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Sometime when my mom is visiting us, she drives me crazy! the reason she drives me crazy is that she always tells me what I should be doing, how I should be speaking and more and more. The reason it drives me crazy is that I know she is RIGHT. My mom is my best teacher about relationships, parenting and life. She is my life coach, my therapist and of course…. my mom.

When she tells me something is wrong with one of my kids, the first think I do is saying ” its not right” that is my way to say” I know what I am doing, I am a mom and I am doing a pretty good job”. But as I am opening myself to really listen to what she is saying, most of the time, I am realizing she has a point. I think I am getting all jumpy by her comments is because I admire her so much, and want to handle situations just as she would have, but I can not.

I am not her, and I will never be. I know that I need to take in everything she is teaching me about parenting, life and love and put it together!

Many times I am finding myself telling her, that what she can do at her age (she is not so old 🙂 ), I can not do at 37! Life has a way of it’s own in teaching us life lessons like – how to become a better listener. Even though you might have taken courses about this subject, there are some hidden elements that need to be within you to make it all work.

I love listening and talking to my mom, but I also know , that I am me, and I have my own way of learning , knowing that I am doing a great job learning, correcting, forgiving, learning, correcting, forgiving……

I love you Ima, more that ever! Don’t give up on me because I am listening even when you drive me crazy 🙂

The Little Theater was full with teachers and parents who came to listen to Dr. Carol Dweck. Dressed in a black suite, with a very soft voice, Dr. Dweck shared how you can make a huge different in children’s academic accomplishment by praising them for the PROCESS rather their intelligence.

Her message although simple to absorb, is quite amazing –

By changing the way you are praising your child, you are effecting his ability to become a better student while developing an attitude of growth towards learning.

According to Dr. Dweck, there are 2 basic mindset – A fix mindset and a growth mindset.
The fixed mindset student care more about Looking smart, rather than learning and growing.
The growth mindset student care more about what she is learning rather that how she looks.

Her research shows correlation between a student mindset and their long term academic success:

A fix mindset will tend to choose ‘ easy tasks’ and avoid challenges, to sustain the need of ‘looking smart’ and over time will do poorly in school. A growth mindset will take the time to learn from her own mistakes to become a better student and improve grades.

The big discovery of the research shows a direct relationship between the way a child is being praised and their mindset and preformance. A child that is being praise for his intelligence (e.g : you are so good at that, you are so smart, of course this is easy for you because you are so smart…..) tend to develop a fixed mindset and will not make an effort that will make her look ‘not smart’.
A child that is being praised for the process – meaning, the hard work she puts in and the effort she makes to become better, will develop a growth mindset and will challenge herself to grow all the time.

Although the research is all about academic performance, I can see a direct relationship to parenting and life in general. The way I look at life is that it’s a continues journey of leaning and growing. This is the reason we are here – to learn all the time, and become better human beings and at the same time become professional at our vocation. As a mom, I am telling my kids all the time how smart they are, and according to Dr. Dweck research, I am doing then a disservice. I do not help them develop a growth mindset. The fact that a child is smart and have better abilities than others, does not mean she needs to work less hard. By praising a child for hard work, for trying hard, for making mistakes and learning from them, by making an effort to do the best, we encourage him to become a more confidence person in his ability to learn and grow.

Personally, I know that this has been one of my biggest challenge as a growing child, I was always told that I was smart and I can do it, and thus I got so stressed before tests, that is came to physical pains. I was afraid to let down, to not look as smart and others thought I was. Today, as I am learning more and more, and enjoying every minute of it,I stop to thank myself for all the learning I have done, and all the growth I have made. Stephan Covey said: The more you learn, the more you realized how ignorant you are. The more we learn, the more we realized how much more there is to uncover and to learn. I love this message, it makes ignorance to be a positive thing that keeps you on your toes, and pushes you to learn more.

Praise yourself and your children for the effort they are putting in, and with a lot of love they will become a great curious human being and a great students.

Last month, as I was on my way to a meeting I heard a talk show on KQED radio that was all about raising resilient children. One of the presenters was psychologist Carol Dweck. Studding a lot about ‘Warrior Spirit’ and Warrior attitude to over come issues in my life, I was curious by her work.

When I came back home today, my boys brought a note from school that she will be speaking at the local high school…. I am always amazed to see how I think about something I want to learn about and the universe is helping me in achieving them!

I also went to read the article about Dweck work ” How Not to talk to your kids, The inverse power of praise, written by Po Bronson , Published Feb 12, 2007

Here are some highlights from the article :

“a new study from the trenches of the New York public-school system—strongly suggests it might be the other way around. Giving kids the label of “smart” does not prevent them from underperforming. It might actually be causing it”…

…”Dweck’s research on overpraised kids strongly suggests that image maintenance becomes their primary concern—they are more competitive and more interested in tearing others down. A raft of very alarming studies illustrate this. “

I am still learning this article and her work, and would share with you more after hearing her lecture.

To our children, Relli

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