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A for Effort
Parenting Power Admin September 27, 2017 No Comments

A for Effort

Last week, we got an email question about grades and effort. This is the perfect time of year to talk about the value of effort. We know that not all kids are going to be academically strong. We also know that even those who thrive in the educational arena can feel stunted and scared to try new things when they are too scared to make a mistake.

In her work at Stanford Psychologist and Author, Carol Dweck focuses on the differences between fixed mindset and growth mindset.

“People who have a fixed mindset believe that their basic abilities and talents are immovable traits. They believe that their natural, innate ability can override the need for continuous improvement and usually dread failure as it reflects badly on their core image of themselves.

In a growth mindset, people believe that through effort, continuous learning and hard work they can develop their talents and abilities to effectively overcome natural ability. The growth mindset approach creates a powerful love of learning and a positive mental attitude that embraces failure as a critical way to improve their abilities”

The Growth Mindset framework highlights the importance of effort in everyday and school-focused activities. While we cannot necessarily control our natural abilities, we can control the amount of effort we put into a piece of work. In addition, we can clearly quantify effort; whether it is through the amount of time, consistency of work or number of questions we are completing. This makes effort easy to plan, to track and to notice/recognize.

A sense of accomplishment comes from knowing that you have planned for something, worked for it consistently and succeeded.

As you are focusing on your child’s school goals and your family’s expectations regarding chores and homework, consider spotlighting effort and ask yourself these questions:

How important is effort within our family?

What are concrete ways in which my child(ren) can show effort?

Do we expect only perfection or do we acknowledge effort?

How can I expect effort with regards to chores and organization?

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