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We all want our children to succeed in their passions. But in order for any child to succeed in life, they must have the right mindset. It’s our job as parents to teach our kids the importance of hard work, improvement and perseverance. These are key values of what’s known as a “growth mindset.” You can teach your kids these values with the 5 following steps:
Encouraging your children to work hard at their passions is crucial for their growth. Your response to their efforts will impact their mindset and future success. But it’s important to encourage your children in the right ways. Instead of praising the end result, use encouragement based on efforts or strategy.
For example, say your child has just learnt how to do a new backflip. While it may be tempting to praise their talent, it’s more effective to praise their efforts. This sends the message that hard work and determination leads to success.
Give Honest Feedback
Getting feedback from others allows children to learn and develop. Be kind but honest with your children when they are learning new things. Focus on what they did well first, then follow it up with constructive feedback. Tell them what they could do better in a respectful, non-judgmental way. Have an honest discussion with them; ask what they could have done differently and discuss ways to improve. This will teach them that there’s always room to grow and improve.
Expand their Capabilities
The best way to grow is to try new things and challenge yourself. With this attitude, even if an activity is outside of your comfort zone, you’ll do it anyway and gain great new skills and experience. This is the only way you’ll be able to expand your capabilities in life. It’s your job as a parent to instil this mindset into your children as well. Get your children to expand on their current list of activities. If your child loves sports, encourage them to try something in the arts as well. Allow your kids to explore a wide range of activities and skills. They may end up discovering a whole new passion!
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Use Setbacks as a Chance to Learn
Nobody wants to see their child disappointed about their setbacks or “failures.” But making mistakes is how we all learn in life. Mistakes make us stronger as individuals and help us grow. It’s important that your child has this mindset from an early age.
The next time your child has a setback, use it as an opportunity to improve. Encourage them to come up with solutions to the setback. Be positive and show them that it’s okay to make mistakes. Encourage them to work through challenges, instead of just giving up. Once they do better next time, they will feel an amazing sense of accomplishment.
Set an Example
If you want your kids to have a growth mindset, you must lead by example. The way you respond to your own setbacks can affect their own responses. Be open with your child about the challenges you have faced in your life. Explain what steps you took to overcome these obstacles. It’s important to show your kids that even adults have setbacks, and that perseverance is key to success.
But you can’t just “talk the talk.” You also have to set an example through your actions. Children are often watching your behaviour much more closely than you realise. If you are experiencing challenges - such as budgeting or financial issues, or even going through a rough patch with a good friend - try to stay positive and calm about the situation to be a good example for your kids. Be as confident as possible and avoid any negative self-talk. If you set consistenly set a positive example, your children will learn to do the same.
From a very young age, Johanna Cider has loved writing and reading books. She considers the first time she went to the library with her mum as one of her best childhood memories. See more of Johanna's work on Tumblr.