How to Help Your Child Develop a Growth Mindset
Posted: Mar 25, 2019
Demonstrating a growth mindset for your children and helping them develop a growth mindset is one of the best things you can do for your children. A growth mindset will help your children live their best, most fulfilling lives and you can start teaching a growth mindset at home today!
The term "growth mindset" was developed by Dr. Dweck, a Stanford University professor. According to her, a person with a growth mindset believes their skills and abilities can be developed over time. By contrast, a person with a fixed mindset believes their skills and abilities are fixed and no amount of effort can change or improve them.
A positive mindset is key to success in life because people with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges, shut down when offered advice and feedback, and generally believe that they are unable to make changes for the better in their lives. People with a growth mindset are willing to put in hard work and effort, listen to feedback, and take on challenges because they believe their effort can, and will, change their skills and abilities.
When you look at your child’s performance in school, for example, you can see how important their mentality. Let’s pretend your daughter made a poor grade in math. Society has traditionally liked to tell girls they aren’t as good at math and science as boys. If she’s heard this and you don’t teach her otherwise, she may assume that she can’t raise her grade in math because she’s simply not any good at math. On the other hand, if she hasn’t heard this type of limiting statement from people or you work to counter it and encourage her, she may put in extra work and raise her math grade. She will discover that her hard work and persistence enabled her to achieve more than she thought she could, and this lesson will help her for life.
One of the best ways to teach your children about a growth mindset is by having one yourself. It’s important to be kind with yourself and realize that no one has a one all the time about everything. If you slip up, that’s fine! Just do your best to model a healthy frame of mind whenever possible.
If you have trouble with your own inner critics, starting a gratitude practice can help. As a parent, you’re probably already very busy and don’t have much time to add more into your day. Luckily, it’s very easy to work more gratitude into your day with these tips for how to be grateful and happy.
Another way to encourage your children is by providing printable posters with positive sayings. Positive messages, like reminders that challenges are an opportunity for growth, help reinforce the growth mindset message.
When speaking to your child, focus on the process, not the outcome. Praise hard work and persistence, not just the results. It’s important, though, to avoid stubbornly praising the process of it isn't working. If your child tries the same thing over and over again without achieving the results they want, encourage them to evaluate the process and see how they can change or improve it.
Natasha is a certified high school history teacher and blogger at The Artisan Life where she shares her love of crafting and gratitude.