Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck, a psychologist, developed the concepts of fixed mindset versus growth mindset theory. A fixed mindset sees failure as weakness and a lack in their own ability. In comparison, growth mindset believes that by building confidence, working harder and expanding your horizons you can overcome challenges. 
It takes consistency. The aim is to move away from focusing on the outcome of a project but instead on the effort and process.

- Fixed mindset - “Good job. You tried hard.”
-Growth mindset - “That was difficult, the goal isn’t to get to the answer straight away. What could you try next time?”

Strategies to encourage Growth Mindset with your child:

  • Encourage challenges - push your child to try activities that are out of their comfort zone by portraying them as fun and exciting and easy tasks as boring.
  • Embrace the word ‘YET” - I’m not good at reading. Change this statement to “I’m not good at reading YET.” Focusing on always being able to improve.
  • Celebrate mistakes and corrections - allow for mistakes to be viewed as a learning opportunity, how could we do something different next time? As an adult, model when you make a mistake and how you change what you have done for next time.
  • Praise the process not the outcome - don’t praise your child for “being smart” as this reinforces that intelligence is a fixed trait. Therefore making your child believe they don’t need to try harder. Praise for the process and effort that they are putting into a task.
    Many challenges that our children will face in the future are unknown and by helping them develop a growth mindset allows for them to lean into challenges. It reinforces that they can apply this growth mindset to any obstacles that are put in front of them throughout life.
Questions to support growth mindset:
  • How can you keep going when things are tough?
  • What else do you want to learn about?
  • What mistakes did you make today that you learnt from?
  • Did you ask for help if you needed it?
  • What made you think hard today?
  • What could we change or adapt to make it even better?
  • What’s the next challenge to tackle?

For more activity ideas to support building a growth mindset with step by step instructions led by teachers - join Online Kidz Club a subscription based platform providing parents and children with an array of activities to complete at home with resources around the house. The activities can be completed both independently or together with your child.

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