My daughter is in grade 5, about to go into grade 6. Over the last year, I couldn't figure out why she was doing so well in all of her classes EXCEPT math. I tried asking her a few times, to which she would reply "I'm just not good at math mom. I don't really like it." Huh, that's funny, I always hated math too. Oh wait, UH-OH.
Welcome to my big "Aha!" moment. kids hear EVERYTHING. And, my daughter had heard me tell a story on more than one occasion talking about how much I had hated math in high-school. Now, I truly did hate math! I never believed I was any good at it, I was an art kid through and through. The problem was that I talked about my hate for math so many times in front of my daughter, that she had taken my word for gospel. I was terrible at math and didn't like it, therefor she, as my daughter, ought to hate it and not do well at it too. The limiting beliefs imposed on my daughter (by me!) were fueling her fixed mindset.
Crap. Mom fail!
How do I fix this?
How do I teach my daughter that all she has to do is work hard and she'll excel in math?
How do I help her feel motivated to try again at math?
How do I help her with the frustration she feels when she doesn't immediately understand math questions or concepts?
After all, I didn't enjoy math myself because I struggled at it and had to work harder than I did in any other subject. It makes it easier to accept failure if you never cared about succeeding in the first place, right?
Thank goodness I stumbled upon Jess and the Mind Traction community. Learning the strategies that Jess shared helped me start shifting my daughter's mindset. Teaching her about her brain helped her understand that her strong emotions were normal and part of the process, which in turn helped her recognize when a meltdown was coming on so she could avoid it. She started being more motivated to keep trying, even when she didn't understand at first. We haven't been using the strategies for very long, but I have already noticed a difference in her attitude and we have WAY fewer meltdowns!
Without a doubt, the secret to helping my daughter was teaching her about a fixed vs. growth mindset and giving her strategies to turn her mindset into a growth one.