5 Ways To Develop A Growth Mindset In Your Kids

5 Ways To Develop A Growth Mindset In Your Kids

The opportunities of the future lie with those who have the confidence to spot them and audacity to go after them. “Today, the shift from ‘I’ve got a neat idea’ to ‘I run a billion-dollar company’ is occurring faster than ever,” as Peter Diamandis put it. It starts with a growth mindset, and growth mindsets are developed in childhood. Under-utilised potential exists in adults everywhere you look, but we can get kids off to the right start by being intentional.

David C Hall is committed to the success of future generations. Hall is managing director of Potential Unlocked Tuition, a UK-based training company that creates “fulfilled, successful, transformed lives.” His team has supported thousands of children from struggling at school to feeling in control, confident and happy. Hall wrote the bestselling book, The Empowering Parent, and advises government and educational establishments on unlocking the potential of children.

I interviewed Hall about how parents can set their kids up for happy and prosperous futures, by nurturing a mindset of growth.

Create an empowering home

A child spends most of their time at home so it’s crucial that it forms a foundation for a growth mindset. “Home should be an enjoyable, happy place where we live, laugh and learn,” explained Hall. His work has shown that “parents who provide a warm and responsive home environment that encourages exploration accelerate their children’s intellectual development.”

A young person feeling calm and relaxed in their house, before and after school, is more likely to develop their interests or feel confident to experiment or express themselves. A home filled with anger and angst means suppressed emotions and suppressed potential. “Children need stable, supportive home environments to enhance their cognitive, emotional and physical wellbeing,” added Hall, who urges parents to think about “all the human and material resources present within the home that affect the child’s life.” These include the “socialising facilities available in the house; how well it’s set up for conversation and play.” It also includes the parents’ stress levels, health and mindset. Happy parents make happy kids and happy kids learn and grow at an accelerated rate.

Establish routines

Fixed routines might seem like the paradox of a growth mindset, which evokes fluidity, but structure can empower and provide the springboard for possibility. “Empowering family routines give the home environment a predictable structure that creates a stable emotional climate,” explained Hall. This will “support child development and academic success.”

Having worked with parents, educators and policymakers to enable young people “to enjoy passion-driven careers and be positive contributors to society,” Hall has created three main strategies for developing empowering family routines. The first is […]

Eating fruit and veg associated with children's mental well-being

Eating fruit and veg associated with children’s mental well-being

  • Multiple factors influence mental well-being, including nutrition.
  • A recent study found that eating more fruits and vegetables was linked to better mental well-being among children.
  • On the other hand, children who skipped meals were more likely to have lower well-being scores.

Although well-being among adults and children is similar, it is not exactly the same for both groups. Children are still growing, and multiple factors need to be taken into account when evaluating children’s health.

One area of interest is the association between nutrition and children’s mental well-being. A new study, which appears in the journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, suggests that children who eat more fruits and vegetables are more likely to have a better sense of mental well-being than those who eat less.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide the following definition of what it means for children to be mentally healthy:

“Being mentally healthy during childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems. Mentally healthy children have a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in school, and in their communities.”

Psychologist and well-being consultant Lee Chambers further explained the impact of children’s mental well-being to Medical News Today:

“Mental well-being in children plays a vital role in more than their health outcomes. Positive mental well-being is influenced by a variety of factors, and, in turn, impacts a range of outcomes, from education to health [and from] friendships to decision making.”

Chambers continues, “It also provides the platform to develop resilience, cope with stressors, and become rounded and healthy adults. It is also pivotal in their ability to be safe and for healthy relationships.”

“In an increasingly dynamic and uncertain world, mental well-being provides the foundations for children to build upon, to explore and learn, to play and have fun, and to navigate the challenges and adversity that come with being human.”

Is it OK to step in when your child is having a dispute?

Is it OK to step in when your child is having a dispute?

Teacher, friendship expert and founder of a social-emotional wellbeing program for kids, Dana Kerford, explains the desire of parents to become involved usually stems from good intentions.

“That love you feel for your child is raw and visceral,” she says.

“But the second you find out [your child is in pain and] the pain came from another child, that sweet, warm mother hen morphs into Mama Bear.

“What once was warmth and compassion is now anger.”

And while emotions can run strong, Ms Kerford says it is important (in the majority of cases) to try not get involved in your child’s dispute for a whole host of reasons. Here, she outlines five of them.

Your kids fighting might give you a headache, but it can give them important life skills. Experts give tips on what you can do and whether you should do anything at all.

