by Jennifer Blum, Head of the Upper School
The beginning of the school year is an important time to help students establish a growth mindset about their abilities and about who they are as young people and leaders in our world.
At Rashi, we want all of our students to think of themselves as capable learners who will inevitably make mistakes and learn from them. We want them to recognize the value of hard work, persistence, and risk-taking. To help them, we need to be mindful about what we model for them. Here are some suggestions to instill a growth mindset in your child.
When encouraging your child, choose your words carefully.
Look for opportunities to praise them for their work ethic, their perseverance, their approach to solving a problem, etc.,– all muscles that children can flex and strengthen.
Avoid comments that are fixed (e.g. “Joey is an excellent mathematician” or “Susie is smart.”) as these types of comments set a narrative that often does more harm than good, as children with fixed mindsets often fear making mistakes, taking risks, and/or struggle to build confidence when faced with adversity.
Allow them to make mistakes.
Children commonly fear disappointing their parents when they have made a mistake, not met their parents’ expectations, or made an unexpected or even poor decision. While these feelings are natural and can help children learn, it is important that children are not so worried that they cannot admit their mistakes or be honest about what happened.
Listen to feedback from your child’s teachers.
So much growth happens during the years when your child is in school and very often what we see here supports and is consistent with what you are experiencing at home. At other times, we might provide a different perspective than what you see. Please be open to the information that we share; process it as data that will help you to know and understand your child in different settings and help them navigate the challenges that come with growing up so that they can learn and thrive.
Jennifer Blum is the Head of the Upper School at The Rashi School. Encouraging questions and open conversations, Ms. Blum inspires our students in Grades 5-8 to grow into the people they can become.