5 Tips to Encourage a Growth Mindset
- Teach your child about the brain and how it works- A fun way to do this is by teaching children that their brain is like a muscle that is strengthened through hard work and persistence. Neurons form new and stronger connections when we practice and learn new things. For a fun video to teach this from the Khan Academy, click here
- Teach kids about the differences between a growth and fixed mindset- Here's a video that may help: Growth vs. Fixed Mindset
- Praise effort over outcome- We tend to praise children for their accomplishments, rather than the process. When we say, "You're so smart," or "You got the highest score," we are inadvertently reinforcing a fixed mindset. If we praise the process, we change this and encourage a sense of self-efficacy and a growth mindset. So, try swapping out that praise with, "You worked so hard," or "I'm really proud of how you tried different solutions until you figured it out."
- Normalize mistakes- Teach your children that mistakes are part of the learning process. You can say things like, "Mistakes mean you're trying," or, "Mistakes mean we have to keep testing new ideas."
- Teach the power of "yet"- Adding these three simple letters to the end of our sentences can make a huge difference in our outlook. See more below.
The Power of Yet
Another way to encourage children to have a growth mindset is by teaching them about the power of "yet." A simple way to do this is to reframe defeatist statements by adding "yet" at the end, as "yet" implies it will happen in a matter of time. For instance, if your child says, "I can't do it," try reframing this to, "I can't do it--yet." If your child says, "This doesn't make sense," you could respond, "This doesn't make sense-yet." A simple three letter word, can change our outlook and reframe our mind.
Growth Mindset Dinner Table Conversations
- What did you do today that made you think hard?
- What happened today that made you keep going?
- What mistake did you make that taught you something?
- Is there anything you are struggling with? What strategies can you use to help you keep going?
- What would you like to become better at?
- When do you feel smart? When you’re doing something flawlessly or when you’re learning something new?
- What does it mean to GROW?
- What do you think MINDSET means?
- What does it mean to have a FIXED mindset?
- What will you do to challenge yourself today?