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Your Child's Learning - Having a Growth Mindset

We all want our children to learn. How can you ensure your child with different-abilities maximizes their learning?

As a parent of a child with special needs we all want our children to learn. No matter how hard we try not to, we’re always measuring our children to other “normal” kids. What is normal? When should my child be doing…? I would say to you that being aware of the norms is necessary to see how our children are progressing, but dangerous in creating expectations that may not be fulfilled. Don’t sweat over the norms, just be aware. Use them to judge what the next step is, whenever it comes. Find those support systems that work for you in meeting your child’s learning needs.

Understanding how our children learn is an easy process. Watch them. Look at how they react to new situations and stimuli. We see our children everyday and sometimes we don’t take time to just watch and listen. Free play is an excellent way to discover how a child learns. As they grow from infancy to adolescence, we’ll have many opportunities to watch them learn. Educate teachers, let them know what you observe. A great teacher takes parent feedback about a child and develops systems in that grow learning. Be a partner with your child’s teachers.

Understand that every child learns at their own pace. We have to be aware of that pace and have the growth mindset that our child may not be there yet. It doesn’t mean they will never be there. As a career educator, I have had the opportunity to observe thousands of kids. Each one is different and learns in a unique way. They each bring their own talents, strengths and challenges. Some skills come more quickly than others. Some skills don’t come until they are adults. IT’S OK.

Dr. Carol S. Dweck is a psychology researcher at Stanford University. Dweck is known for her work on the mindset psychological trait. If you would like to read more about growth mindset, please search for Dr. Dweck’s work. I have included a link to a summary of her writings on the growth mindset.

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