What is a Growth Mindset? Simply put, it is an approach to life that helps us to see changes in ourselves and in the world around us. In business and management theory, a growth mindset is a group of psychological assumptions, processes, or ideas held by a group or even individuals of individuals. Also referred to as the forward thinking attitude, a growth mindset is also associated with an individual’s philosophy or world view. The acronym GROW stands for: Growing, Resolving, and Trusting.
As parents, we are all encouraged to look out for signs that our kids are growing. They will become more mature and responsible as they grow. But what happens when the bumps along the way get too much to handle? Does your child still has a growth mindset? Do you let setbacks keep your kids from growing?
Most parents experience a period of discomfort with a child who is struggling, facing challenges, and being challenged. We might feel as though we’ve done a good job raising them, but our view of the world may not match their view. What’s common with children is that they want a different world, one where things work and everything is perfect. For some children, however, the perfect world is one where they are left out and fall short of their goals. While you may try to make your kids happy and keep them from facing challenges on purpose, this only serves to create guilt in them.
Parents need to do more than just tell their kids to smile and be positive. They also need to encourage them to develop a growth mindset. Children, when presented with an obstacle that they see as a big challenge, tend to act as if the obstacle is really a cakewalk. Parents who don’t pay attention to the signs of their kids’ distress will only be guilty of failure, since the kids will ultimately be left to their own devices.
Kids with growth mindset understand that the past results do not dictate the future. If something doesn’t work out the way that you hoped, it is never the end of the world. They recognize that there are really good things waiting for them in the future. A kid with this mindset will pursue his or her talents with gusto and won’t give up, even when things look hopeless. Kids with these attitudes are the future of the world, so parents who don’t pay attention will find themselves wishing that they had invested more time in their kids’ development.
Adults who instill growth into their lives are often known as “growth entrepreneurs.” These individuals have figured out how to harness growth in other fields, while at the same time developing their own personal growth skills. An individual who understands the value of learning new skills, but also learns new skills along the way, is a growth entrepreneur. People like these are excellent examples of entrepreneurs who understand that they can build a career on the strength of growth. When you mix growth with intelligence, you have an incredible combination that creates a powerful individual capable of creating amazing wealth.
To bring about growth mindset, parents need to encourage their kids’ growth mindset. This is done by recognizing the positive traits that make children strong and powerful, and then working to complement those strengths. For instance, if your child seems to be very timid around the “big guys,” you might give him or her more space to act on their fears. Not only will this allow your child to gain confidence, but it will allow him or her to learn new abilities, without worrying about being told that he or she isn’t smart enough to try hard.
The most important thing about having a growth mindset is recognizing that kids are smart enough to handle most challenges, but they are not going to know how to solve some of the smaller, more basic challenges on their own. It is always best when we are allowed to “complete” something before attempting it. It takes a lot of natural courage to try something new, and the more experienced we become, the more courageous we naturally feel. So work with your kids to complete whatever it is they want you to do, instead of telling them what to do. You’ll both be happier for it!