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Promote A Growth Mind Set

By on April 8, 2012 in Parenting & Education

In her book; ‘Mindset – The New Psychology of SuccessCarol Dweck PhD, identifies two types of mind sets that people fall into.  There is the fixed mindset that sees qualities such as intelligence as a predetermined and finite trait that we are unable develop further as if fixed in stone.   Then there is the growth mindset that sees these qualities as variable.

Someone with a fixed mindset may believe that they have a certain level of intelligence, or a natural talent, but they would attribute these to some genetic inheritance and think they cannot really develop these further than a predetermined level, while someone with a growth mind set would believe that they can develop their intelligence or any talent through learning and effort.

There is a common, yet scientifically unfounded, belief that intelligence is based on some form of genetic inheritance. It certainly is an attractive notion for many of us to believe that we are inherently superior in some way to others.  The author herself admits to growing up with a fixed mindset believing in her own superior intelligence but has now embraced the concept of a growth mindset recognizing that almost everyone can develop their intellect or a talent.

As parents, we all want our children to reach their fullest potential but even that statement implies a predetermined maximum level of ability. What If there were really no limits on how far your child could go…

Consider for a moment the possibility that we as parents impart a child’s belief in their own abilities and thus their limitations also.  The power is in our hands as parents to raise a child that has virtually no self-limiting beliefs, a child that can achieve anything they set their mind to – but can you believe that is possible?

If you can’t, then neither can your children regardless of what you tell your them.  The incongruence will be perceived by the child, remember that 97 % of communication is non-verbal.

So ask yourself what type of mindset do you have.  Do you believe that qualities like intelligence are genetically fixed or dynamic?   If you still think they have a strong genetic basis then I recommend reading Mindset – New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck and the Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton.

The real potential of children is unlimited but at a very early age parents and society begin to place artificial limitations on children telling them what they are “realistically” capable of.  Children with big dreams and lofty aspirations are quickly put back in their place.

Now ask yourself – is your child developing a fixed or a growth mind set?

– See more at: http://christopherbennetts.org/#sthash.5nfSHBg6.dpuf

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