Building a Growth Mindset as a Parent

Building a Growth Mindset as a Parent
Chip Southworth, former school administrator and teacher, presented two sessions for parents to discuss the Growth Mindset concepts and how to incorporate them into parenting. Dr. Carol Dweck, psychologist, professor of psychology at Stanford University and author of the 2006 book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” describes the concepts, “when a student has a fixed mindset, they believe that their basic abilities, intelligence, and talents are fixed traits. ... In a growth mindset, however, students believe their abilities and intelligence can be developed with effort, learning, and persistence.”
This theory intrigued Mr. Southworth, who developed a series of professional learning opportunities for students, educators and teachers to understand the differences between the two, and actively pursue and support developing a growth mindset. The MVA Parents’ Association sponsored two parent sessions to discuss strategies of growth mindset parenting.
Key points he suggested parents focus on with their children include:
  • Be willing to compete with people better than you
  • Recognize the process is important and you are not less valuable because it take you longer to accomplish something
  • Praise effort, not talent “You worked hard to achieve that goal” vs “You’re so smart”
  • Create a safe space to make mistakes
  • Give honest, specific feedback when asked for it
  • Embrace and talk about struggle
  • See failure as opportunity
  • Emphasize the power of yet “Hang in there and keep trying until you succeed”
Mr. Southworth encouraged parents to embrace four agreements – 1) be impeccable with your word 2) don’t take anything personally 3) don’t make assumptions and 4) always do your best – to model the Growth Mindset that creates motivation and productivity to enhance relationships and increase achievement in themselves as well as their children.
Thank you, Mr. Southworth, for sharing your insightful presentations with the MVA community!