Every year, students bring in baked goods, gift cards, handmade notes, and other presents during Teacher Appreciation Week. Keep them coming - teachers love that stuff! However, there's a FREE gift that teachers really want their students to carry with them into the classroom during Teacher Appreciation Week and the rest of the year.
It's called the growth mindset. Students with a growth mindset will embrace challenges, persist when the going gets tough, value effort above natural ability, and achieve more in school and life. If the whole classroom were filled with growth mindset kids, teachers could move mountains every day.
Wouldn't it be great if parents could help their kids develop the growth mindset? Well, it's possible!
Here are five tips for giving your kids a growth mindset:
- Avoid using words like "smart" and "talented." It may be hard to break this habit at first, but try to find a different way to praise your child.
- Show your kid that effort leads to success. Did she bring home a stellar report card? Tell her that her grades come from her hard work and discipline, not her natural ability.
- Tell your kids that there are few "overnight" success stories. Whether you're talking about an athlete, a musician, a politician, or another type of celebrity, focus on the fact that he probably had to work for a long time before reaching the pinnacle.
- Embrace struggle. Is your child having difficulty in a subject at school? Praise her for persevering. Let her know that self-discipline and grit will take her far in life (much further than the actual grade she receives in school).
- Celebrate victories, no matter how small. Did your son's baseball team have an exciting come from behind victory? Did your daughter master a difficult dance routine? Did your kid do well on a test after preparing for it for weeks? Take the time to celebrate success. If we feel that our effort leads to positive results, we're more likely to try hard in the future.