Social Media

back

Parenting Tips: The Importance of Growth Mindset, and How to Boost It

LearnPost Category - LearnLearn
Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life
ParentingPost Category - ParentingParenting

A key piece of parenting advice: Praise your child’s effort, not their intelligence or accomplishments. Here’s why growth mindset is so crucial to your child’s success.

I first came across the concept of growth mindset when reading this article all the way back in 2007. I didn’t have kids at the time (I wasn’t even married, in fact!), but was so blown away by the research and outcomes that I bookmarked the article and emailed it to myself with the subject line, “Read again when you have kids.”

boy learning to ride bike

Fast forward to my pregnancy in 2014, and sure enough the book from which this article was excerpted, Nurture Shock, was pretty much my how-to guide on child rearing. I can never recommend it enough; it’s fantastically interesting and covers topics like bilingualism, why children lie, and how to actively discourage racism (which is actually something of a default in kids! Who knew?). But it’s the chapter on growth mindset and the research of Psychology Professor Carol Dweck (now of Stanford University) that made the book famous, and with good reason.

In Professor Dweck’s research, there are two types of mindsets: growth mindset, and fixed mindset. In her own words (bolded for emphasis):

“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success – without effort. They’re wrong.

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work – brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”

growth mindset

In simplest terms for parents, growth mindset is all about praising effort, rather than abilities. In an experiment conducted by Dweck and her team, fifth graders were all given a test, told their scores, and then received a single line of praise, either “You must be smart at this,” or “You must have worked really hard.”

Kids were then given a second test, and told they could choose an easy test, or a harder test in which they’d learn a lot by attempting puzzles. As Po Bronson of Nurture Shock points out:

“Of those praised for their effort, 90 percent chose the harder set of puzzles. Of those praised for their intelligence, a majority chose the easy test. The ‘smart’ kids took the cop-out.”

In a third round of tests, by far the most difficult, the kids who’d been praised for their effort got super involved in trying to figure out solutions and problem solve, while the ‘smart’ kids were miserable and gave up more easily.

Here’s where the results get really interesting: in a final round of tests (easy and on par with the first round), the effort kids improved their scores significantly, by about 30 percent. Even more amazingly, the kids who’d been praised for being smart, perhaps feeling demoralized by the previous round of difficult tests, fared about 20% worse than when they took the test the first time around!

Looking at the kids who are told they’re smart, it seems that they assume they don’t need to try because their abilities will simply carry them through. They also become risk-averse, because failure could reveal them to not be so smart after all, creating a vicious cycle of despondency and quitting.

Effort, meanwhile, is something measurable that everyone can exert. Even if you don’t necessarily succeed, you’ll know when you’ve tried. All of this ties in to the concepts of grit and resilience, which have shown to be better predictors of success – academic, emotional, professional – than qualities like IQ or self-esteem. It’s moments like these where a bit of determination and yes, even stubbornness, can come in handy in the face of failure!

If you have a moment, mama, I highly suggest watching this TED talk from Professor Dweck. She distills Growth Mindset perfectly in the tagline: when it comes to solving a tough problem, are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet?

children growth mindset learning

Growth Mindset is absolutely something to encourage and cultivate in our children, but it’s not too late to work on your own, mama, both for your own benefit and for your kids’. Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, recommends families adopt the “hard thing rule”, where everyone should be working on one difficult thing at any given time.

The key is to stick with that “hard thing” (it could be anything from completing a puzzle, to practicing an instrument, to getting through a tough book) for a set period of time and to undertake deliberate practice daily. The lesson – an important one for kids and adults alike – is that self-discipline and hard work yield results.

Want to learn more? Check out our handy downloadable list of 25 Growth Mindset affirmations. Share them with your kids, and say them together every day!

growth mindset

This article is part of an ongoing partnership with Oddbods, an award-winning, globally-acclaimed animated comedy show that’s all about encouraging kids to be themselves. Even though they don’t always see eye to eye, the Oddbods don’t just celebrate each other’s successes, they support each other in failure as well. In the clip above, for instance, we see that the competitive Fuse is at first over-confident, then stubborn (which ultimately works to his benefit). Like any of us, Fuse isn’t perfect, but his grit, and his effort, are what stand out as the qualities most important to highlight to children. Failure isn’t the end of the story; it’s merely an obstacle on the road to other successes!

