Did you know that in 2003-2004, NC served close to 194,000 students with disabilities? And did you know that on top of academic challenges, children with disabilities often experience more difficulty making friends and becoming involved with school/community activities compared to their nondisabled peers? October is Disability History and Awareness Month (DHAM), and the theme behind DHAM is that children are uniquely capable. The purpose of DHAM is to educate everyone about the many abilities people with disabilities have. You can read more about DHAM here.
In light of DHAM, I wanted to share research by Carol Dweck, which is captured in her book, Mindset. Dr. Dweck emphasizes the benefits of maintaining a “growth mindset,” in which people believe they can develop their skills through practice and dedication, as opposed to a “fixed mindset” wherein people believe intelligence and talent are fixed traits that cannot be changed. Her website describes the concept in more detail.
Every child – every person, really – experiences their own set of challenges. But, every individual also has their own set of wonderful strengths that should be recognized, celebrated, and built upon to foster greater confidence and happiness. With this in mind, consider incorporating a growth mindset in your family. For example, rather than saying, “Wow, great job getting a 3 on your test!” you could say, “Wow, your hard work reviewing your vocabulary words really paid off!” Check out the graphic below for more examples, and take a look at this article to find more ways to incorporate a growth mindset with your children.
Give the growth mindset a try -- I bet you’ll see it can lead to some really powerful, positive changes!