Try to ask your kids this question. A person with fixed mindset will usually reply “when I get to do things faster than the others”, “when I can do things right away”, or “when I can do things without mistakes”. Success is about learning and not proving to others how smart you are. It will be sad when our kids will become afraid of not being smart or special. A better answer to the question is “when I know I thought about the answers really well” or “when I get to finish a difficult task after trying a hundred times”.
It is alright to be ORDINARY.
The problem is when special begins to mean better than others. A more valuable human being. A superior person. An entitled person. —Dweck, Carol
We should make our kids feel smart when they are learning and committing mistakes in the process… not when they are perfect and flawless. That is when they stop learning and never get smarter. Because children with growth mindset thrive in challenges. Those with fixed mindset avoid challenges.
- Praise the EFFORT and not the intelligence or talent
We all know that our children love to hear praises! It is but natural to a parent to say “Good job!”, “You learned so quickly! You are so smart!” and so many more. Praising intelligence may harm my child’s motivation and may harm performance. This happens when they link success to being smart and failure to being dumb. When a parent praise the child this way, she is hearing: “If I don’t learn something quickly, I am not smart”. Giving such praises makes the child doubt herself as soon as something goes wrong or somethings seems to be difficult to accomplish.
We can appreciate them as much as we want for the growth-oriented process— what they accomplished through practice, study, persistence, and good strategies. And we can ask them about their work in a way that recognizes and shows interest in their efforts and choices.–Dweck, Carol S.
I looked for the Filipino word for grit—“tigas ng loob“! We usually say “Ang lakas ng loob mo!” (You are full of courage!), but grit is more than that. It is more than just being courageous…it is NOT GIVING UP!
I can maybe summarize it in these pictures below:
I challenged myself last weekend at Dreamplay. This activity is called Stairway to Heaven. The last pole was really very high. I had the “Tigas ng Loob” to try the activity. Hearing friends down there cheering “You can do it!”, “Just one more pole!”, grit kicked in. I was determined to not give up and finish the task. I was way too scary. My body was still shaking when I landed on the floor after the big jump. Success!!!
Paul wrote about GRIT long time ago…
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7