Most parents are aware of the importance of praising and motivating their children because they understand that in this way they can stimulate their development. However, the truth is that on many occasions these praises have the opposite effect and become the tomb of growth. And it is not enough to praise, you need to know how to do it the right way.
Inappropriate praise can do more harm than good
Different studies have shown that when we praise certain abilities of the little ones, such as intelligence, we are not actually stimulating their growth but rather limiting it since we foster the fear of failure and not meeting the expectations that we have of them.
In this sense, research carried out at Stanford University found that when children receive praise for their ability, they tend to choose simpler tasks, to ensure that they will not make mistakes and will receive recognition again and will not disappoint To the elderly. On the contrary, when effort is praised, children choose tasks that represent a new challenge, which stimulates their abilities and allows them to learn new things.
In the same way, children are capable of recognizing empty and exaggerated praise, such as “you are a great painter” or “you are a better footballer than Messi”. In fact, it has been appreciated that when parents use grandiloquent praise with children who have low self-esteem, these little ones actually feel even worse because they believe that they are not worthy of that recognition.
Therefore, both praise for qualities and exaggerated praise can end up weighing down children’s growth mindset, a concept that refers to the desire to improve and grow as people. The good news is that praise, well used, is a very powerful weapon that catapults development. This was demonstrated by a study carried out at the University of Chicago in which the impact of praise from mothers to their children was analyzed, from the first year of life. These psychologists found that, at age five, children who had been praised correctly not only showed better academic performance but also took on more challenges and showed greater development.
3 strategies to encourage a growth mindset in your children
1. Teach them not to limit themselves
When we motivate children to reach a certain goal, we are transmitting the idea that their capacities are limited, that they can only go so far. In this way they feel the need to test themselves over and over again, until they reach what is expected of them, but once they have reached that limit, they usually do not go further, they are satisfied. Therefore, if you don’t want to curb your child’s growth mindset, you should avoid putting limits on her development and capabilities. Encourage him to achieve certain goals, but teach him that each one is only part of the way, not the final destination.
2. Acknowledge their effort
One of the most effective strategies for promoting a growth mindset in children is to teach them that they can achieve great things if they work hard and work hard. It is about understanding that skills are developed with practice, so perseverance is a key factor.
3. Teach them to see mistakes as opportunities
One of the biggest obstacles to developing a growth mindset is seeing mistakes as problems or obstacles. Therefore, it is important that you teach your child to assume and face mistakes as opportunities to grow and develop, making him see that it is precisely the most difficult problems and the most complex circumstances that lead to growth .