Goal setting is a characteristic that significantly links an individual to their future success. Having the right mindset is crucial and encourages our behaviors as we encounter different challenges. Since our mindset incorporates our own beliefs about skills and abilities that we possess, we must have a growth mindset and teach children the power of this as well. Simple yet effective tactics can be implemented to help children become more confident, resilient, and persistent in their drive to reach goals.
Carol Dweck, a psychologist, developed the theory of the fixed and growth mindsets in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” She explains a fixed mindset is one where students believe their basic abilities, talents, and intelligence cannot be improved upon. These students find it hard to cope with failure and don’t take as many risks. She describes a growth mindset in which students know that their abilities, talents, and intelligence can be improved through effort, persistence, and good teaching. These students continue to work hard in the face of challenges and setbacks.
Within the growth mindset approach, Dr. Dweck coined the phrase “the power of yet.” The notion that adding the word “yet” to the end of a sentence that contains words such as “can’t,” “don’t,” and “doesn’t” can drastically improve the realization that skills can take time to achieve but that it is possible. A statement such as “I don’t understand this” changes a fixed mindset statement to a growth mindset statement by merely adding “yet” to the end of it. The understanding that a person’s effort and passion for a goal is as important as attaining this goal is the key. Just as we aren’t born knowing how to play the violin, a “can do” attitude and grit are an excellent combination for success towards any goal that we choose.
To teach children the value of persistence and perseverance, we must praise their efforts and “stick-to-it-ness.” Teaching them to appreciate challenges and accept that mistakes will happen while also encouraging tenacity empowers them to influence the result of the experience. This will build their confidence and give them the courage to try new things. The SKILLZ Child Development Centers offer a supportive environment that applies the growth mindset approach. The Certified Pediatric Ninja Specialists reinforce positive behaviors such as effort and perseverance to build intrinsic motivation. Therefore, students feel confident taking risks and making mistakes because they understand that we learn best when things are challenging.
Forming a growth mindset at an early age is crucial for future success and happiness. By shifting our mindset now, we can role model this for our children by teaching them that things often take time to accomplish but with perseverance, they can achieve their goals. This empowers them so they, therefore, try harder and take more risks in the future. This “power of yet” is an infusion of hope into future generations.
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Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide.
Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Masters Degree in Child Psychology and has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.