By Principal Emily Blaney
This summer, a group of LCE parents met regularly with Principal Emily Blaney and LCE’s Library Specialist, Kay Bahrami, to talk about a wonderful book called Mindset for Parents: Strategies to Encourage Growth Mindset in Kids by Mary Kay Ricci and Margaret Lee. Many other LCE parents who couldn’t attend the book club meetings read this book on their own. Mindsets for Parents follows the principles developed by Carol Dweck in her book, Mindset. Learning about growth mindsets vs. fixed mindsets is something the LCE staff has been doing since last year. We have learned that success can be achieved by persevering, learning from failure, and practice. This learning resonates if one has a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset, which conversely equates success to innate talents or to a “you either have it or you don’t” point of view. The book discussed ways that parents can change their own mindsets and the mindsets of their children. It also included brain research on how we can strengthen our neural pathways by practicing difficult tasks over and over again. Book club members had great feedback, including the following:
“I have been trying to catch myself whenever I tell my daughter that she is not a ‘natural’ at something... The most important take away for me was to pay attention, all the time, about the message I am giving and to rephrase those messages in a way that would teach my daughter that as long as she works hard at something and applies herself to it, she is going to benefit from it.” - LCE Parent
“My biggest take-away was using the word YET. So powerful when you remind kids of this when they are saying, ‘I can’t’ or ‘I don’t understand’ or are frustrated.” - LCE Parent
“I am thoroughly enjoying seeing my children bringing home growth mindset worksheets and seeing those concepts in the classroom and with classwork. I liked the use of the relationship to the brain and to persevere and work hard to do your best, as well as reinforcing the concept of ‘I can’t do this yet’.” - LCE Parent
“I’ve noticed when working with kids that somehow, that word YET has a lot of power. It slows them down and gets the wheels turning, and I think they feel less defeated in the moment when they are struggling with something hard or something that they feel they are not good at.” - LCE Parent and Faculty Member
“It was a worthwhile read and made me more aware of adults I know who have fixed or growth mindsets. It gives me something else to talk with them about and get their thoughts on the subject. A number of [children’s] books [suggested by the author] were purchased for the LCE library and are currently being checked out.” - LCE Library Specialist
Mindsets for Parents was added to LCE Library’s Parent Bookshelf. This bookshelf is a new addition to our library and contains some great reads for parents. If you are ever at LCE, consider dropping in and checking something out!