top of page

Growth Mindset

How to teach kids about growth mindset.

A little girl pushing a shopping cart

As parents, we want our children to grow up to be confident and resilient individuals who are not afraid to take on challenges. One way to help them develop this mindset is by teaching them about the concept of GROWTH MINDSET. Children with a growth mindset are more likely to persevere in the face of challenges, take risks, learn from their mistakes, be resilient and be successful in school and in life.

Tips on how to teach kids about GROWTH MINDSET

  • Explain what growth mindset means. A growth mindset is the belief that our abilities and intelligence can be developed over time through hard work, dedication, and persistence. It is the opposite of a fixed mindset, which is the belief that intelligence and abilities are fixed and cannot be changed. Emphasize that everyone has the potential to grow and improve with effort.

  • Encourage a positive attitude. Even with challenges and failures, teach them that setbacks are opportunities for growth and that it's okay to make mistakes. Emphasize that mistakes help us learn and grow.

  • Praise effort, not just intelligence or achievement. When your child does something well, praise their effort over their smarts. For example, instead of saying “You’re so smart!” say “I’m so proud of how hard your worked on that!”

  • Focus on learning and not on just the grades. Let your child know that it's more important to learn and grow than to get good grades. Help them understand that everyone learns at their own pace and that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process.

  • Encourage them to take risks. Help your child see that taking risks is a way to learn and grow. When they're hesitant to try something new, encourage them to step outside their comfort zone.

  • Teach perseverance. Encourage them to keep trying even if they don’t succeed at first. Teach that success is not about being perfect, but about making progress and learning from mistakes.

Teaching children about growth mindset is an important life skill that can help them develop confidence, resilience, and a positive attitude towards challenges. With this important characteristic, we can help our children develop the mindset they need for a successful future towards achieving their goals and fulfilling their full potential.


Tips for talking to your kids about GROWTH MINDSET:

  1. Praise effort over natural ability.

  2. ACTION: Help your child understand that success is within his/her control. Find something your child is not innately good at and participate together. Then celebrate his/her effort.

  3. ACTION: Emphasize progress.

  4. ACTION: Acknowledge mistakes. If your child gets a low grade on a test, say “I’m so proud of you for trying your best. Let’s look at what you got wrong and figure out how to work on that for next time.”

  5. Encourage a love for learning.

  6. ACTION: Make a list of new activities or interests and commit to trying one thing off the list each month.

  7. ACTION: Help to develop a curious mind by encouraging questions.

  8. ACTION: Reading is a great way to encourage a love for learning.

  9. Emphasize effort over success/achievement.

  10. ACTION: Praise and acknowledge effort, even when the outcome is not a desired one.

  11. Teach to reframe negative thoughts.

  12. ACTION: Focus on improvement. For example: “I’m not good at this game. I’ll never win.” Instead, point out any small wins and then reframe: “I may not have won YET, but I’m getting better every time. I will keep practicing and try again”.

  13. ACTION: Practice gratitude. This can help shift focus away from negative thoughts and towards positive ones.

  14. ACTION: Model positive self-talk. “I can do this”. “I’m capable of overcoming this challenge”.

  15. Encourage self-reflection.

  16. ACTION: Ask questions to help reflect on learning. For example: “What did you learn from that experience?” or “What could you do differently next time?” See additional questions below.

  17. Provide opportunities for growth.

  18. ACTION: Expose your child to extracurricular activities, volunteering, learning new skills. Give them opportunities to develop their talents and discover new passions.

  19. ACTION: Encourage them to sign up for a class they have never tried before.

Questions to promote a GROWTH MINDSET:

1. What have you done that makes you proud?

2. What have you learned recently that makes you feel excited?

3. What do you want to get better at? How can you practice to get better?

4. What is something you find tricky? How can you work to get better at it?

5. Did you ever make a mistake? What did you learn from it?

6. Who do you look up to? Why do you admire them?

7. Did you ever try something new and find it was hard? What happened?

8. What is something you tried really hard to do but it was difficult? How did it make you feel?

bottom of page