As we discussed in our previous article, Resilience is the foundation of the Growth Mindset. Children give up easily for many reasons. Often it is because they have never been taught how to persevere through a struggle! Sometimes, because we love our children so deeply, we do not like to see them face hardship. Therefore, with all good intentions we ‘rescue’ them and complete their task or solve their problem for them.
Children learn that they do not need to try, they just need to ask for help immediately and their issue will be solved. They become reliant on adults for everything and are unable to grow.
In the story of Sadie Spider, this is one of the last strategies she tries, (asking for help from a more experienced spider). Before this, she practices lots because she wants to do it herself. She keeps going, giving herself a little break if she feels frustrated. She starts again-numerous times. This ability to work through a struggle rather than be rescued from it will then be able to be applied to the next struggle and the next. Children need to be encouraged, with the help of our Sadie Spider story, to solve hardships themselves. If they know nobody will ‘rescue’ them they become creative about solving problems and try out different strategies. In turn, every new difficulty becomes easier because they have learnt how to struggle! They feel empowered because they can do things all by themselves!
Sometimes children give up easily because they don’t have the drive or enthusiasm for the task they are facing. In our story ‘Enjoy Learning, Bobby Bee,’ we learn that this is actually down to lack of self-belief. Children need to believe they will achieve eventually if they keep trying. This demonstrates how the characters in the Growth Mindset Series work together to build the ultimate learner! Enthusiasm, belief and perseverance work hand in hand to create a confident, determined child who gets up when they are knocked down.
In our next article we’ll look further at how you can help build resilience at home.