2020 has been an adventurous year so to speak. There have been challenges, adjustments and there are many impending modifications yet ahead of us all. Daily life has been altered in light of a global pandemic. Our health, hearts and minds have been put to the test in ways none of us could have ever predicted or fathomed.
The impact that COVID-19 has on our wellbeing as a whole can largely be determined by our attitudes towards the imposed restrictions and how we view the situation. This however, is an ideal time to encourage children to reflect while providing support in developing more helpful and positive mindsets. This could serve as a time when our children develop skills and dispositions that they may not have otherwise had the opportunity to acquire.
It goes without saying that school will look much different this fall. To ensure and help children develop stronger mindsets during COVID-19 and into a new school year it is important to take a closer look at the different types of mindsets. Essentially research tells us that there are three mindsets: fixed mindset, a growth mindset, and an innovative mindset.
There are various ways to help your child evolve from a fixed mindset, to a growth mindset, and beyond that to an innovative mindset. Techniques that help foster this skill set can be especially useful for teachers, parents and caregivers who are adjusting to virtual learning, modifications in public school, and homeschooling. These tips will ultimately help students adjust to this new way of learning.
We know that students’ beliefs or perceptions about their intelligence and ability affect their cognitive functioning and learning. When students believe intelligence is malleable and not fixed, they are more likely to develop a growth mindset. Students who adhere to a growth mindset are more likely to focus on learning goals and are more willing to take on challenging tasks to test and expand their knowledge than students who hold the view that intelligence is fixed.
Some examples of a fixed mindset, growth mindset, and an innovative mindset are listed below regarding attitudes toward returning to school could look like the following:
Fixed Mindset: “I’m scared and worried about what school may be like in the fall.”
Growth Mindset: ”I can continue to learn if I put in effort and stay motivated, no matter what.”
Innovative Mindset: ”I can always learn new things, and I can make the best of the situation given the new strategies available.”
The same could be said regarding social situations that are important and vital to your child’s routine and development.
Fixed Mindset: “I can’t see my friends or be in groups with them.”
Growth Mindset: ”I can stay connected to my friends if I set my mind to it.”
Innovative Mindset: ”I can help encourage other friends to stay connected and think of creative ways to do so.”
When faced with difficult situations and overwhelming emotions here are some things to encourage your child to consider:
–Acknowledge and embrace imperfections and unforeseen challenges.
–View challenges as opportunities.
–Try different learning tactics.
–Replace the word “failing” with the word “learning.”
–Value the process over the end result.
–Cultivate a sense of purpose.
An infamous quote, Master Yoda, insists the following about the minds of youth:
“Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.”
The validity of that statement applies to much of the mystique and wonder that surrounds mindset within children. Regardless if you identify as a Stars Wars fan or not, most will agree that there is a certain freedom and creativity that accompanies an adolescent mind, and the possibilities for growth are endless.
It is our responsibility as parents and caregivers to ensure that our children face challenging situations with the confidence and character to know they are capable, equipped and ready for anything that comes their way!