Dr. Mary L. Young has been a highly sought voice as an acclaimed educator for almost thirty years, serving in roles as a teacher, a principal, a school superintendent as well as having a key role in the South Carolina Department of Education. However, with her newfound celebrity as the bestselling author of The Prayer of Achsah: Getting Your Breakthrough From God, now Young is best known for her work as an influencer and motivator, sharing practical insight into life’s real issues. “The Fairy Godmother of Education,” as she’s affectionately known by adoring fans, has quickly become a breakout star as a social media influencer who shares tips to face life’s challenges with courage, passion, humor, and fun. Most recently she published, Act Like A Parent: Think Like A School Superintendent, to provide practical strategies to help parents advocate for their children in school.
In my newest, bestselling book, Act Like A Parent: Think Like A School Superintendent, I provide a few tips to help parents advocate for their children in school. A question I was recently asked is, “Dr. Young, how can I as a parent help to foster a growth mindset in my child?”
First of all, as a parent, you play a critical role in shaping your child’s mindset towards learning. By fostering a growth mindset in your child, you can help them develop resilience, perseverance, and a passion for learning that will serve them well throughout their education and beyond. So, what exactly is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. People with a growth mindset see failure as an opportunity to learn and improve, rather than as a reflection of their abilities. In contrast, a fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence and abilities are fixed traits that cannot be changed.
A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through hard work and perseverance. Research has shown that promoting a growth mindset can have a positive impact on student well-being and academic achievement (Dweck, 2006). Strategies to promote a growth mindset include emphasizing the importance of effort, providing opportunities for students to reflect on their progress and learn from mistakes, and highlighting the importance of learning from challenges and setbacks. How Can Parents Foster a Growth Mindset in their Children?
Praise Effort, Not Ability: Praising effort rather than natural ability can encourage children to develop a growth mindset. Studies have shown that children who were praised for their effort rather than their intelligence were more likely to take on challenging tasks and persist in the face of obstacles.
Encourage a Love of Learning: Encourage your child to explore new interests and pursue their passions. When children are interested in a subject, they are more likely to persevere and work hard to master it. By helping your child find joy in learning, you can foster a growth mindset.
Emphasize the Process, Not Just the Outcome: When helping your child with their homework or a project, focus on the process rather than just the outcome. By emphasizing the steps they took to get there, you can help them see the value of hard work and perseverance.
Teach Your Child to Embrace Failure: Encourage your child to view failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than as a sign of incompetence. Studies have shown that children who view failure as an opportunity to learn are more likely to take on challenging tasks and persist in the face of obstacles.
Model a Growth Mindset: Children learn by example, so it’s important to model a growth mindset in your own life. Share your own struggles and failures with your child and emphasize the importance of hard work and perseverance in achieving your goals.
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of fostering a growth mindset in children. For example, a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology found that middle school students who were taught a growth mindset had higher grades and were more likely to take on challenging tasks than students who were not taught a growth mindset. Another study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that children who were praised for their effort rather than their ability were more likely to take on challenging tasks and persist in the face of obstacles.
By fostering a growth mindset in your child, you can help them develop a love of learning, resilience, and perseverance that will serve them well throughout their education and beyond. By praising effort, emphasizing the process, and teaching your child to embrace failure, you can help them develop a growth mindset that will set them up for success in all areas of life.
Dr. Mary L. Young
For more information on the work of Dr. Mary L. Young, please visit www.marylyoung.com.
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