By Dr. Roxanne Daleo
The number one factor that contributes to your child’s healthy self-esteem and industry
is the development of a growth mindset. That means, the more you can give your child
ways to practice flexible thinking and adaptability, the faster your child will build skills in
social-emotional intelligence which leads to a sense of competence.
It all starts in the home environment, you be the energy that generates a supportive,
positive, enthusiasm for learning and life. You introduce your child to the ways they can
become competent, flexible, industrious and adventuresome. Talk about the ability to
see things from a new perspective and different viewpoints; It can be as simple as
playing a game and seeing several steps ahead of time.
PREPARED AND FLEXIBLE EMPOWERS
A growth mindset is both preparedness to the expected and openness to the
unexpected. Show your child how to problem-solve using two different moves, like in a
game. Demonstrate how to see different vantage points. Here’s how. Imagine a tree
with two large branches growing outward from its trunk. You might want to point to a
tree outdoors or make a drawing while sitting at the kitchen table. Now, let’s say, the
branch to the left we’ll call “A” and the branch to the right we’ll call “B.” You have the
ability to choose. For example, say you are planning to ask a friend to join you to do
something, if he says “yes” that’s “A” and you know what you’ll do. But if he says “no”
that’s “B” then you have plan out what to do instead and still feel OK and in charge of
your energy and emotions so that you can keep your inner balance. When you have a
growth mindset, you are prepared, ahead of time, with both “A” and “B” decision. This
way you feel more control. You don’t have to let the outside world upset you. You have
enough awareness to know both are OK.
ADJUSTABILITY AND IMPROVISATION BUILDS CONFIDENCE
We also have to be able to move forward without knowing everything ahead of time.
When we have a growth mindset to “think on the spot” “think out of the box” we become
better able to adjust or improvise. To improvise means “to make do from whatever is
available.” A fun way to demonstrate improvisation is by exploring. You can comb a
beach for drift wood and other objects and create a sculpture. Or you could make
something new at home with left over craft materials, fabrics or electronics. Bringing
new energy and the creative forces to what is available builds confidence to find ways
out of a sticky situation or to just discover interests.
INNER DIALOGUE PREDICTS
When you can talk to you child about the effort he is putting into a task and you promote
the growth mindset with your encouraging words, then your child will use those words to
speak to himself. This is powerful because inner dialogue predicts esteem and resolve
to never give up on yourself. You can say things like “if at first you
don’t succeed, try, try again!” or “You are becoming a person who isn’t afraid of giving
your best, your effort is recognized.” Now ask you child to affirm this by saying to
themself: “I am becoming a person who does my best every time!”
BEING CALM TOGETHER FOSTERS EMOTIONAL STABILITY
Every day make time to be calm and stay quiet together with your child. When you
unplug from the noise of devices and pressure of the outside world, your child
learns to appreciate your presence and his own stillness as the best way to tap inner
resources for peace. Share deep desires of the heart. Ask: “What makes you excited?
or What do you know comes easily for you to do? These are your innate talents.
Everyone has them, it’s up to you to recognize them and grow them with a grow
mindset. That means practicing and building these skills.”
The most valuable gift you can give is your acknowledgement that you see you child
“becoming” the best version of themselves, practicing new skills and developing a
growth mindset. We can’t know everything all at once, but your child can become
content to know they are already good enough.
If you like this article and want more about developing flexibility read “Anything Can
Happen Thursday” on Dr. Roxie’s blog and FREE guided relaxation audio