When I first became a mom, I had the mistaken belief that if I didn’t always know what to do when there was a situation with my child, that I was a bad mom.
20 years later. I can assure you that nothing could have been farther from the truth. Good parenting skills are not a set in stone ‘gift’ that some people have and others lack. Parenting skills are learnable.
As long as you focus on developing a growth mindset - a pattern of thinking in which you banish the "should haves", let go of how you thought things would be, and embrace learning opportunities, you are sure to transform your parenting.
Because of how crucial our mindset is to our success or failure at anything we do in life, extensive studies have been done on this topic. One vital point discovered is that the number of potential mindsets that exist in our world, depends on how much you generalize the word “mindset”. The closer you look into it, the more differentiations you could class as an individual's mindset.
But, most people fit into a few mindsets, and in coaching parents, I've come across 2 predominant mindsets; the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.
People with a fixed mindset believe intelligence and abilities are set from birth, and they spend their time trying to prove they have those traits whereas, people with a growth mindset believe intelligence and abilities can be acquired through effort and hard work.
When you have a fixed mindset, you believe you are inherently a good parent or a bad parent. Thus spending your time trying to prove this thought to the world.
You believe that when you make mistakes, it is indicating that you aren’t cut out for "this"parenting job".
You expect that connected relationships with your family should catapult in an instant and that if you need to work at them, it means you are failing.
Furthermore, you believe that you are doomed to repeat mistakes from your own childhood and that personalities are fixed. For instance, “I have a bad temper, so my children will have bad tempers.”
Trying to be perfect and expecting the same from your children, the inability to forgive yourself and communication breakdowns are some results of having a fixed mindset.
There is no reason why you shouldn't have high expectations of yourself or your child, but the courage to try again, the ability to laugh at your mistakes yet learn from them, will foster a positive attitude and an atmosphere of love and growth in your family.
People with a growth mindset develop resilience and a love for learning. They try new things, let go of things that don’t work for them, laugh a little and try again.
Parents with a growth mindset believe that parenting skills are learnable. They know that relationship and communication skills can be learned and improved.
They believe that the problems and issues that arise in families bring opportunities to learn and grow. Not only that, but they trust that they and their children have the potential to grow toward their best selves
Our mindset affects everything. It affects our attitude, which in turn affects our behaviour, which influences the actions we take, the results we get and our overall performance.
To develop a growth mindset in parenting, it’s helpful to find different ways to remind yourself that you’re capable of learning and growth.
When something goes wrong; Look for the opportunity in it. Learn from it and determine ways to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Let go of the guilt and questions and start again.
So relax, nobody was born a good parent. They worked at it. Quit blaming and shaming and crying. Your children don't need "perfect" parents. They need the best parent they can have and a growth mindset will definitely get you in the direction of being the best parent for your child.
Parenting & Teen-Coach - Counsellor - Education consultant