My 11-year-old daughter Kyra came out of one of our mindset training sessions all excited. She ran to me and asked “Mum, is this meant to be a secret?”
When I asked her what she meant, she answered “This class made me realize that I had a fixed mindset all this time and how I could change that, which means I can do pretty much anything I put my mind to if I try hard enough. It’s amazing, why didn’t I know about this before? I think you should tell this to as many kids as possible.”
I smiled and told her I was trying my damnedest.
Her reaction is similar to those of the other kids who go through the program, “Wow! We had no idea…. this changes everything!”
And it does.
All behavior is belief-driven, and once kids believe that they can develop their abilities through hard work and effort, they feel empowered and formidable. The belief that they are in control of their own destiny has that effect.
Numerous studies show that children who have a growth mindset respond differently in challenging situations and do better in school over time.
We do a mindset training class in the entrepreneurship program we run where we teach kids though role play, short videos, group activities, and fun quizzes about the different mindsets and show them how to develop a growth mindset. But we don’t just tell the kids what to do, more importantly, we tell them why.
We explain the underlying science behind the concept, which we believe is key to getting their buy-in. Here is where they learn about neuroplasticity, and they find it fascinating! We get them to realize that intelligence can be developed and that doing challenging work is the best way to make their brain smarter and stronger.
Parental engagement is key in any endeavor involving kids, and mindset training is no different. The way parents talk about ability and learning can have powerful effects on their kids’ beliefs and mindset. We encourage parents to avoid praising kids for being smart but instead to practice praising effort and progress their kids make.
Praising kids for being smart suggests that innate talent is the reason for success, while focusing on the process helps them see how their effort leads to success.
Showing your kids how to cultivate a growth mindset might be the most important thing you ever do to help them achieve success.
Give us a call and find out how we can help. This is one secret we’d love to share!
By Marilyn L Pinto