We all want our children to be successful. When we say “successful” we’re not talking about the local talent show successful, but rather the long-term, happy-relationships, feel-good, confident-person, standing tall kind of successful.
Society tends to identify successful individuals as being smart, or driven, or lucky.
While many successful people do have some or all of these attributes, new research from Stanford University has shown that a person’s attitude is a better predictor of success than smarts.
Psychologist Carol Dweck, who has been conducting this research, found that a person’s attitude falls into one of two main mindsets – a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
As she states, “With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed. People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.”1
As we teach our young children how to handle life, it’s important to teach them these mindsets and how to develop a growth mindset verse a fixed one.
Teach your mini a growth mindset by doing the following:
Encourage Passion: Passion will overcome natural talent any day because passion is what will drive your children to become better, and to try and try again until they’ve succeeded.
Bounce Back: Success is ultimately failing many times over. Those who are successful don’t stop with their failures, but learn to overcome them and move forward instead of feeling helpless and doing nothing – they bounce back.
Be Flexible: Those with growth mindsets understand that life brings about unexpected events and are able to embrace their new situation and stay flexible to overcome it rather than be paralyzed by it.
We’ve said before that attitude’s can be changed, but that is a difficult undertaking and one that can come with a lot of resistance. Teaching these skills early on helps children develop healthy habits now so you can avoid an attitude adjustment later.
TKD Tip: Watch your child and their daily interactions to see if you can identify whether they have a growth or fixed mindset. If they have a fixed mindset, see if you can start leading by example, demonstrating growth mindset behaviors that they can pick up on.
Parent/Child Activity: Try Warren Buffet’s 5/25 technique! Help your child find their true passion. Ask them to write down 25 things they care about the most. If they are younger, ask for 10 or 15. Have them cross off all but the top five. Those are the things they are the most passionate about!