 

Lead image sourced via Aeon
Boy learning to ride bike from Getty Images
Boy learning to play violin sourced via About Music
Kids enrichment class by Today Online via Tally Press
Secondary school students image by Ray Chua via The Conversation

more sassy mama

What's New

We're social
Sassy Mama Styling Tips: Platform Shoes⠀
Love wearing heels but your feet don’t? Always look for platform soles at the front of the shoe. This will act like a shock absorber providing extra cushioning for your foot which means extra comfort. Wedges are also a great option and if you can find these with a platform sole then it’s a win-win. ⠀
@instantgoddess @msyinmsyang ⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
#sosassy #sassymamasg #everydaystyle #spotmystyle #styleatanyage #inmycloset #onetofollow #fashiontips #styleoftheday #styleinspirations #styleinfluencer #fashionpost #fashiongrams
How lucky are we! This slice of paradise is only a stones throw away from Singapore and we took ourselves there to see just how amazing it is. Link in bio!
Watch this space though as we have a comparison video of the two resorts at Telunas to help with your decisions.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#telunasprivateisland #huffposttravel #postcardplaces #darlingescapes #dailyadventures #howiholiday #myhappyviews #thatview #enjoytheview #iloveitthere #bestplaceonearth #thatviewtho #takingitallin #theviewfromhere #takemethere #naturescapes #travelnow #vacaymode #vacationlife #travelbook #fernwehcollective #sceneryshot #vacationforever  #sunsetview #sunsetvibes #seaview #getaway #SGgetaway #beachholiday #resortlife
A sneak peek into my family shoot with ICON magazine. Bit of a crazy but fun day with all four De Vito boys. As you can see I was trying to keep it together, or else I think we would have all broken out in non stop belly laughs!
#sassymamalynn
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#sassymamasg #sosassy #sassymamalynn #momlife #motherhood #mommylife #parenthood #momsofinstagram #momlifeisbestlife #mommyhood #kidszimmer #kidspiration #designforkids #letthekids #igkiddies #cutekidsclub
Meet celebrity TV presenter and this month's That Mama Kelly @kellylatimer and her gorgeous little one Sienna! If you’ve ever watched ESPN or any number of other sports events in Singapore, chances are you’ve seen Kelly (who'll also be the official host of @fitnessfest.sg ) gracing your screen. We were so blown away by her boundless energy and devotion to Sienna; with her video series #breastsidestories, she’s honestly captured the ups and downs of motherhood, and we love how unapologetic she is about her dedication to her career. Click the link in bio for her tips on finding time to work out when you’re at home with a baby, as well as fab advice on keeping the romance alive even when you’re knee-deep in laundry and diapers. And don’t forget to enter our giveaway for your chance to win one of 20 free tickets to FitnessFest!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#sassymamasg #sosassy #momlife #motherhood #mommylife #parenthood #momsofinstagram #momworkout #momlifeisbestlife #mommyhood #kidszimmer #kidspiration #designforkids #letthekids #igkiddies #cutekidsclub
It’s a boy! Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge! @theroyalfamily .
.
.
.
.
.
.
#sosassy #sassymamasg #dukeandduchessofcambridge #royalbaby #congrats #royalfamily
Extend the weekend with some brunch inspo courtesy of Sassy Mama. We’ve rounded up dozens of our favourite brunch spots all over the island, from decadent free flows to child and pet-friendly spots that open early. Dig into the link in bio! 📷 @carrotsticksandcravings
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#sassymamasg #sosassy #gatheringslikethese #tastingtable #stylemytable #kitchenbowl #ourplatesdaily #appetititejournal #styleonmytable #onthetableproject #thechalkboardeats #tablesituation #foodilysm #foodstamping #eatstagram #foodpicture #foodgraphy #cafehop #cafehopper #singaporefood #brunching #brunchlife #brunchtribe #breakfastvibes
🌏 Happy Earth Day! 🌏⠀
Give your support to protect our environment - for us, your children and their future. Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to providing information to fundamentally change human attitude and behaviour about plastics. Plastic pollution is poisoning our oceans and land, injuring marine life, and affecting our health.⠀
We all need to do our part to reduce our plastic waste; link in bio for seven easy ways to boost green living this Earth Day (and beyond). ♻️⠀
📷 @golitterless ⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
#sosassy #sassymamasg #earthday2018 #reducewaste #noplastic #reduceplastic #recycle #ecofriendlyproducts

We're social

What we're up to and what inspires us