Mindset is a word that you hear more and more often these days. It plays an important role in the extent to which you have success. With success I mean that you achieve that which you strive for. Also in the education you pursue goals, so it is good to take a closer look at your mindset with regard to upbringing and development.
Mindset, unfortunately, there is no good Dutch word for it, which is why the word is used more and more in our language. Mindset means the whole of beliefs that you have. These are partly conscious, partly unconscious. It is precisely that unconscious part that is interesting. Because it is precisely your convictions that direct your emotions and your behavior. As you become aware of more unconscious beliefs, you have more room to change unwanted beliefs in order to change your emotions and your behavior.
As a parent it is important to be aware of your convictions with regard to your child and with regard to development and learning in general. To start with the latter, you may have heard or read about Carol Dweck, an American social psychologist. She has shown that mindset has a big influence on the school career of children. Children with a growth mindset are convinced that learning performance depends on your efforts. Children with a fixed mindset, on the other hand, have the conviction that talents and intelligence are fixed.
A fixed mindset keeps you in your place. It fixes you in the image as you are now, what you can do now. A growth mindset encourages you to learn new things, to push boundaries. Logical that the latter will take you much further. Yet, even if it is only in sub-areas, we often have a fixed mindset (I can not do that, that is not for me, I will never succeed). And we, as parents, are also affected by our children. After all, who will never fix his child in a certain image? (he is not sporty, she is shy, etc.)
Carol Dweck also shows that it is not good if you put children on a high performance. Children, who always hear that they are very smart, or a great basketball player, can become very insecure. Especially in America, but to a lesser extent also in our own country, the idea prevails for a long time, that many compliments automatically lead to children with self-confidence. The opposite, however, proves to be true. These children later become adults, who always have to be praised to feel good and easily develop fear of failure.
As Carol says: reward the bet instead of the result. Give a compliment about how the child has dealt with it, or has continued. In this way he learns much better that he can achieve what he wants. Make the child aware of his approach. What has the success achieved?
Another important aspect is how you look at mistakes. If you see mistakes as something that goes with a learning process, your child will also deal with it very easily. See that failures do not actually exist. It only indicates what does not work, how you do not reach your goal. And it increases the chance of finding the right way to the goal. So live the mistakes you make (as long as you make different ones) J
In short, we help our children (and ourselves) the most with the following mindset:
Look at your child with an open mind. What he could not do yesterday, might succeed today. As he is now, he does not stay his whole life. Be curious about what your child has even more.
Have a growth mindset. See that results are achieved through learning and exercise. Show the good example. Do not say “I can not do that” but “I can not do that yet”. You just have not discovered how it works. Or not practiced enough yet.
See mistakes and failures as a step closer to your goal. The more mistakes, the sooner you know what does not work. So make a plan and take action. Do not sit and wait until you have considered all possible mistakes and bumps. Successful people are people who do a lot of things. And in doing so learn.