In my last blog post on How To Teach Your Kids A Growth Mindset, I shared with you some of the messages I got from the book, Mindset by Carol Dwek, where she discusses the importance of a growth mindset for kids.
If your kids have a growth mindset, they are open to not only learn but to learn from failure or setbacks. I believe it is one of the biggest gifts we can teach our kids – resiliency and the ability to change their perspective.
So here are a few more concepts I learned:
1. What To Do When Your Child Is Discouraged
Many people believe we need to protect our children from failure, but that is a harmful long-term strategy, because of course it is not possible.
For instance, if they lose a match and you tell them:
They did great, when they really didn’t, you come off sounding insincere and it certainly does not help them improve or recover from the blow.
It was fault of the judges, teachers or test, you are teaching them to blame others for their mistakes and not be accountable.
No worries – It is not important; it will cause them to devalue their effort.
If you say they have the ability to win, then they worry their ability not their effort is what causes them to do well.
“I know how you feel – it is so disappointing to get your hopes up, try hard and not win. If you are set on winning next time, then you just have to keep working at it like the pros do.
You are sympathizing with the disappointment, but not giving a phony boost that would lead to further disappointments.
2. How To Give Constructive Criticism
Constructive usually means helping a child fix, build or do a better job.
Parents all the time say things to their kids like, “This is how you do your homework? Can’t you ever get it right and done on time?”
This type of feedback questions their intelligence and character and implies the defects are permanent.
Instead you can say something like…
“I know homework can be boring sometimes – I remember! Can you think of a way to do this so you can learn more or make it more interesting?” or
“If there is something you don’t understand, would you like my help?”
3. We Love You – But Only On Our Terms
Of course, it is natural for parents to have dreams and ideals for their kids, but some are helpful and some are not.
If you try to get your child to fit your “manual” of what a brilliant, talented child should be like, then there is no room for their interests, their desires, their values and especially their own unique ideas and quirks.
Remember that innate talent is not the goal. Expanding skills and knowledge is.
Give them room to grow into the people they are meant to be. Our mission as parents is truly to develop their potential.
I have been studying the teenage brain and parenting skills for the past 20 years. It is one of my passions. I love helping kids learn important life skills like resiliency, so they move smoothly into their adult years.
I also have been studying best parenting practices for myself, of course and to support parents. I have tools to help you stay connected to your kids, while providing safe structure and guidance. Contact me to learn more.
How do you teach your children your values? Let me know in the comments below…