It is no secret that I am a huge Growth Mindset advocate. Ever since I learned about the work of Carol Dweck who identified that children either have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset, I have been hooked. Celebrating failure and ensuring that the word YET is a family favourite can transform the way our children learn. With this in mind, I reached out to self-published author Esther Cordva who wrote children’s picture book I Can’t Do That Yet to find out more.
Hi Esther, welcome to No Mum Is An Island. I am a great believer that no mum (or dad) should have to do everything herself, we can’t possibly know it all, and we need all the support we can get, there is a wealth of information out there to help us upgrade our parenting experience, to make our lives easier and this website is a hub for just that! You have upgraded the lives of many parents by writing a simple yet powerful book to teach children the power of yet.
Can you tell us where you learned about the concept of a growth mindset?
When I moved to Boston I wasn’t able to make use of my master’s degree which I have in food business. I tried several months and needed to accept that this won’t be the route for me. My husband encouraged me to join a coding boot camp, since the job chances in this field are amazing. Long time I pushed the idea away from me. Especially because I thought you need to be good in math and “all these things” in order to succeed. I just didn’t think I would be able to do it. So a few more unemployed months later I signed up for a 3-month course. I can tell you this was the hardest I’ve ever done.
I often played with the thought of quitting but I didn’t. This is where I got introduced to the concept of a growth mindset the first time. We were never allowed to say “I can’t do that” – We always needed to add the little and powerful word YET to it. I can’t do that yet. After finishing I got an internship and then a job as a front-end developer. I got excited to bring the concept of a growth mindset to as many kids as possible since I would have needed something like that when I was a kid to. I used to say I can’t do that all the time. At the same time, programming just wasn’t my route. I made sure that I got back the money from the boot camp and moved on onto a field that I truly love now.
What do you love most about the writing growth mindset children’s books?
I love the most the impact I can have on people’s life. Shifting your mindset and challenging stereotypes is not an easy thing to do. It helps to get confronted with the concept early on and as often as possible. Parents have the biggest impact on their kid’s mindset. Leading my good example is the best thing you can do for your kid. But it is hard to always keep a growth mindset also for me. Through my books I can contribute a little at a time.
Tell us a bit more about your gorgeous book “I Can’t Do That, YET”
My first book in the 4 book growth mindset series is called I Can’t Do That, Yet (https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Do-That-YET-Mindset/dp/1545237271/) and features a little girl that doesn’t believe in herself. Through the story she gets introduced with a growth mindset and understands that through hard work and patience a lot can be possible. When I read this story the little girl sometimes reminds me of myself.
How can parents best support children who maybe have a fixed mindset and are struggling to overcome failure?
Leading by example is very important. For practical advice, one can check out my website powerofyet.com
Can you tell us about one of the most rewarding moments you have had as an author?
Hearing from my readers! Sometimes I receive photos or drawings from kids or parents write to me how their kids reference back to the books in difficult situations. It’s the most amazing thing to hear if my book got a kid from I can’t do that to I can’t do that, yet. These moments make my day.
You can read more from Ester at www.powerofyet.com