Growth Mindset

Developing a Growth Mindset in Your Child

  • Research shows that parents can have a powerful impact on their childrens’ mindsets. The language you use and the actions you take show your children what you expect and can become their inner voice. Showing your children that you are excited by challenges, see mistakes as learning opportunities, and understand the value of practice and trying different strategies will go a long way in cultivating their growth mindsets!

    Understanding Mindsets

    A growth mindset is the underlying belief that abilities can be developed through effort and practice. Children with a growth mindset persist in the face of challenges because they understand that effort and hard work can change ability and intelligence. A fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence is static, and cannot be changed. When children are in a fixed mindset, they tend to give up easily when they encounter obstacles, because they believe that they don’t have what it takes to learn hard things.  

    In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all people who achieved top performance had these qualities. Research shows that people with this view reach higher levels of success thanpeople with fixed mindset beliefs. Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports. It enhances relationships, and increasesachievement.

    Growth Mindset Parenting

    Parents often wonder what they can do and say to change their child’s mindset from fixed to growth. The good news is that mindsets can change, and there are certain strategies you can use right away to see a big difference in your child’s challenge-seeking behavior. Giving process praise, talking about the brain, accepting mistakes as learning opportunities, and understanding the role of emotions in learning are all practices you can begin today.

    In fact, every word and action sends a message. It tells children – or students or athletes – how to think about themselves. It can be a fixed mindset message that says: “You have permanent traits and I’m judging them,” or it can be a growth mindset message that says: “You are a developing person and I am interested in your development.” The most important thing you can do to help your child develop a growth mindset is to praise them for effort rather than for talent. Messages like “You learned that so quickly! You’re so smart!” teach the child that they either are or aren’t smart, and that effort is a sign of weakness. When they encounter difficulty in the future, they tend to then feel not smart andretreat. Instead, messages such as “I like the way you approached that problem”, or “Good job to hang in there and find a different strategy that did work,” or “Sorry, that seemed to be too easy for you, let’s do something more challenging,” teaches kids that effort is something we can all benefit from to reach our full potential, and that they need to be working purposefully and taking on challenges in order togrow. 

    Learn more at

    Ted Talk:

Growth Mindset