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How to raise your kids to have grit, by Carol Dweck and Eric Barker

Stashed in: @bakadesuyo, Parents, Parenting, Grit, Growth Mindset

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Carol Dweck'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.

Dweck 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 Dweck:

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.

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