“Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities…,” says Debbie Millman in a commencement speech.
At least, that’s one mindset. Since the 1960s, Carol Dweck, a Stanford researcher, studied perseverance and motivation. She found that children fall into two categories of mindsets:
Children with a fixed mindset believe you have as much knowledge as you’re born with. They think that if you have the ability, things come to you naturally. When failure inevitably happens, kids feel trapped. They start thinking they must not be as smart of talented as others have told them, so they start to avoid challenges to avoid looking unintelligent.
Children with a growth mindset believe intelligence can be gained through learning. They understand that even the smartest people must work hard. When they inevitably fail, they see it less as a failure and more as a setback. They believe they can improve through time and effort. They value learning over the appearance of being smart and will persevere through difficult tasks.
Kids learn these mindsets from what they’re told growing up.
Effort Versus Ability
One study shows that when fifth graders were randomly divided into two groups, what is said to them during an IQ test had a direct correlation with how they performed. They were praised in two ways:
During the test, she presented a choice of an easier and harder task. What’s interesting is that when kids were praised for their effort, they oftentimes chose the challenging task, knowing they could learn more — they were likely to feel motivated to learn and retained their confidence as the problems got harder.
On the opposite side, children that were praised for their intelligence requested the easier task, knowing there was a higher chance of success, and when the problems got harder, they were likely to inflate test scores when recounting them.
Change the Way You Praise
The brain is like a muscle — you can always improve the mindset. The more you use your brain, the stronger it gets. Practice praising in a way that will help kids have a growth mindset. Say things like, “Almost” and “Try again” instead of “Here, let me do that for you.”
East Mesa Karate and Growth Mindset
Our instructors are trained to praise children that will facilitate a growth mindset. We appreciate every child’s efforts when doing karate. If you would like to learn more about the way our instructors teach, come by our school, call us at 480-986-7177, or contact us through our online form.