Growth Mindset VS Fixed Mind-Set

Have you ever wondered what king of mind-set you might have? Have you ever wondered if how and when your parents praised you might have affected your mind-set? Do you have a “Growth Mind-set” believing that you can continue to develop your abilities, or do you have a “Fixed Mind-set” believing that your stuck with specific abilities?

According to Paul O’ Keefe, Carol Dweck, and Greg Walton in “Having a Growth Mindset Makes It Easier to Develop New Interests” having a “Growth Mind-set” can “expand people’s interest repertoire” and “can be helpful for making connections across areas”. (2018)

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Many people who have a “Growth Mind-set” generally come up with great ideas. Take for instance, Earl Dickson, who was a Cotton buyer for Johnson & Johnson. Dickson’s wife was accident prone and became injured a lot. Due to what we believe as having a “Growth-Mindset”, Dickson created an “adhesive tape” to cover his wife’s cuts to avoid infections. He then presented his idea to Johnson & Johnson and that is how the “Band-Aid” was invented. I believe without having a “growth mindset” Dickson would not have the ability to have the interest to create such an invention.

While O’Keefe, Dweck, and Walton explain the value of having a “Growth Mind-Set”, Kj Dell’ Antonia’s article “ ‘Nice Try!’ Is Not Enough” explain that we can teach our children to have a “Growth Mind-set” through praise and follow through. According to Dell’ Antonia, research has suggested that children praised for effort are more likely to “stick to their work longer, pursue more creative solutions and enjoy the whole process more.” (2016) She also suggests that praise without strategies to help our children to succeed can lead to the risk of us sending our children the wrong message, that the smallest “effort” is enough. Both parents and teachers should work together to encourage our children to succeed in life not just the next grade.

I am a mother of two boys ages 7 and 3. Not only do I encourage my children through praise, but I also encourage them to take it a step further. For instance, when my 7-year-old showed an interest in dinosaurs I bought him dinosaur books and helped him browse the internet to research them. I feel that by actively learning and teaching our children about the things they show interest in will lead to them having a strong “Growth Mind-Set”.

Author Dweck, Carol, Author O’Keefe, Paul, Author Walton, Greg (2018). Having a Growth Mindset Makes It Easier to Develop New Interests. Harvard Business Review, 6. https://hbr.org/2018/09

Bellis, Mary. (2018, June 14). The History of the Band-Aid. Retrieved from

https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-the-band-aid-1991345

Author Dell’Antonia, Kj (2016). ‘Nice Try!’ Is Not Enough. Motherlode, Adventures in

Parenting, 3. https://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/01/21/2016

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