Fixed Vs. Growth Mindsets related to how we praise children

In recent years I have come to realize that I suffer from perfectionism, which is not at all uncommon in women and girls. I used to mistakenly think that perfectionists were people who nit picked at small things and were super organized and productive but it can also actually look quite the opposite: giving up when something is difficult, because it is so painful to fail. When something is difficult, perfectionism means getting discouraged because failing at something is so closely linked with our self worth.

This can come from having a “fixed” mindset instead of a “growth” mindset. And the way we praise children can influence which type of mindset that they have.

There is an excellent article on this subject from the blog “A Mighty Girl,” explaining what can happen.

"More often than not, bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice." This difference in attitude is believed to develop in large part due to the kinds of praise and feedback children receive from parents and teachers.

"Girls, who develop self-control earlier and are better able to follow instructions... are told that we are 'so smart,' 'so clever,' or 'such a good student,'" Halvorson points out, "[which implies] that traits like smartness, cleverness, and goodness are qualities you either have or you don't." At the same time, boys — who are corrected in the classroom eight times more than girls on average, often due to losing focus or misbehaving — are regularly told "if you would just pay attention you could learn this" or "if you would just try a little harder you could get it right," which teaches them that their effort directly affects their success.”

I highly recommend reading through the full article!

Voici un podcast intéressant en français qui explique ce sujet dans le contexte de la culture.

Sheyda ForoudiComment