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Creating A Growth Mindset in Kids

Growth Mindset In Children 

“I am not any good at this subject”

“I hate school” 

“I am not athletic” 

“I am a bad test taker” 

Do these sound familiar? Chances are, you have either heard a student, your child, or even yourself say something similar to the above. This is a fixed mindset, meaning they believe that their traits are unable to improve and they do not work on improving themselves. 

Children who have a fixed mindset are less likely to take risks, have self confidence, and they oftentimes limit themselves. That is why it is essential for parents and teachers to teach students to have a growth mindset and nurture this over time. 

In this blog, we will be looking at what a growth mindset is, 

What Does It Mean To Have a Growth Mindset? 

A growth mindset is the belief that you can grow your talents and beliefs. It is seeing failure as a chance to develop your abilities further instead of quitting. 

Oftentimes as children, we have a very growth mindset and have the course to push through obstacles. Think about a baby; just because they fall down when trying to walk, does not mean they stop trying. However, somewhere along the way, some children begin to develop a fixed mindset and see these failures as a sign that they are not good at a particular topic or skill. 

Our job as parents, teachers, coaches, and counselors is to help nurture the growing child and help them grow out of a fixed mindset and more into a growth mindset. 

Why Does Having a Growth Mindset Matter? 

The importance of a growth mindset can not be underestimated. Not only do children  have more confidence in themselves, but as they grow, they can use their “failures” as a learning experience and grow over time. It helps children learn something new and overcome obstacles. 

Changing the way you think about yourself helps you change your confidence level. If students are more confident in themselves, then they are more likely to take risks, explore their curiosity, explore their talents, and achieve more in life. 

The goal is to have our children and students demonstrate a growth mindset. 

Tips To Grow A Growth Mindset 

Are you a caregiver or teacher of a child and want to help develop their mindset? Here are some tips! 

  1.  Have a growth mindset yourself- Children are like sponges. When they see you talking pessimistically about yourself, they begin to do the same about themselves and believe it. Oftentimes as adults, we do not even realize we have a fixed mindset. We often say “I am not good at math”, “I used to be a good runner”, “I am fat”, etc. As role models to these students we need to have more of a growth mindset ourselves. 

  1. Use Key Terms- Start using phrases that someone with a growth mindset would use. For example, if a student gets an A on a test, instead of saying ‘wow you are so smart” you can say “You worked so hard for that, great job!” The same can be said for a student who did average or poorly on a test. If you hear the student say “I am stupid”, say “you are not stupid! You must have been confused on this test, you may not have gotten a great grade but if we study some more and address your confusion, you will do better”. 

  1. Change Failing With Learning- If a student struggles on a test, assignment, or lesson, point out that these struggles are part of the process of learning! From the struggles, they will come out stronger. 

  1. Allow Reflection- Each day, let your child/ student reflect on their struggles and successes. This can be both academically and outside of academics. Students can journal these or discuss them outloud– then have students write down the actions they can take to improve these or what they did to get to the point they are at. 

  2. Use the Word Yet- Whenever you see a student struggling with a task, assignment, etc. let them know that it might be hard now because they have not mastered it…yet! Enforce that they will eventually get to the point of understanding. 

These are just some of the tips you can take in your classroom or at home to help students develop a growth mindset! Do these everyday and you will be shocked at some of the results you will see. 

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