Lights On® Mindset!

Uncategorized Apr 14, 2020

Lights On® Mindset! 

by one of our Lights On® Mums, Alice Khimasia

Early this week, Lights On Mum, Emma, chose to be vulnerable by posting a watercolour image of a woman with rainbow coloured hair. She recognised that painting meant overcoming a big label she had adopted, “I'm not arty.”

What labels do we wear which prevent us pushing forward, taking risks, becoming the best learners we can be?

This week’s JAM saw several parents being bold and vulnerable in recognizing and pushing through points of resistance. This is how we build resilience, enabling and empowering our children to persevere and become the motivated learners we want them to be. It is all about mindset.

Julia and Corinne shared a quiz to determine where our child’s mindset currently stands. From lost learners to inspiring creators, there were a spectrum of responses, different children at differing points on their learning journeys.

As we set out to explore our learning carousels, we discovered that focusing too much on our child can make them feel too exposed. Overt concern and anxiety about our children communicates that we do not believe they will be alright, revealing a lack of trust. It becomes too risky for our children to show up.

So we change the focus. Tania found that instead of guiding and controlling as she normally would, she stepped back to see the learning journey her children embarked upon independently. With a bit of distance, she observed the wonderful story they were creating together. When we stop micro-managing, our children feel the space, sense our confidence and feel safer to come out and be themselves.

This week’s challenge involved a paper portal, bringing mindset right to the fore. How do we respond when presented with a problem? Do we engage or walk away? We can establish a culture in our homes where you’re not supposed to have an answer, but where we work to solve problems.

Learning is not always just fun stuff. Some things we do to grow our brains, establishing and reinforcing neural networks through repetition. That is learning.

Being honest and authentic about how we are feeling is important. Children know when we are less than honest with them, trying to sneak learning in, hoping they won’t notice. When children find excuses, ask them, “Are you avoiding this?” Our honesty will help them get to know themselves as learners. Being aware of negative feelings and persevering is part of the creative process. If we give up, we are modeling that to our children.

For Katy and daughter, Ava, this week was about recognising the fear of not getting it right, taking risks, overcoming self-doubt. Growing alongside, we learn to push through challenges and are more engaged with the learning process, willing to be braver. By overcoming those automatic negative thoughts, we wire a new pathway which declares, “I can do this!”

The mindset of the adult is key, determining the culture. You can either extend or stifle learning. Believing what we can do, growing our own resilience, empowers a child to believe they can do things too. They can learn too. Focusing on empowerment puts the learner where they belong: in the driving seat, determining their own outcomes.

Lights On® Mum, Mandy, illustrates how exploring our own mindset, all the negative thoughts and labels which hold us back, though risky, brings a freedom to be ourselves, to express ourselves creatively in a way we might never have experienced before. “I've never considered myself creative in the arts, and have shied away from them, being more of a practical, logical type. But this week, with a continuous theme of sunflowers in my head, I wrote a poem. I have never written a poem other than maybe the odd riddle as a kid. So, in my new identity of being more vulnerable, I am sharing here.” Mandy, thank you. We are so glad you did.

THE SUNFLOWER

Enveloped in darkness
Pressure all around
Choked by years of layers
That a pure heart has bound
A sense of constriction,
Tightness, weighed down
Withdrawn, protected.
Potential not known
Hiding the hurt
The wrongs, the failures
Defending, reacting.
Reinforcing the behaviours
A hint of Lightness
A glimpse of belief
Trusting, embracing
Beginning to breathe
Reaching towards hope
Relaxing, releasing
Shedding the comfort
Confusion increasing
Tearing through old labels
Forgiving, letting go
Imperfect perfection
Being enough, just so
Strong and tall together
Spreading out a golden glow
Transmitting pure joy and power
By sharing what was below

 

From rainbows to sunflowers, #thisislightson

Who’s coming to join us at the next JAM?

Lights On® JAMS are discounted to just £15 for the three days, and are running throughout April. Find out more and sign up here.


Post written by: 

Alice Khimasia
Seeing her eldest son's lights go out when he was 7, Alice took action to ensure his freedom to learn. She has been speaking and writing about her family's learning adventures ever since, and gave a TEDx talk in 2016. Alice is part of our Lights On® Academy and lives with her husband and 4 Lights On® Learners in the West Midlands.
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