Friday, January 15, 2016

When my daughter was a baby, I was worrying about developmental milestones - walking, talking, potty training. When she was a preschooler, I was thinking of encouraging her to take on tasks of daily life. When she started school, my focus was on making friends and establishing routines that work. And now, when she is about to enter tween years, I spend a lot of time contemplating mindsets and how we, as parents and caregivers, can encourage our kids to have growth mindset.
Mindset and Executive Skills for Kids

Mindset Matters

We all want our kids to grow up believing that they can make things happen, and, generally speaking, we are born with that faith in our own abilities. But too much structure, too much external evaluation and praise, too many medals for just showing up can kill intrinsic motivation in our kids. I am clearly not the only one thinking about nurturing growth mindsets, because my post Indoor Activities to Nurture Growth Mindset was one of my most popular posts last year.

From "What" to "How"

While we all want our kids to have positive mindsets, I believe it's important to help them develop mental capabilities needed to handle complex tasks required in school and in life. This is why I started a series on executive skills last year:

What Is Executive Function? introduces the topic of executive skills and their importance for all of us.

Growth mindset is extremely useful in believing that we can improve or compensate for our executive skills weaknesses. How Clean Is Your Room? talks about how we deal with a specific weakness of my absent-minded daughter. It's enough to say that this particular challenge is still very much work in progress :)

Strengthening Working Memory will be interesting for parents of kids who have challenges remembering multi-step instructions or lists. 

What is the end goal?

My own all time favorite parenting post was written in 2014 when I tried to decide for myself, is there really a goal in motherhood? Last year I reflected on this end goal in 9 Thoughts for My Daughter's 9th Birthday. While this post was not popular in traffic, it remains my favorite parenting post of year 2015.

Your Turn

What matters to you when it comes to parenting?
Why thinking of mindset is important for raising optimistic kids

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Jennifer Hughes said...

We definitely struggle with working memory for my ADD kiddo.... but it's a process and he's slowly but surely learning organizational tips that will help him throughout his life.

I'm so glad that you joined the Best Positive Parenting Tips series on The Jenny Evolution today, and I'm thankful to have you as part of our online parenting community!

Ticia said...

That's a question I frequently think about. After a lot of thought I've decided I want to raise kids who are living up to their best potential and who love God. That may mean they go out and solve world hunger, or that may mean they become the best gardener for the city landscaping, but if they are doing their best, then I will be happy.