We at The Coding Space believe that intelligence can be developed and strive to create a love of learning--and of overcoming obstacles--in our coding students by helping them develop that growth mindset. As teachers, we do this through the Socratic Method, which uses asking questions as a means to help students find their own answers. In debugging programs, students discover that “wrong” is merely a stepping stone to right. As students are empowered to stick with a problem until they’ve solved it, that growth mindset is challenged and developed.
But this work doesn’t happen only in our classroom. There are steps parents can take to help children build a growth mindset at home, at school, and in life. Here are some tips from our executive functioning partners at Private Prep:
Flip the Script
Start by being mindful of how your child talks to themselves. Take note of any language that they commonly use to put themselves down and, if possible, challenge that perception in the moment. Ask them to come up with an alternate statement that creates opportunities for both accountability and self-compassion. This exercise asks kids to dig deeper to find both an actionable item and a truth that reminds them how capable they truly are.
Use an Affirmation Statement
If your child is already thoughtful about their self-talk, take the next step by encouraging them to celebrate their strengths and use them as a touchpoint when they are struggling. Start by listing some of their positive attributes and asking them to add to that list. These could be tied to a specific area of life or generally. Ask your child to pick the three that resonate most and incorporate them into a statement that they can say to themselves when they need a boost. Here are a few examples that have helped our students find confidence when they need it:
- When I take my time and reflect on the best approach, I always get it done.
- I invite good things by being kind, positive, and open to new ideas.
- I am a hard worker who knows what she wants and has a plan to get there.
In coding, as in life, it’s important to focus on the process and on those things over which we have control. When we allow a negative thought to take hold, we miss an opportunity for growth. Encourage children to be kind to themselves, and to be patient with the process of learning.
A version of this blog first appeared on Private Prep, a sister brand of The Coding Space.