Ms Kerford says that often “involving the other child’s parent is humiliating, embarrassing, and erodes trust” between the parent and child.

2. You can’t view the situation or your child objectively

As a parent, “no matter how hard you try to see things from all perspectives, you will naturally have a bias towards your own child,” Ms Kerford says.

“You not only love your child; you also have a very large sample size of their behaviour to draw conclusions.”

3. Involvement can be charged by emotions

“When we picture anything negative happening to our child, we immediately experience an innate, sometimes even physical reaction,” Ms Kerford says.

While this is normal, it isn’t always helpful, she explains.

4. Your perspective is different than your child

“What’s huge to you might be small for them or vice-versa,” she says.

While you may think it warrants interception, your child may have moved past the issue by the next day.

5. It makes things unnecessarily awkward between you and that parent

“In the one out of 10 times where the conversation seems to go relatively well, even if both parents are well-meaning, it is often the beginning of the end,” she says.

“Your relationship with that parent will naturally feel awkward and one or both of you will come away feeling defensive,” something Ms Kerford says is instinctive.

This awkwardness and sense of discomfort became the reality for Amanda after she was contacted by Carly. She also says that she felt a prevalent bias by the other mother to her son.

Colman Noctor: The myth of the right school

The myth of the right school

It’s widely believed that the choice of secondary school will have a significant impact on the kind of adult a child will become. It is no surprise then that the various options are carefully researched and discussed. Indeed, many parents will agonise over the decision.

The first consideration is the child’s preference, often the source of dispute. Customarily the child wants to go to the same school as their peers. Parents are aware that friendships can be transitory – particularly as children move between primary and secondary school – and worry about making an important decision on this basis. This is an interesting justification for dismissing the views of the child and one I would warn against.

Mixed or single-sex school?

The next issue is whether to send your child to a co-educational or single-sex school. It’s often said that boys do better in mixed-gender environments than girls do, but this may come down to the young person and is almost impossible to predict as children’s attitudes to the opposite sex can change quickly.

The other factor is the personal preference or indeed the parent’s own experience of attending a single-sex or co-educational school. In some cases, the single-sex school is chosen because mum or dad had a positive experience of a certain single-sex school, and they want to replicate that experience for their child.

Next comes the issue of logistics and spaces available in your locality. For many parents, the geographical location of the school will be an all-important variable and understandably so. Your child attends school five days a week so the convenience of the commute is a vital component. Is it on route to your workplace? You will need to consider commute times and the possibility of extra-curricular activities after school. Also, there’s the issue of accessible public transport which can be the deciding factor in your choice of school.

As if this wasn’t complicated enough, there is the possibility that siblings are involved too. Will they be able to go to the same school? Do you want all your children to attend the same school?

Finally, and not insignificantly, there is the financial consideration. Are you are contemplating private education? Is this something you can afford and will the cost-benefit analysis add up?

Many believe that attending a private school will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives, and the more upmarket the school, or the more expensive the tuition, the more likely it is the child will achieve high Leaving Cert results.

Academic success is something we do not talk about enough. Are grades important to you? Is the purpose of secondary school to achieve maximum Leaving Cert points? The popularity of grind schools in recent years would suggest this is the case for many parents and students.

A school’s academic performance is often a deciding factor. This can be emphasised by the themes of the open evenings where the performance of pupils over recent years and position on the School League Tables are front and centre of the sales pitch to attract students, or more accurately parents, to sign up to the particular school.

Effects of marital dispute, divorce on children

Effects of marital dispute, divorce on children

Few would dispute that the different relationships that exist within a family affect the other members of the family as well. The most important relationship in this dynamic is that of parents and its effect on children. The quality of these relationships can affect children’s emotional, cognitive and physical development and can imprint on their mental health as an adult as well.

No relationship is free from turmoil. Conflicts and turmoil help individuals build and grow their relationships. It is a mistake to believe that children are unaware when parents argue behind closed bedroom doors. Children are more receptive to their parents’ emotions than we give them credit for.

Marital dispute or conflict has various dimensions that can determine the kind of effect it can create on the children like frequency, intensity, content, and resolution. Cummings classified marital conflicts as destructive and constructive. Constructive arguments involve a healthy argument between parents that ends in a resolution of the matter.

While constructive arguments can benefit children in learning conflict resolution, destructive conflicts can expose the child to further problematic parental interactions.

