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Growth vs. Fixed Mindset: A Second Grader’s Perspective

Our daughter, Sofia, recently learned about growth and fixed mindsets in her second grade classroom.

Emma Fox-Lind
November 12,  2019

Sofia Lind is a second grader from Illinois. Recently, she learned about fixed and growth mindsets in her class at school. Her newfound knowledge and subsequent application inspired her mother, Emma, to document her learnings.

As parents of Sofia, we try everything we can to install positivity in our daughter’s life, but we’re often challenged by the busy world we live in, social media, and TV shows. We only hope by living our lives with daily gratitude that she sees that some of this mindset and observes how we handle stressful situations with optimism. We try our best to model not giving up when things get us down and continuing to grow personally and professionally. We practice gratitude in the car on the way to school and talk about the wins and challenges at the end of each day.

Sofia often likes to borrow my phone and make little documentaries about what she is doing or about the places we visit. This past week, Sofia’s class learned about having a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset, and about how we can exercise and condition our brain to think positively. As a parent, I was really happy to hear her explain and articulate so clearly what she had been learning. The deeper message is something we all need to hear from time to time: we all make mistakes, failures are lessons learned, and if we can’t do something right away we persist and keep trying.

Sofia was able to recall an experience that represented a growth mindset from recent events.

At home, we’ve begun to see immediate results of how Sofia has applied her new philosophy and learning to her daily activities. For example, when working on homework, we would often do a quick-fire fun round to practice spelling for the weekly test and if she got one or two words wrong she would get frustrated with herself and want to just quit the practice session. Now, since learning more about this concept in school, she says, “It’s okay. At least I know the correct spelling for next time.” Her attitude has changed 180 degrees and Sofia now often asks us to work with her on the quick-fire rounds as opposed to us obligating or imposing the practice on her.

I have also seen her be very supportive of her best friend. They are both in gymnastics and Sofia is picking up the tricks a little quicker, mainly because she literally never stands still for a minute without doing a cartwheel! I have seen some nice behavior from Sofia encouraging her friend to just keep practicing each time and telling her “you get a little bit better and stronger and soon you’ll be able to do it!” It was very sweet to watch.

From ice skating to snowboarding… the sky’s the limit with a growth mindset!

Sofia’s teacher, Ms. Peters, has been doing a great job of introducing her and her classmates to the fixed and growth mindset concepts. Although she may have overheard me while I was listening to my podcasts of Tony Robbins and Rachel Hollis, this was the first time she has been learning about this for herself. We are so happy and proud that Sofia has learned about this mindset and even prouder that she wanted to share this to help others.

Emma Fox-Lind immigrated to the United States in 2010 from England, UK with her husband to start a new life and family. She proudly became a mother to Sofia in 2012. Formerly, Emma was a professional dancer in the UK, touring with several companies performing and teaching in styles of Contemporary, Ballet and Hip Hop. She worked with thousands of children of all abilities and backgrounds to use dance as a form to build self esteem and confidence as well as teaching skills and tools to equip them to tackle everyday situations with a positive outlook. As a dancer, Emma fell in love with chiropractic care as she found it enhanced her overall well being. Fortunately, coming to the States she landed a position at Wellness Revolution with Dr. Tony Breitbach, a wellness company that has helped hundreds of people everyday in the same way it has helped her. Emma is passionate about health and wellness and the company Wellness Revolution where she has worked for the past nine and a half years. She excels in customer experience and creating a positive office culture with her fellow employees. As a family, the Linds love to immerse in the American culture and explore the U.S. with Sofia, traveling home to the UK often and taking as many adventures as they can to see all the States has to offer.

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