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How To Make Sure Your Kids Have Grit, 6 Secrets Backed By Research


Stashed in: Dilbert, @bakadesuyo, Becoming, Parents, Parenting, Grit, Good advice, Mindset, Growth Mindset

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Sum UpHere are Carol's tips for encouraging a growth mindset:Don't Praise Ability Or Intelligence: That promotes a fixed mindset. Compliment effort, process and choices.

Don't Ignore Outcome, Tie It To Effort: You can be happy when your kid succeeds, but attribute it to effort. Respond Positively To Failure: They need to know that failure isn't bad, it's a tool for improving. Don't Just Say “Try Hard.” Help Kids Set Goals: Blind repetition doesn't work. Help kids strategize. Teach Growth Mindset In All Areas Of Life: There's no area where they cannot improve with hard work. Talk To Your Kids About Your Own Growth Mindset Efforts: Practice it yourself and share your results.

Thanks Chuk. I formatted these below. Any favorites among the tips?

Carol’s tips for encouraging a growth mindset:

  • Don’t Praise Ability Or Intelligence: That promotes a fixed mindset. Compliment effort, process and choices.
  • Don’t Ignore Outcome, Tie It To Effort: You can be happy when your kid succeeds, but attribute it to effort.
  • Respond Positively To Failure: They need to know that failure isn’t bad, it’s a tool for improving.
  • Don’t Just Say “Try Hard.” Help Kids Set Goals: Blind repetition doesn’t work. Help kids strategize.
  • Teach Growth Mindset In All Areas Of Life: There’s no area where they cannot improve with hard work.
  • Talk To Your Kids About Your Own Growth Mindset Efforts: Practice it yourself and share your results.

Carol didn’t come up with the growth mindset idea just out of the blue. She grew up in a strict fixed mindset environment.

In the 6th grade her class was assigned seats based on IQ score. Class privileges were only doled out to kids with the highest numbers. This made her feel she couldn’t take risks or try new things because she might lose status.

But through her work she discovered a whole new way of looking at the world. One that made life far more rewarding and exciting. Here’s Carol:

Kids in my research studies would say things like, “I love a challenge” when I was giving them problems they couldn’t solve. It made me think, “Wow, they really like failure. How is that possible? Is that something I could learn too?” Over time, through my work, I took on more and more challenges. Some of them panned out, some of them didn’t, but I saw that my life was so much bigger and richer and rewarding when I took these challenges as opposed to the trajectory I would have been on where I had to show I was smart 60,000 times and then looking back and thinking “What did that add up to?”

When people have a fixed mindset, life is black and white. You have a talent or you don’t. You’re not in control and things can’t get better. You’re stuck. You just have to be what you are.

But when we take a growth mindset, we do have control. Our lives and our world can get better if we try. And with work, we can become better every day. That’s the kind of life we all want to lead.

As Carol says in her book:

“Becoming is better than being.”

You know, I'm going to be a contrarian here for one specific case: helping the child understand more or less inborn gifts they may not have the context to see as special. Here is an example: when I was a child, my father -- who is hardly the world's most poetic or artsy human being -- would occasionally be struck by a writerly comparison I would make, like referring to the Cantonese vegetable dish "jai" as "Buddha's Toenails" rather than Buddha's Delight. He would point out how vivid and witty that imagery was, and look at me with sincere wonder. It wasn't like he was sitting around telling me I was GENERALLY smart, but he definitely left me with the impression that there was something special about me with regard to writing. That talent has turned out to help me AND hurt me a lot in life, but it has 100% marked my life as different from the norm... and isn't that one of the big tasks of parenting?

Yes, it is one of the big tasks of parenting.

And yes, I find it fascinating that this talent has both helped you and hurt you in life.

I used to think that talents were all good but now I've come to realize context matters to whether a talent is actually good in any situation.

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