Destructive arguments consist of verbal aggression like name-calling, insults, threats of abandonment or physical aggression like hitting and pushing, or silent tactics like avoidance or sulking and withdrawing. When parental conflicts are such, children are collateral damage as they threaten the perceived intactness of the family. Conflicts that are hostile and heated can be overwhelming for children and being raised in such environments can impact their ability to form meaningful relationships and their belief in love and security.

From as early as the 1930s, researchers have recognized that disputes between parents have potentially debilitating effects on children’s development. While most children are exposed to periodic conflicts, intense, frequent, and poorly resolved conflicts are indicated to be very harmful.

A child continuously learns from their environment ever since birth. They learn most from their parents and their relationships. They undergo various physical, social, and emotional changes in life that are dependent on the nature of the relationships that surround them.

Marital conflict is a significant source of stress for children of all ages. These influences can be direct or indirect eliciting unhealthy internalized or externalized behavior in children.

Research indicates that during infancy, exposure to distress can result in hampered physical growth and psycho-social withdrawal. Young children may express fear, anxiety, anger, and sadness by displaying overt behavior like being non-compliant or being aggressive in school and among peers. They may also have trouble sleeping and communicating their feelings to their parents and act socially withdrawn. Conflicts during adolescence can result in decreased self-esteem, isolation, and delinquency.

Children often feel emotionally insecure in the family when they see their parents arguing. As a result, they may act out, or […]

Why social norms around working moms should change

Why social norms around working moms should change

Women are not domestic servants; they may also have a professional life of their own and children should be able to understand this fact from an early age.

Working moms face real pressure

Motherhood is something most of us look forward to, with us preparing for it in the pursuit of happiness, but honestly, nothing can ever prepare you for it. We take classes, do research and speak to others to understand the systematic approach of parenthood. Moreover, we set larger than life expectations for ourselves on how to bring up a child from giving birth to nursing to the process of returning to work post-delivery. We have an exhaustive line of boxes to tick on our list. Nevertheless, none of these efforts can gear us up for pregnancy, delivery, caring for a baby and the life beyond.

Motherhood is demanding, constant, exhausting and it’s not an easy task to keep a child alive and thriving as the process is complicated with unforeseen circumstances. Mothering is in the details; the number of feedings, the monitoring of your baby’s weight and the hours the baby should be sleeping. The details are also in the efforts to get back to work after your maternity leave all the while nurturing and caring for your infant which is the key factor in determining the health and wellbeing of your child in the long run.

Many career-driven women, myself included, struggle to go back to work after maternity leave. It is a difficult task to leave the baby as many of us are unprepared, overwhelmed, challenged, and often confused. The demands of the corporate world and the demands of managing a house with kids are often a huge task as we as women often underestimate the cost of motherhood. The biggest issues are faced by women who have invested in their education, have earned degrees, want to maintain their careers and intend to be that ‘Perfect mom’ too. What we all fail to understand is that our cultures have placed us for perfection at home, work and social life.

The myth about a ‘Perfect mom’

Most parents get emotionally exhausted resulting in parental burnout. Parental burnout can result in reduced feelings towards parental responsibilities, accomplishments, and emotional distancing from their children. Looking to escape duties, sleep problems, addictions, suicidal ideation and neglecting family are some severe consequences for parents themselves.

A perfect mom relates to a highly successful working mother’s parenting, work outcomes and social likeability. It is also reported that the pressure felt to be a perfect mom is negatively reflecting on a woman’s work-family balance, which in turn leads to lower career ambitions.

Common challenges faced by working moms

1. Difficulty to maintain work-life balance

If a working mom cannot maintain a work-life balance, it can have a drastic effect on her emotional and mental health, forcing her to quit her job or take a step back from her career ambitions. It is proven that handling a professional job, attending to household chores and looking after kids are quite daunting for women as they fall for the societal pressure of being ‘perfect moms’.

2. Constant thoughts of guilt

As per societal norms, mothers should be the sole nurturers in the family looking after the children and supporting the spouse to achieve his dreams and aspirations. Mothers are truly one of a kind and they too have dreams and aspirations irrespective of societal norms. Hence, there is a constant battle within, with mothers carrying a sense of guilt as the judgements of the society loom over them if they are to choose their careers over home.

3. A rift between passion and obligation

It is only human for a person to have dreams and aspirations. A working mom tends to her family needs; therefore, it is always a battle between choosing what she wants to do vs what she must do. The constant rift between passion and obligation pushes a working mom to feel less motivated towards fulfilling her ambitions.