For most of us, the early stages of childhood are far in our past and are now a distant memory. We have gone through various trials and tribulations to reach the successes that we have found in life, and we take great care to keep the more taxing elements of adulthood strivings away from the young, and impressionable eyes of our children. Whereas that is nothing, if not smart parenting, studies increasingly show that young children do need an arena of life where they can proverbially stumble, and fall and find their way again, and many experts agree this perfect arena is found in the processes of early reading.
The fixed mindset sets in early if not addressed
With young children, there is a term called ‘the fixed mindset,’ and it refers to the way that a young child’s brain crystalizes the process of achievement. When these young minds look at their parents, they see what looks like perfection that comes with ease. They see individuals who always get it right without stumbling, and these often simplified perceptions are what make it unbearably frustrating for a child who can’t pronounce or remember a word. It becomes an inner mantra that they just aren’t good enough or smart enough because wherever they look, things come easy to those around them. Early reading is the perfect place to work through these erroneous ideas that lead to a fixed mindset, and to teach a child that only effort produces mastery.
The growth mindset sets the stage for success
The opposite of the fixed mindset is the growth mindset. This mindset is centered on the idea that with work, growth towards any goal is possible for any person. When sounding out words with your child and helping them to remember word meanings, you are instilling a powerful and unshakable growth mindset into their young minds. The simple task of reading to and with your child on a daily basis infuses the belief that they can accomplish any task or goal that they want to achieve in life, if they will only return to the lessons that they learned in their special young reading sessions with you.
The neuropsychological effects are real
Neurological studies show that there is an actual and measurable change in a child’s highly malleable brain dynamic and formation, when consistently encouraged to resonate with the growth mindset instead of the fixed mindset. These differences are seen in children as young as three years old, and are said to set a very powerfully embedded and long-lasting path of behavior that lasts well into adulthood. Next time you are thinking of the best way to spend free time with your children, don’t forget the virtues of early reading, and the importance of the type of mindset that you are encouraging. Though they may not know what is happening at the time, they will be grateful for the results and understanding that they experience later in life.