Back to virtual school: How to develop a growth mindset for your child

The COVID-19 pandemic has hurled us into yet another year of virtual schooling

By Shrutika Lawand

Yet another year of virtual schooling! The Academic session 20-21 was indeed overwhelming and full of challenges. Teachers persevered, parents trusted and partnered with the schools and children responded proactively and adapted to this new form of education in no time. Discipline, perseverance, resilience, and a growth mindset are key factors that aided us in overcoming these challenges.

The second wave of COVID-19 has hurled us into yet another year of virtual schooling. However, this time we are all geared up and well-equipped with a plan and strategies, incorporating blended learning techniques into our teaching practices.

We would like to share some of our learnings that will equip parents with adequate measures for the academic year 2021-2022. This checklist will ensure children are positively motivated as they start school and will also build a growth mindset in your children.

Also Read |Are online classes increasing your child’s screen time?

Structured Routine

Children need a structured routine. While the school takes care of the academic structure by setting a timetable that they follow daily, parents too need to follow a routine at home. Their mealtimes, playtime, homework and revision time must be set. Most importantly, adequate rest and recovery will enable them to focus during their sessions at school. It is therefore necessary that parents tuck their children into bed early around 8:30 p.m. so that they wake up fresh and energetic the next day to attend school.

Building Resilience

The pandemic has exposed us to a range of emotions from fear to anxiety and stress. This makes it imperative to develop resilience in our children to deal with these emotions. Children need to be taught to come to terms with a range of emotions. They also need constant reassurance that things will get better and that together, we will overcome these challenging times.

Dealing With Emotions Constructively

Parents bandage these emotions temporarily by trying to make them happy when they’re sad or calm when they’re angry. This cocoons them into a farcical belief that someone will always come to their aid and fix their problems. Allowing them to feel their actual emotions teaches them to confront situations. They must be taught to accept that they may not get a turn to read/answer in class on some days or not be invited to a birthday party or win a competition that they participated in. This helps develop coping mechanisms and prevents children from getting depressed or going into a downward spiral.

Also Read |In pandemic, how schools plan to keep kids busy offline: Reading, cooking, caring for environment

Nurturing A Positive Mindset

An important factor that helps us accomplish our goals is our mindset. A growth mindset helps us recognise that failure helps us learn, grow, and find success. Our interaction and responses to children’s performances translate into thoughts and beliefs that they form about themselves. Encouraging phrases like ‘I see you are finding it challenging to complete this. Let us do this together’ or ‘I see you are having a hard time with this. With time, you will get better at it’, opens possibilities and motivates a child to try yet again with more effort and better strategies. Praising, acknowledging, or recognising the effort that the child may have put in to achieve a certain outcome also works beautifully with children who have been successful in their achievements. Analyzing the process helps them improvise and implement techniques thus yielding better results with each attempt.

Hence, developing a disciplined routine, resilience and a growth mindset in children are more likely to keep them positively engaged and in an upward spiral as they start a fresh year of school.

(The writer is Principal – Billabong High  International School, Hadapsar – Pune.)

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