And you need to tell your kid so!
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck, was life-changing for me. (And I was at a conference for teachers of gifted education once and the presenter said the same thing.)
In it, Dweck outlines two different mindsets:
1. Growth mindset: People believe that they can improve (or grow) with work. So, if there’s something they want to do better, they practice. A growth mindset can be an amazing motivator.
2. Fixed mindset: People believe that their abilities are permanent. They are either good athletes or they are not. They are either good at spelling or they are not. They are either organized or they are not. And if they are not, they quit trying.
Graphic by Nigel Holmes
This is a gross oversimplification of the two mindsets, but my purpose here is just to give you a quick introduction and point you to some more useful resources:
Mindset Online: The official website of Mindset by Carol Dweck.
Mindset Works: A curriculum to teach a growth mindset. Also a free e-newsletter with tips.
BrainPickings.org: Thorough article on Mindset