Do your kids have a growth mindset?

An obvious goal of fatherhood is raising children who are happy and successful. Life isn’t filled with fun and constant winning. It’s not pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows. As John Doran shared with us on a podcast, learning to turn negativity and bad experiences into teaching points is one of the best ways to accomplish growth and happiness.

What is the most important aspect of life to emphasize?
An important question to ask out the beginning of this exercise is what kind of person you would want your children to be in the future. Many times parents focus too narrowly on things like academics and test scores at the expense of emotional development and social skills. At the end of the day most parents would actually want to raise children who are well rounded, good people, rather than a child with slightly better grades in school.
Schools may also be deficient in this regard, as their educational models have not changed much over the last century. Technology has made people more connected than ever, and schools are failing by not adapting to these changes or helping to teach children to socialize properly without social media and other distractions.

Happiness versus focusing on success only
Relevant research has shown that happiness is the most important goal for parents. Children who are happier end up being more successful in school and other areas. Fathers can help instill confidence in their children and relieve pressure by letting them know that doing their best is good enough. Not everyone needs to be recognized as a celebrity or professional athlete to be successful in life. By constantly dwelling on the negativity associated with not being at this level or making mistakes, we create additional stress and pressure. However, both fathers and their children can be conditioned to think more positively.

Growth mindset
A growth mindset is a way of looking at mistakes and failures as lessons in life rather than negative experiences. This is not meant to be a delusional kind of optimism, but rather an emphasis on the idea that things can get better and people do improve by learning from even the bad things that happen around them.

When children can build resilience by learning from bad experiences, this is truly one of the best gifts their parents can give them. While we cannot control what happens in life, the ability to learn and go forward even when bad things happen is paramount. Teach them to stay positive and keep moving forward.

About the author, James

Thank you for joining me for the Positively Dad journey! My name is James Shaw and I'm a husband and father. I live in the Tampa Bay area with my wife, Terri and our young daughter, Naomi. The goal with Positively Dad for us to think, learn and grow. It's easy to get caught up in the day to day and miss opportunities to become amazing fathers. I trust that the conversations we have on Positively Dad will help you see that fatherhood is truly a journey and that we are better together than figuring it all out on our own.

1 Comment

  1. Heather on 06/11/2019 at 10:51 AM

    This is great! Striving for a spirit of excellence in all we do is what matters. We can be more proud of how we show up, the end result therefore fulfilling 💕

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