By Lisa Smith

I recently came across a concept that was so blow-your-mind-good I had to share.

According to Carol Dweck Ph.D., an author & Stanford professor, most of us walk around with either a “fixed” or “growth” mindset. Dweck writes, “People with fixed mindset believe talents and abilities are inborn and carved in stone. Growth mindset people believe success is a result of effort as much as, or more than aptitude.”

I grew up with a fixed mindset, always believing “truths” like, “I’m not good at foreign languages,” “I’m not athletic,” and “I can’t sing” (okay I really can’t). After learning the fixed mindset concept, I can totally see how the idea that my talents were “God given” and set in stone limited me.

Which begs the question: did I pass this fixed mindset onto my teenage son?

It appears so.

According to Dr. Dweck, the number one priority for Fixed Mindset kids is to look smart at all times (and at all costs) and that’s certainly the case for him. As it turns out, the fixed mindset is a poison pill we can feed our kids. He hates (and I do mean hates) not knowing what he’s doing, hates looking like he’s failing and doesn’t want to look stupid and/or fall behind.

Ugh!

It stings just to write that because I fear that we (hubby and I) have taught him this fixed mindset by overpraising his results. This has led him to stop trying and/or give up too soon if his fears get triggered.

Again according to Dr. Dweck, the Growth Mindset kids believe the goal is to learn at all times and at all costs. I want that for my boy.

I want him to know life is about effort and passion, not about inborn ability.

I want him to understand that he can keep going, keep trying, and keep putting in the effort—even if an activity feels a bit hard or “unnatural” at first.

I want him to get that talent and skill are not set in stone, but actually take time to hone and develop.

So I have begun by introducing this concept to him. We talked about being an intentional growth mindset family, we practice using Growth Mindset language with each other and we point out when we see someone use Fixed Mindset words. And most of all? My husband and I are rewiring our own brains to praise our son’s effort rather than his results.

Also, a funny thing also happened along with way…instilling the importance of a growth mindset in my son has started to rub off on me. I find myself with a whole new (and far more empowering) attitude about my abilities as a coach, speaker and author! While I was once consumed by self, doubt, I now feel a deeper sense that nothing is off limits for me or unimaginable.

This process feels so much better and I know it’s ultimately supporting my son to really be anything he wants to be, which at the moment is a basketball-playing gemologist who sells real estate and moonlights as a YouTube sensation (I know he can do it!).

 

Lisa Smith is a mom, certified parent coach and international best selling author of, The Angry Parent: How to Find Peace in Your Parenting Through the Message of Anger. When she is not coaching, you’ll most likely find her at a basketball game rooting on her son or traveling somewhere new. She is obsessed with cross-fit, personal development and romance novels.

Her free Peaceful Parenting mini-course, full of tools, tips and support has been enjoyed by parents all over the world.

Photo: Pixabay

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

Article was originally posted on author’s blog here.

 

Did you like this post? You might also like:

 

This is Why Homeschooling Could Begin the Downfall of Civilization.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image=""...

R.I.P. Bullies, I Have Forgiven You.

  By Tanya Tiger I was bullied… a lot, when I was growing up. It started in 1st grade and continued through 10th grade when I finally hit the wall and couldn’t take it anymore. I remember waking my parents up at 3:00am, in tears, telling them that I just couldn’t do...

Sometimes We Kill Birds

  By Dana Gornall I killed a bird the other day. Me. The goddamned vegan. The chick who doesn't even like to kill spiders (even though they do freak me out a bit). The chick who has thought about getting the word Ahimsa (the Sanskrit word for non-violence)...

The Wolfmother in Me.

    By Janelle Hardy I still feel fierce when I think about what happened. I’ve been loving all the giddiness of my 11 year old daughter and her 12 year old cousin, and the sheer delight they get out of each other’s company. We spent a summer swimming, splashing,...

Comments

comments

The Tattooed Buddha

The Tattooed Buddha strives to be a noncompetitive, open space for the author’s authentic voice. We offer a dialogue that is aware and awake to the reality of our present day to day, tackling issues of community, environment, and compassionate living. A space for the everyday person, whether Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, Christian, Pagan, or secular humanist, we hope to provide a platform for a voice that seeks to change the world one article at a time.
(Visited 44 times, 1 visits today)