Growth mindset or fixed mindset, what’s best for kids?

Parents, remember in your childhood when you tried something new for the first time and gave up because you couldn’t do it? Remember when you first tried something new and gave up because it was too hard? Maybe it was a math problem that made your brain hurt, or maybe you tried to bake a cake and ended up with a pile of mush. It can be super frustrating, right?

Listen up, we’ve got a secret for you: your brain is like a super-cool muscle that loves a challenge! That’s right, when you try something new and it’s tough, your brain gets excited because it knows it’s going to learn and grow. 

But here’s the thing: if you give up too easily and say “I can’t do it,” that’s called a fixed mindset. And that’s no good because it means you’re not giving your brain the chance to get stronger and smarter.

Instead, you want to have a growth mindset, which means you say “I’ll try again!” even when things are tough. That way, you’re giving your brain the chance to make new connections and learn new things. 

So, in this blog post, we’re going to show you why having a growth mindset is so important and give you some tips on how to cultivate it in kids. Are you ready to flex those brain muscles and get growing? Let’s go!

  • Teach them how the brain works

Tell your kids that their brain takes notes every time they make a mistake and learns from it. This will excite them about the learning process and be their first step towards developing a growth mindset.

  • Model a growth mindset for them

Allow your children to hear you thinking aloud while you face difficulties. Instead of giving up, say “I don’t know how to do this yet, but I’ll figure it out.” Modeling a growth mindset will teach your kids to move towards “accomplishment”. If you want happy kids, focus on building resilience! 

  • Show your struggles

Don’t hide your mistakes from your kids – talking to them about your struggles and what you’ve learned from them is a lifelong gift. When kids see you working through your failures, they’ll be better prepared to do the same.

  • Use magic words

I can’t ride a bike. I can’t draw. I can’t read.

When kids say “I can’t do this,” teach them to add the magical word “yet” to the end of the sentence. “I can’t ride a bike yet” sounds much more positive than “I can’t ride a bike.” This small word can significantly alter the meaning of a statement and its prospects.

  • Avoid labeling your children and others 

Now is the time to develop life skills in your child. Labels can communicate a fixed mindset, whether they’re positive (You’re so smart!) or negative (He’s not good at math). These labels can lead to limiting beliefs about themselves and others. 

Instead, focus on praising effort, progress, and specific actions. Teach kids that smartness is about balancing IQ with EQ, and emotions play a crucial role in their development.

  • Praise effort over outcomes

It’s important to teach them that their brains can be strengthened through hard work, just like muscles. Parents should emphasize effort over outcome and teach kids to embrace challenges, make mistakes, and learn from them.

Here’s an example: Instead of complimenting your child on a seemingly permanent trait like being smart, compliment them on their effort and hard work. Process praise fosters an internal sense of self-efficacy by reinforcing that successes are the result of effort, which the child can control.

At DotX, we prioritize teaching kids a growth mindset along with other important skills. Register your kid to make them future-ready:

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