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Audio: A six-year-old reflects on being good and bad at learning skills
One of my granddaughters struggles with her learning mindset just like us adult mountain bikers
When one of my granddaughters turned 6, I interviewed her about her learning process. She surprised me with her ability to reflect on her struggles.
I’m posting this in preparation for an upcoming post (series of posts?) about the importance of examining our mindsets about our MTB skills.
We can get stuck when we think we’re good at a skill and when we believe we’re bad at it.
Grandpa Griff: What else have you learned how to do?
KW: I didn't know how to make hula hoops so I started to do the hula hoop and when I first did it I started to spin it and then wiggle and it just fell down quickly and then I started doing it again and again and again and I was good at it and bad at it and good at it and bad at it. And then on the next day I kept on hula huling. I kept on wiggling it around my hips.
Griff: So do you think that’s how we learn most things? We’re bad at it, we’re bad at it, we’re bad at it, we get a little better, then we’re bad again and then…
Griff: Probably, yeah. The other night you were watching a video about how to draw
KW: yeah and I got really bad
GW: You got mad.
KW: and bad. And the first time I drew her I was really good and this time I forgot how to draw LOLs and then I got really mad.
GW: Why did you get mad?
KW: Because I didn't love her I thought she looked ugly.
GW: So you were good and then you got bad. And you thought that you should always be good at drawing.
KW: Yeah. Well, I thought that you should always practice and then it would always be good but mine was the worst LOL ever.
GW: It was the worst LOL ever?
KW: I wanted to stop drawing LOLs and just draw like other things.
GW: You said something a little while ago about learning to hula hoop. Remember that? You said you started and couldn't do it and then you could and then you couldn't but eventually you got better at it. So could that be true of drawing?
KW: It could be true.
GW: In what way?
KW: Like I could do it.
GW: You could do it. And if you found that you were still bad at it, what would you tell yourself?
KW: I would tell myself let's keep on doing it.
GW: Yeah. It's like it's okay to be bad when you're learning stuff. That would be a good message to remember.