How does your child think about themselves? Do they believe they can get better at things? That's growth mindset. Do they feel like they aren't smart, brave, strong, or good? That is a fixed mindset. Growth mindset means that your child believes they can become smarter through effort. They believe their abilities are something they have control over. We call this efficacy.
So how can we help our children have a growth mindset? The best way is through modeling. Do you as a parent behave as if you can get smarter, improve, or gain new abilities? Reflect on the ways you show your children that you do believe you have control over your abilities. Children pick up on your beliefs even if you don't say them aloud. Make sure you are modeling growth mindset for your children.
Another way parents can support the creation of a growth mindset in their students is to "praise the process". Rather than giving your students praise for success and results, make efforts to praise them during the efforts. We call this "praising the process". Praise them for trying hard. Praise them for trying over and over again. When they fail, encourage them to fail forward, learning from their mistakes. At such a young age, the success is not nearly as important at the process. This style of praise helps children build perseverance and a belief can improve. In short, it creates a growth mindset.
For parents of older children, below is a link to a list of young adult novels that role model growth mindset.
I have written occasionally on here about unplugging from technology, both for the parents and the students perspective. But let's face it, we are all using our devices these days. Believe it or not, many of the ways we use our devices can foster positive healthy relationships with our children. Here are some Apps I recommend to do a little parent-child relationship hacking.
1. iRewardChart: iRewardChart is an app that brings the traditional reward chart onto a mobile device, with customizable features, making it about you and your child. iRewardChart looks to help parents keep track of their child’s good behavior, and reward them appropriately.
2. Cozi Family Organizer: Cozi is the must-have organizer for families. It helps coordinate and communicate everyone’s schedules and activities, track grocery lists, manage to do lists, plan ahead for dinner, and keep the whole family on the same page.
3. Winnie: Winnie's mission is to make parents' lives easier through technology. Whether you want to ask other parents for advice, find new things to do with your kids, or just get to the nearest changing table in a hurry, we can help. Because Winnie Features cities all over the country, its even useful on vacation or visiting family.
4. ChoreMonster: With ChoreMonster, kids will look forward to doing their chores daily. This is because ChoreMonster is set up by parents, and you can even choose what kinds of rewards the kids will receive upon completing their chores.
5. Hub Family Organizer: Similar to Cozi, Hub keeps your home and family organized, using shared calendars, lists, tasks, notes and more. Hub Family Organizer is Everything you need to manage your busy lives.
What brightens your world or adds sunshine to your life? Maybe it is a co-worker who can turn any day into a smile. Maybe it is a walk in the woods on a cool fall day. Maybe it is hugging your children to bed each night. Our children can be, despite challenging, some of our best moments. Through the hugs, smiles, cute comments, and Kisses, nothing brightens your day like a child.
When you study and learn what brings your child sunshine, take the opportunity to pay back! Find out what makes their sunshine at different times of the day. Their morning sunshine may be different than their weekend sunshine. Watch them, study them, and learn how you can make them happy. In 2016, childhood can be complex. Finding time to be your child's sunshine will bring them resilience and strengthen your bond.
An additional effect of being your child's sunshine is learning. When parents encourage and engage in their children's interest, the children do better in school. Their language blossoms. Their listening comprehension soars. Their math and reading skills bloom. Children who are continually engaged with a close, secure adult relationship are happier and better able to cope with the demands of school.
The link below provides more ideas for how to study your child.
Parent tip of the week #8: Join us for 91Go! Math Night on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at Kelvin Grove School
We all want our children to be better listeners. Teachers often say they want their students to be better listeners. But children want to listen and they want to do well. They aren't ignoring us, they just haven't learned how to listen effectively. So how can we help children listen for understanding and action, instead of just listening until their parents or teachers are done talking?
1. One way to help is give them a signal that it is time to listen. Some children need a gentle hand on their shoulder to know that it is time to listen.
2. Allow them plenty of time to talk to you. Many children (and adults!) are only listening in order to wait their turn to talk. Let them say everything they need to say, and ask them to tell you when they are done, because you have some important things to tell them.
3. Ask them, before they respond to you, to take a deep breath, and repeat what you have said. Maybe it was the directions you gave. Maybe it was an event coming up. Children will want to listen better if they know you care about whether or not they listened.
The following article has some great ideas about getting your kids to listen, both at home and at school!
Recently at Milne Grove School, 13 teachers, the principal, and I participated in a professional learning meeting about assessing and developing students' oral language. What is oral language, anyway?
Oral language is the language your child uses to speak. When they ask questions, make demands, express emotions, or play pretend, they are using their oral language. We want students to improve their oral language because it will help them communicate their needs better. They will do better in school. They will be better able to express feelings, wants and desires. They will enjoy their friends more. And, they will enjoy their parents more, too!
So how can parents help their child's oral language at home? The best thing you can do is talk to them a lot.
Even if you have older students, it is not too late to support your child's oral language development. Use this list to start fresh talking to your child more.
For more information about supporting your child's language, the link below has a few great ideas for parents.
When your child comes home from school on that first day, they are going to be so excited to share everything with you. As the days go by and we all get very busy, children often also forget to share their learning with you.
Here are some simple tips to continue to show your child your interest.
1) Say "last week you were working on....(insert fun school topic here!). How is that going now?"
2) "How is ....(name a project) going? I can't wait to see it.
3) When is .....(name an academic event) and would you like to attend as a family?
The article below is full of interesting and funny questions to also ask your children. When you care about what they learn, learning becomes more meaningful!
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.