A growth mindset will help your child learn and grow over time. They need to understand that they have the ability to improve their skills and intelligence throughout their life. A growth mindset helps them know that, just because they can’t do something now, it doesn’t mean that’s going to be the case forever. If they’re willing to put in the effort and persistence, they can learn, grow and flourish.
As a parent, there’s a lot you can do, to help your child develop a growth mindset.
What is a growth mindset?
A fixed mindset is one that dictates a child is born with certain character traits and abilities. It dictates their level of intelligence and creativity are set and cannot be changed. They’re naturally predisposed to be able to do certain things and lack the ability to do others.
But a growth mindset acknowledges that basic abilities are not fixed. Intelligence can develop and change over time. It takes effort, determination and a little resilience to expand intelligence. The more you persevere, the more likely you are to achieve.
This type of mindset is particularly important when tackling exams. It helps a child see that the goal of learning is to understand and grow, not just to hit a specific grade. Making an effort, attempting new things, experimenting and persevering are essential traits to have, as they help create better life outcomes and higher self-esteem.
Help your child to develop a growth mindset
If you want to help your child to develop a growth mindset, introduce them to activities that build their confidence and build intelligence. Activities such as problem-solving skills will help do this, as well as encouraging exploration and curiosity.
Don’t focus on what they already know, focus on what they’ve learnt that is new. Encourage a love of learning by helping them experiment and test new ideas and theories. It all helps to develop a growth mindset and builds resilience and curiosity.
Celebrate the process, not the end result
Look to celebrate the willingness to try. It’s the process, not the end result that’s important. Praise them for making an effort, not necessarily getting the right answer or result.
Remind them that not everyone is good at a specific subject, right from the outset. And that’s ok as you may not be good at it yet, but it will come – if you persevere.
Appreciate the effort they’ve put into their work. Show gratitude for them working hard and focus on that, rather than highlighting how smart or intelligent they are.
If you’re not sure how to phrase things in a growth mindset way, Mindset Works have a grid of phrases you can use, to reinforce a growth mindset rather than a traditional fixed one.
Reinforce it’s ok to make mistakes
Finally, always look to reinforce that mistakes are an essential part of learning. They’re part of the learning process and can give you valuable information. It’s ok to experiment and learn from the results – it doesn’t mean those results are wrong.
Highlight how important it is to learn something new, as you grow as a result. The more you learn, the more you’ll grow. And explain that if you struggle with something, that’s a good sign too – as it signifies growth. Celebrate it!
As a parent, there’s a lot you can do, to help your child develop a growth mindset, as detailed above. A growth mindset will help your child learn and grow over time. And by taking the time to help them develop a growth mindset, you’re equipping them with an open mind that is excited to learn, flourish and grow.
I am a huge fan of the Big Life Journal website, which is jam-packed with engaging resources that help kids develop a growth and resilient mindset so they can face life’s challenges with confidence. The Big Life Journals are brilliant for encouraging children to work on their mindset and develop self-belief in their abilities.