Growth Mindset

Ok so my youngest daughter is reading a book called “You Are Awesome”. So far we are impressed by how engaged she is with it. She has told us a number of things and is taking on board the need to keep trying in order to improve. Her near meltdown with a diablo this weekend turned into perseverance and ultimately being able to roll, throw and catch it repeatedly. I don’t know whether it was the book or her growing up (I suspect a bit of both) but she definitely talked about the book later when we were chatting about how she managed to change her approach.

What’s mortifying is that the next day she asked me to play diablo with her and after a few minutes of failing to catch it on the string over and over I gave up saying I didn’t think I could do it and making an excuse to stop trying. Over the next few hours I also heard myself being critical of my ability to bake bread when what I produced wasn’t quite what I hoped for. How can you encourage your children to have a growth mindset  when you aren’t demonstrating it to them? Add to that my laziness in the evening where the TV and social media seem to reach inside my eyes and lock me in and I’m not very proud of myself at the moment.

Of course I am growing and learning new things. I’m learning to play saxophone, and have taken up running both of which are very tricky for me but I feel like I’m making some headway. I love my job and it’s interesting and challenging. But it feels like there needs to be much more in my life.

One other reason I have this on my mind is I’ve been watching TED talks about the brain. Seemingly learning brand new things is the way the brain keeps healthy. You need to create new neural pathways by learning completely new things rather than relearning things you already have in your brain somewhere.

As a consequence I’m spending some time thinking about what I’m interested in and coming up with a plan, which will probably involve buying some new books (what a shame), and will definitely fit the definition of learning new things.

This is the list so far:

  1. Computers in general – the use of. I know, completely ridiculous but I don’t know anywhere near enough. I want to know the nuts and bolts of what things are and what they do – networks, storage, packages, even shortcuts.
  2. WordPress – I need to learn how best to use it, rather than just bumbling about with my blog. Things like SEO and website design fit here too.
  3. Butterflies. Clearly I have lots of Cabbage Whites in my garden but other than naming about five more I don’t know very much. Embarrassing for the mum of a bug lover.

    36813555_10155609350457919_5718830335664324608_n
    Small White – See I’m learning.
  4. Garden Birds – Now I do know a bit about this but not enough and I’d like to learn to draw them. Which really would be a challenge.
  5. A language – probably conversational Spanish. So far I can still only ask for beer which can only get you so far.
  6. Bread making. I’m bad at this and while it may necessitate buying a new oven I suspect the family would be happy with this as a hobby.

That should do as a start. I’m going to start at the library and go from there.

It’s also getting increasingly obvious that I’m scared of writing at the moment for fear or it being awful. I need to schedule time to write stories and poems, to stretch myself creatively and to read children’s books and continue to blog about that. Add to that a summer around the corner of family activities and I should be pretty busy. Time to be positive.

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