Growth Vs. Fixed Mindset

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On this snow day with BOTH my kids home, today is the perfect teaching opportunity.

If you aren’t up to date on Carol Dweck’s research on Fixed vs Growth Mindset, you should Google it. It is honestly EVERYTHING in raising kids or even managing a team at work.

“Every so often a truly groundbreaking idea comes along. This is one. Mindset (book) explains:

  • Why brains and talent don’t bring success
  • How they can stand in the way of it
  • Why praising brains and talent doesn’t foster self-esteem and accomplishment, but jeopardizes them
  • How teaching a simple idea about the brain raises grades and productivity.
  • What all great CEOs, parents, teachers, athletes know

Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference.

In a FIXED MINDSET, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

In a GROWTH MINDSET, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.

Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports. It enhances relationships.” – MindsetOnline.com

I have become obsessed with parenting my boys to develop a GROWTH mindset.

It sounds simple to maintain a growth mindset. But in practice, too many people (both kids and adults) listen to the self-doubt and negative thoughts swimming in their heads that limit their development.

So every child who declares “I’m no good at math,” or “I’m a terrible artist” or “I hate reading,” will likely make that a self-fulfilling prophecy by promoting the attitude that they lack ability or potential.

We must urge our kids to believe in themselves and their potential and in the sheer beauty of possibility. If they carry that growth mindset throughout their lives, they will surely surpass their expectations. My son’s Head of School has the right idea in expressing these thoughts and concepts so often to the parent body.

Along with encouraging a growth mindset, helping students understand that their brain can actually grow and become stronger can also boost their confidence and improve learning. Research shows us that the brain is plastic: with focus and practice, the brain can change, it can grow new cells, and we can strengthen neurologic pathways. This is called neuroplasticity, or the ability of the brain to restructure itself based on repetitive practices. (Grapeseedus)

Interesting research, ladies. Truly something to think about. And read up on.

And finally, a shoutout to my Montreal working moms who most likely panicked this morning when all schools were closed due to the ice storm, and had to reshuffle, reorganize, call in favors, etc. Makes today very tricky. Sending you warm hugs.

I would love to know, do you believe in Dweck’s research? Do you believe in neuroplasticity that we can rewire and retrain our brains to succeed based on grit, repetition and hard work?

5 Comments
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