4 ways to foster a growth mindset in kids

IIsabel September 1, 2023 8:11 PM

A growth mindset is a belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. It is in contrast with a fixed mindset, which is the belief that abilities are innate and unchangeable. Research by psychologist Carol Dweck suggests that a growth mindset can boost children's motivation, promote perseverance in the face of challenges, and improve academic achievement.

Before we delve into the ways to foster a growth mindset in your kids, let's briefly understand what a growth mindset is and why it's important.

What is a Growth Mindset?

A 'growth mindset' refers to the belief that with effort, learning, and persistence, one's abilities and intelligence can improve. It's contrasted with a 'fixed mindset,' where one believes their abilities are fixed and unchangeable. The concept of growth mindset was introduced by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck after decades of research on achievement and success. A growth mindset fosters a love for learning and resilience, essential for great accomplishments.

Now, let's explore the four ways to foster a growth mindset in kids.

1. Use Growth Mindset Language

The words and phrases you use play a significant role in shaping your child's mindset. Praise the effort, not the intelligence. Instead of saying 'You're so smart!', say 'You worked really hard on that!' This encourages kids to value effort over inherent talent.

2. Teach the Power of 'Yet'

Teaching children the power of 'yet' is a powerful growth mindset tool. When your child says, 'I can't do it,' add the word 'yet' at the end. It transforms their mindset from a fixed state to a growth state.

3. Promote Perseverance

Encourage your child to keep trying, even when things get tough. Teach them that it's okay to make mistakes and that failure is part of the learning process.

4. Encourage Curiosity and Exploration

Fostering curiosity and exploration can help cultivate a growth mindset. Encourage questions, investigations, and discovery.

Growth Mindset Activities

Activity Description
Set Goals Encourage your child to set learning goals and track their progress.
Use Journals Kids can use journals to record their thoughts, ideas, and growth over time.
Growth Mindset Books Read books that promote a growth mindset, like 'The Most Magnificent Thing' or 'Everyone Can Learn Math.'
The Power of Yet Use the power of 'yet' in your daily conversations to promote a growth mindset.

In conclusion, fostering a growth mindset in children is not a one-day task, it's a journey. As a parent, your role is vital in shaping this journey. By instilling a growth mindset, you are not only preparing your children for academic success but also helping them become resilient, motivated, and persistent individuals.

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