I just read an interesting paper in the journal Psychological Science that shows a parent’s view of failure is more important to a child’s growth than the parent’s views on intelligence. Specifically, the paper concludes that, “Overall, parents who see failure as debilitating focus on their children’s performance and ability rather than on their children’s learning, and their children, in turn, tend to believe that intelligence is fixed rather than malleable.”
In other words, it’s important that parents don’t let kids think that their minds are fixed (i.e., they can’t do better simply because of who they are), but rather can always grow and overcome their failures if they keep trying.
If you’re visual, like me, you should click on the following image from Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. It does a great job showing the difference between the two mind sets.
Which one are you?