What is growth mindset?

The concept of “growth mindset” comes from the work of psychologist Carol Dweck, and her research on the power of our beliefs – especially those about ourselves. 

In her research, she found that one of the most important beliefs we have about ourselves is how we view our personality. If we view ourselves with a fixed mindset, that means we believe that our character, creative abilities, and intelligence stay the same and cannot change, no matter what we do. 

On the other hand, if we view ourselves with a growth mindset, that means that we believe we can keep growing and see challenges and failures as ways of learning and improving. A growth mindset helps children (and adults) to develop a passion for learning and helps them not to be discouraged by failure or mistakes. 

Why do we want to encourage our kids to have a growth mindset?

It’s very important to encourage children to have a growth mindset because it helps them to develop perseverance and a willingness to try new things. If a child does not realise that they can grow and improve, they will avoid mistakes and challenges. They will only see the value in their successes, rather than the effort they are making. 

How can we use growth mindset in speech therapy?

Depending on the day, any person can exhibit a growth or fixed mindset. That is why it is important that we encourage children to have a growth mindset when it comes to speech therapy, so that they are ready to learn and grow!

If a child is coming to speech therapy, it’s not because they’ve already learned everything they need to know. They are participating in therapy because they need help learning something new — whether it’s how to say a sound, how to use sentences when they’re speaking, how to write an analytical essay, or ways to make new friends at school. Because of this, speech therapy requires the child to try new things, make mistakes and take on challenges in order to improve. 

Likewise, the speech pathologist gives the child feedback in order to help them grow. If a child has a fixed mindset, they might not see the feedback as helpful — only as the speech pathologist pointing out their mistakes. But if they have a growth mindset, the child can see feedback as tips for how to take on the challenge in a different way. 

A few ways that we try to incorporate growth mindset into our speech pathology sessions include: 

  • praising a child for their effort rather than easy successes
  • talking about the progress a child has made over time
  • encouraging mistakes and challenges to help the child to grow!

The mindset the child has coming in to the therapy room can have a huge impact on the progress they make each session and the way the child feels about speech therapy. At The Speech & OT Centre, we will do our best to help your child feel confident that they can keep learning and growing all the time!

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