Parenting is hard.  Anyone who says it isn’t has never been a parent.  What I see as a constant challenge in our own parenting is the “this is the way I was raised, and I turned out fine” mentality.  It’s difficult to change mindset.  It isn’t easy to think that while we may have turned out fine, there might be a better way today. 

This article, written by Laura Sandefer, speaks to this challenge and leading our children to a growth mindset with one of our own.

– Kori Stack, M.Ed.

A Parenting Mindset Shift To Free You

By Laura Sandefer January 18, 2020

The mindset shift that happens at Acton Academy with the children is two-fold:

  1. Shifting from a fixed mindset (I’m just not good at math) to a growth mindset (I can learn anything, and I need to work extra hard in math.)
  2. Shifting from a victim mindset (This isn’t fair!) to a hero mindset (I can help fix this problem).

A Mindshet Shift Happens for Parents Too

For parents, a mindset shift happens, too.

Unfortunately, our mental shifting happens slower and with more angst than our children’s. It’s simply because our thought patterns are more entrenched, often as a result of traumas in our childhoods. We’ve been working hard to survive and our brains have adjusted accordingly. Acton begins to call into question our thought processes and this feels, at a minimum, uncomfortable; and at some moments, excruciating.

But the shift does indeed happen for those who stay in the game. And it’s more freeing and exciting than anything I’ve ever imagined. It just takes time and vulnerability. As well as surrounding yourself with other parents who are willing to grow and learn, too.

The mindset shift for Acton parents has four layers that stack up to joy and confidence in your family life – even on hard days:

  1. There is no utopia. Shifting from wishing Acton had all the bells and whistles of a traditional school to understanding there are trade-offs at every school – there is no utopia.
  2. Trusting the process. Shifting from worrying that my child isn’t progressing fast enough and delivering the highest quality work to trusting the process at Acton Academy even when it’s messy and takes time.
  3. Trusting your child. Shifting from stepping in as my child’s problem-solver to trusting my child to solve problems and being their #1 cheerleader.
  4. We are all in this together. Shifting from gossiping with other parents about problems with the school to participating in helping the owners and guides by telling them and offering ideas for solutions. “We are all in this together on behalf of our children.”

At Acton, parents are vital partners in every way. We are not a traditional drop-off school where education is “done” to the children and the parents stay out of it except to volunteer or raise money.

Rather, we are an intimate, community of learning where the power is pushed back to the families to communicate, encourage, solve problems together, and live the best life as humans changing the world.

Mindset shifts are equivalent to heavy-duty learning. Real learning is hard and we are all doing the best we can.