Having a strategy

Lately the Man and I went out for a casual dinner.  We did not take any kids along, but we took the diary and a notebook! This may not sound like a romantic night out, but it was a good night out.  We reviewed our term, discussed many different topics and left feeling encouraged.  When we looked at what had happened in the term it made sense of our emotions, but there were still changes in our lifestyle that we knew needed to happen.



Interestingly, we didn’t get time to discuss the changes we wanted to make, which was perhaps a good thing, as a couple of days later I finished reading ‘Mindset’ by Carol Dweck and it gave us the missing link – strategy.

Goals are well and good, but they will stay just that if a strategy is not put in place.  For any change to be made there needs to be a clear strategy, otherwise it will just stay a goal.

Then, there is another important piece of information.  When change happens,when the goal is reached, it needs to be monitored.  It is easy to fall back into old habits – and often the old habits are worse!


This is not to say that change is easy.  Change comes with many challenges, but people who do make changes usually say it was worth it!

So, is there something you want to change? Make a strategy for how you will go about changing it and then once the change has happened, keep checking on it!

R x


a reminder to have a growth mindset

Last night my 10 year old was struggling with his homework. “I cannot do it, I will never be able to do it” was his cry.
On the other hand, a few months ago my 16 year old was joining a music band of older, more experienced players. I felt nervous for her and could not imagine doing what she was doing. When I asked her about it she replied “I love playing with them, I learn so much from watching them play and I think ‘one day I will be that good!’”


The school has been learning about what it means to have a ‘Growth Mindset’. A growth mindset looks at a problem as a challenge, as something that is exciting to solve, as something they may not be able to do … YET. That word ‘yet’ is very important. It changes the way a problem is seen. It is a magic word to add to the end of sentences.

So, to my 10 year old I say “you may find it hard, and you cannot do it…yet. Keep working and asking for help and it will come.”

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A growth mindset does not always come easily to me, it is something I have to work at. But, now that I know what it is and the difference it makes to learning and life, it is something that I want to teach to both my own kids and those around me. A growth mindset:
*helps us to see challenges as good things
*it allows us to develop grit and determination
*it helps us to bounce back from set-backs and have another go
*it allows us to see possibilities
*it takes away the fear of failure and sees failure as a part of life and growth.

What great things to be able to help our kids learn. I am working at my growth mindset, I am just not always there …YET!





Some constructive criticism can be helpful

My husband returned from one of my kids basketball games today, commenting on one of the parents who had sat near him in the stands.  She would call out “ohh bad luck” when in reality they were playing badly and probably needed to do some more practice!

Photo caption: westfield.com.au

Photo credit: westfield.com.au

Sometimes I wonder why we are so scared to tell our kids that maybe they need to work harder? I understand that we do not want to discourage our kids and pull them down, but maybe we need to be encouraging them and telling them what things can be worked on to improve.

Photo Credit: essentialthingsdevotions.com

Photo Credit: essentialthingsdevotions.com

“….the coaches say that in the old days after a little league day or a kiddie soccer game, parents used to review and analyze the game on the way home and give helpful (process) tips.  Now on the ride home they say, parents heap  blame on the coaches and referees for the child’s poor performance or the team’s loss.  They don’t want to harm the child’s confidence by putting the blame on the child……..but, children need honest and constructive feedback.  If children are ‘protected’ from it, they won’t learn well.  They will experience advice, coaching and feedback as negative and undermining. Withholding constructive criticism does not help children’s confidence: it harms their future.” (Page 182 Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck)

There’s a challenge for us!

Photo Credit: jasezone.com

Photo Credit: jasezone.com

A growth mindset

As I walked in the house this afternoon my daughter bounded up to me, excited because at Jazz Band rehearsal this afternoon she nailed her improvisation solo! “I got it today, I am so happy, I have been working really hard on it.”


Photo Credit: wide-wallpapers.com

Once I would not have thought much of this, but seeing my brain has continued to think about the ‘mindsets – fixed and growth’ I have been taking a lot more notice of the comments around this house. It has been exciting to notice comments like the above that show the growth mindset. (If you can, I would encourage you to take some time to hear the talk around the house both from yourself and the whole family, you will get some surprises.)


Photo Credit: nagisalloum.com

Also, I want to share a paragraph from the book “Mindset” (by Carol Dweck Page 176)

“Parents think they can hand children permanent confidence – like a gift – by praising their brains and talent. It doesn’t work, and in fact has the opposite effect.  It makes children doubt themselves as soon as anything is hard or anything goes wrong.  If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.”


Photo Credit: marathonation.us



What mindset are you?

I have just finished reading Chapter 1 of “Mindset” by Dr Carol S. Dweck. Dweck is a psychologist who researched what kids did when they failed! She would give them a series of puzzles to solve and watched and probed their thinking and feelings as the puzzles got progressively harder.


Photo Credit: Sharonball.wordpress.com

What do you do when presented with a difficult problem?

Dweck found that there were some kids who said things like “I love a challenge”.
“What’s wrong with them? I wondered. I always thought you coped with failure or you didn’t cope with failure….I was determined to understand the kind of mindset that could turn a failure into a gift….What did they know? They knew that human qualities, such as intellectual skills, could be cultivated through effort. And that’s what they were doing – getting smarter. Not only weren’t they discouraged by failure, they didn’t even think they were failing.  They thought they were learning.”

“I on the other hand thought human qualities were carved in stone.  You were smart or you weren’t and failure meant you weren’t.”(page 4)


Photo Credit: newtraderu.com

From 20 years of research Dweck then put forward 2 different mindsets.
*The fixed mindset believes your qualities are carved in stone.

*The growth mindset is based on the belief that your qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.

Which mindset you dominately use effects greatly your attitude towards challenging situations and in many ways the way you live your life.

As a example of how the mindset effects us, Dweck used the situation of a student getting a poor result for an exam followed by walking out to find a parking ticket on the car, followed by calling a friend to have a whinge and the friend is quite distance.
A person with a fixed mindset blames themselves and life is unfair and I’m no good and my friend now hates me.
Whereas a person with a growth mindset decides they could have worked harder in class and yes it was a bad place to park the car and something must be up with my friend.

People with a growth mindset, when things are difficult are able to take risks, confront the challenges and keep working at them. (page 9)


Photo Credit: thoughtfullearning.com


As a sit typing this and thinking about the first chapter I have read, and keenly waiting for the time to keep reading the book, I realise that I am perhaps a fixed mindset person. There have been different ideas I have for a parenting workshop, using the information I have researched and used on this blog and yet it all seems too hard and doors have not easily opened and anyway the blog isn’t growing like I thought etc etc. To turn this thinking into a growth mindset, it all looks different. I need to give it a go. What changes can I make? Am I afraid of taking a risk and ‘just doing it’?

But, this is not all about me. What does a fixed or growth mindset mean for kids. What about the kids I saw in class this morning? Surely a growth mindset for a kid and a belief in a growth mindset from a teacher can make a huge difference?
As my own kids return home today I can see some interesting conversations – a lot of food for thought and I’m sure there will be a lot more as I continue on in the book.


Photo Credit: thebravediscussion.com