Effort is My Smart


Through effort we find success. Develop a growth mindset.

We all learn through our experiences. While some are easy for us, others require great effort. Our effort and ability to work through what we don’t know “yet” becomes part of our experiences. We have many reminders in life that what it really takes to succeed in life is a result of effort, perseverance and experience.

We can teach our children the importance of effort through the understanding of having a Growth Mindset. The principal of a growth mindset asserts that our most basic abilities can be developed and enhanced through continuous effort and the process of finding solutions while also learning from failures. Effort and learning through failure is the key to lifelong learning.

This requires that you as a parent learn to “process praise” and encourage your children to find solutions. One of the most difficult concepts for kids to grasp is that failure provides experience and knowledge. If we are to develop a growth mindset in our children, we must focus our attention – and our praise – not on the end result, but rather on the efforts our children are making to achieve the result, whether those efforts are successful or not. This is the essence of “process praising.” We are encouraging our children to learn by taking the first step and doing tasks themselves in order to gain experience.

Remember, we are our children’s first and most important teachers. We ourselves must develop a growth mindset and provide the powerful example our children need.

Changing the way you think, communicate and act is the first step. Remember, even for you as parents, “effort is my smart.”

Where do you begin:

I. Develop a Growth Mindset:

  • Be the example of a growth mindset – live your life with one. You are your child’s first and most important teacher, you are the example.
  • Praise the process – the effort your child makes to find a solution.
  • Where you used to say “you are smart” now say “effort is your smart.”
  • If you hear “I don’t understand” or “I can’t do this” just add “yet” and encourage them to find a solution.

Develop a Growth Mindset: Effort is My Smart.

Don’t Forget:

  • It Takes Time
  • You Must Go First
  • No One Does it Alone
  • There is a Story Behind Every Door
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