The Power of “NOT YET”

By December 30, 2014 Goals, Video No Comments
Brain scans of fixed mindset and power growth mindset students

Fixed mindset students (L) run from the error. Growth mindset students (R) engage deeply, learn, and adapt.

The Power of NOT YET

Helping People Believe They Can Improve

This is a very powerful ten-minute video that shows the most recent studies in the failing ‘self-esteem’ movement. You know the one: “There are no losers, only second winners”, and, “Congratulations! You’re the last winner!”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I feel very strongly about raising children with strong morals, virtues, and table manners.

But new studies have shown that–no surprise–the self-esteem movement isn’t doing our children any favors. They end up being “gripped in the tyranny of now” and they will “probably cheat the next time instead of studying more”.

Children have become obsessed with getting A’s and have developed a need for constant pats on the back and awards. My husband Dennis and I were talking last night about this new generation of workers that want praise, applause, and kudos for just doing what they’re being paid to do.

So how do we raise a generation of self-starters who have personal dignity, are hardy, and resilient?

By rewarding the “not yet”. By praising wisely–not their God-given intelligence or talent, but recognizing and appreciating their effort, strategies, focus, perseverance, and improvement. In other words, praise their process. Their striving. Their determination.

Studies have also show that even the words “yet” or “not yet” give children not only hope and a feeling of power, but generate greater confidence. Applying effort  and overcoming difficulty caused the neurons in their brains form new, stronger connections and over time they were smarter.

I’m not recommending tossing the A, B, C system of grading in the trash. Rather, as a parent, I’m going to focus on rewarding our children’s sincere effort, stick-to-itiveness, and their improvement. When presented with a challenge, I want our children to embrace it hopefully with an attitude of, “I love a challenge,” or, “You know, I was hoping this would be informative.” That, to me, is true personal power.

After decades of my life, I have learned one thing for sure: It’s not talent that wins out in the end, but perseverance.

What are your thoughts about focusing on children’s efforts instead of their grades? Please share in the comments section below!

The Power of Believing You Can Improve (Prof Carol Dweck)

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