The Beyond the Classroom Blog Series includes tips and tricks from Westside's Counseling and Learning Support Teams.
12.13.22 - Building a Growth Mindset
Written by Kajal Maniar, School Counselor
Children are faced with many challenges in their daily life that extend from someone not listening to them or someone not playing with them to I don't know how to do this. This makes them feel stuck, which yields feelings of helplessness and powerlessness. This stuckness springs from the need to be "perfect" or from having high expectations. These unrealistic expectations make it hard for kids to be flexible in their learning and growing. This is a reflection of a fixed mindset or a rock brain. Fostering a growth mindset allows kids to access their intellect and their abilities to overcome challenges and teaches them to believe in themselves.
Some ways to help increase these flexible ways of thinking include:
- Teaching the power of YET - I know I can't do this yet, but if I keep practicing, I will get there.
- Embracing failures and mistakes - Show children how you would accept a mistake you would make and work on fixing that error. Brainstorm different ways in which you could strategize to fix the mistake. Mistakes help us improve.
- Accepting help and advocating for our needs - Asking for help can make us vulnerable, which is not always easy. Asking kids for help will encourage them to seek help when they need it. Modeling this behavior will help them see the strength in being imperfect and growing together as a community.
- Reading different books based on flexible things like Ish, Beautiful Oops, and Not Norman-a Goldfish Story.
- Praise them for their efforts, persistence, and hard work rather than focusing on the end goal. This will help build their confidence and motivate them to persevere.