A positive mindset is essential for kids’ success and goal achievement. Many health professionals and teachers help kids develop a positive frame of mind by using a growth mindset. A growth mindset is the idea that our traits can be nurtured and we can learn from mistakes. It teaches that we can achieve goals with effort and persistence rather than innate ability. It helps us approach challenges, mistakes and set-backs as a learning opportunity or simply as a sign that we should keep trying. Kids feel empowered and confident to try their hardest when they know they are able to grow their brains and improve their abilities!
In contrast, if we have a fixed mindset, we believe our intelligence, talents, and abilities are fixed traits that cannot be developed. We believe that talent alone is what determines our success and we may avoid certain challenges in fear of failure.
So, how can I teach my child to have a growth mindset?
We can help our kids build a growth mindset by showing them to:
- Learn from mistakes;
- Focus on the effort they put in, not the end result;
- Remember that practice makes progress – focus on the little steps they’ve achieved;
- Set goals that are achievable;
- Try various strategies;
- See challenges as an opportunity to grow.
Another way we can help our kids build a growth mindset is through the way we give praise. We should praise for effort, progress, hard work, persistence, trying different strategies, rising to a challenge or learning from a mistake. We can also praise character traits, like their generosity, forgiveness, compassion, courage or kindness.
Here are some examples of growth mindset praise:
Finally, we can help our kids reframe the way they talk about their abilities, achievements and mistakes:
A growth mindset can allow kids to overcome the challenges they will face and develop a passion for learning! If you would like to know more about growth mindset, check out the Big Life Journal Growth Mindset printable kit online.
Kirrily Cheal- Occupational Therapist