Over the past two decades, the concept of growth mindset has emerged as a useful way to understand how students can improve their resilience and motivation when it comes to school. As educators and parents, we play an important role in nurturing students and helping them develop balanced methods for confronting any challenges that may come their way.
In this article, we will explore the different ways to instill a growth mindset in your child and how it can serve as a vital tool for lifelong learning.
To better understand how we can support students in developing a growth mindset, it’s helpful to understand its opposite: the fixed mindset. The fixed mindset is characterized by a misplaced belief that intelligence and ability cannot be changed or improved. Students with a fixed mindset tend to feel overwhelmed by challenges and may shut down or avoid learning new concepts because they believe they cannot do it.
On the other hand, a growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and ability can be improved through continuous effort and hard work. Students with a growth mindset tend to see challenges as opportunities for growth, embrace mistakes as chances to learn, and are motivated to improve their skills over time.
Developing a growth mindset is all about reframing our understanding of challenges as opportunities for learning. Encourage your child to see obstacles not as roadblocks but as stepping stones to progress. When embarking on understanding a new or difficult concept, remind your child that consistent effort is the foundation of growth. A simple way to do this is to teach your child to ask “What can I learn from this?" rather than "What have I done wrong?" when they make mistakes.
Try to include the word "yet" in conversations with your child. For example, instead of saying, "I can't do this," encourage them to say, "I can't do this yet." This simple shift in language reinforces the belief that skills can be developed. While it can take time for beliefs to change, especially the beliefs we hold about ourselves, with practice and concerted effort, students can learn to see challenges as temporary rather than permanent.
Shift the focus of praise from outcomes like marks and grades to effort and hard work. When your child puts in lots of time and dedication, celebrate their perseverance rather than just the final result. This sends an important message that the learning journey matters more than being successful or getting an A+ right away.
Children are like sponges and learn through observation. Model a growth mindset for your child by discussing your challenges and learning experiences. When they see your ability to learn and adapt, they'll internalize the importance of embracing new opportunities and seeking growth.
Foster an environment where kindness and curiosity are celebrated! Encourage your child to ask questions, explore new interests, and research subjects that interest them. This sense of curiosity is not only fun, but it also motivates students to develop a passion for learning.
By nurturing a growth mindset in your child, you're giving them a lifelong gift: the ability to face challenges with resilience, embrace learning with curiosity, and move confidently toward their goals. With every step they take, remind them that their potential for learning is boundless and their growth is a journey