How to Inspire Young Children to Develop a Growth Mindset

How to Inspire Young Children to Develop a Growth Mindset?

by | Feb 16, 2021 | Character Building | 0 comments

How can you tell if your child has a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? Children with a fixed mindset get annoyed easily and give up. Children who see things to fruition are ones with a growth mindset.

Broadly, a mindset is a thought or belief that we have. It can be positive or negative. Mindsets guide us – actions, behaviour, reactions, and towards acquiring a new skill or gaining knowledge. Experts liken a fixed mindset to stalled intelligence, and people with such a mindset would not be able to improve themselves. Conversely, a growth mindset is intelligence that can be developed.

People with a growth mindset tend to work harder. They believe that they work hard and can improve. Most children are by nature curious and want to learn about their surroundings. They use all their senses to learn. This, in turn, inclines them toward a growth mindset, as they continue to learn through trial and error. However, as children grow, they are told to do things a certain way. When they do something in a different way, we tell them they are wrong. This is why some move towards a fixed mindset.

A growth mindset has several real benefits. It is an approach and attitude that enables progress and possibilities. It encourages children to look toward problem-solving. They learn to be more effective in managing everyday challenges. It moves children from ‘this homework is hard and I don’t understand it’ to ‘this homework is hard and I don’t understand it as of now, but I will’. Let’s look at some powerful benefits of a growth mindset for kids and why we need to help them build and sustain it.

1. Explaining the Brain and its Functionality

Kids are easily enthused. If we teach them that the brain grows when they learn new things, they will get excited to learn. For example, a child may be keen on learning a musical instrument. However, he or she might find the process tough. This could discourage the child. We need to tell the child that each time she/he practices, the brain renews itself in a way that the next time with the instrument would be easier. This is sure to get their attention and keep them practicing.
The first and most critical step towards developing the growth mindset is telling them how the brain works. Childhood is a good time also to explain the difference between growth and fixed mindsets, so that they can gauge what they are developing for themselves. Reading stories and learning through entertaining videos are great methods of understanding the difference.

2. Lead by Example

The truth is that children learn by what they see. They emulate what adults do, not what they say. Hence, the best way to teach a growth mindset to kids is to display it in your behaviour. When you face challenges, if a child hears you say that “I can’t do this now, but I will overcome it and get better”, instead of “I just can’t do this”, he or she will learn the value of growth mindset. The best way to inspire young minds to develop a growth mindset is to display it yourself first.

3. Don’t Hide Your Challenges

Challenges are real and everyone has them. Sometimes we succeed and at times fail. However, as adults, it’s important to go beyond facing challenges. You also discuss your challenges and your mistakes with kids. Also, tell them what you learned from them. One of the characteristics of a growth mindset is being able to view failure as a learning experience. When an adult displays this characteristic, children will learn in a sustainable manner.

4. Give Praise for Effort Too

Most parents make the mistake of praising the outcome – a positive outcome. One of the sure-shot methods of instilling a growth mindset is to praise effort. So rather than tell a child that she/he is smart, it would be far more inspiring to complement the effort they put in to solve problems. This reinforces the fact that success is an outcome of effort and perseverance- the traits that a child can control. Praise for the effort is more powerful in promoting a growth mindset, than praising for some fixed skill or talent. It’s important to encourage kids to pat themselves on the back for making an effort, such as auditioning for a play even if they do not get the part.

5. Stay Away from Comparisons and Labels

Comparisons and labelling both depict fixed mindsets. We are talking about both positive and negative comparisons and labels. As adults, it’s important to remember that labels and comparisons are self-limiting. It can lead children to narrow down their thought processes. We need to praise children’s effort and replace negative self-talk. This would help to build and sustain a growth mindset, and even change a fixed mindset.

In Conclusion:

Our brain is a lot more impressionable and persuadable than we believe. Kids and adults are more likely to behave positively when they know that their brain will grow. We need to inspire kids to develop a growth mindset early on. This is possibly one of the best gifts we can give them.

Don’t forget to share this post!
Social Share
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Bring out the angel in your child

How to Inspire Young Children to Develop a Growth Mindset?

by | Feb 16, 2021 | Character Building | 0 comments

How can you tell if your child has a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? Children with a fixed mindset get annoyed easily and give up. Children who see things to fruition are ones with a growth mindset.

Broadly, a mindset is a thought or belief that we have. It can be positive or negative. Mindsets guide us – actions, behaviour, reactions, and towards acquiring a new skill or gaining knowledge. Experts liken a fixed mindset to stalled intelligence, and people with such a mindset would not be able to improve themselves. Conversely, a growth mindset is intelligence that can be developed.

People with a growth mindset tend to work harder. They believe that they work hard and can improve. Most children are by nature curious and want to learn about their surroundings. They use all their senses to learn. This, in turn, inclines them toward a growth mindset, as they continue to learn through trial and error. However, as children grow, they are told to do things a certain way. When they do something in a different way, we tell them they are wrong. This is why some move towards a fixed mindset.

A growth mindset has several real benefits. It is an approach and attitude that enables progress and possibilities. It encourages children to look toward problem-solving. They learn to be more effective in managing everyday challenges. It moves children from ‘this homework is hard and I don’t understand it’ to ‘this homework is hard and I don’t understand it as of now, but I will’. Let’s look at some powerful benefits of a growth mindset for kids and why we need to help them build and sustain it.

1. Explaining the Brain and its Functionality

Kids are easily enthused. If we teach them that the brain grows when they learn new things, they will get excited to learn. For example, a child may be keen on learning a musical instrument. However, he or she might find the process tough. This could discourage the child. We need to tell the child that each time she/he practices, the brain renews itself in a way that the next time with the instrument would be easier. This is sure to get their attention and keep them practicing.
The first and most critical step towards developing the growth mindset is telling them how the brain works. Childhood is a good time also to explain the difference between growth and fixed mindsets, so that they can gauge what they are developing for themselves. Reading stories and learning through entertaining videos are great methods of understanding the difference.

2. Lead by Example

The truth is that children learn by what they see. They emulate what adults do, not what they say. Hence, the best way to teach a growth mindset to kids is to display it in your behaviour. When you face challenges, if a child hears you say that “I can’t do this now, but I will overcome it and get better”, instead of “I just can’t do this”, he or she will learn the value of growth mindset. The best way to inspire young minds to develop a growth mindset is to display it yourself first.

3. Don’t Hide Your Challenges

Challenges are real and everyone has them. Sometimes we succeed and at times fail. However, as adults, it’s important to go beyond facing challenges. You also discuss your challenges and your mistakes with kids. Also, tell them what you learned from them. One of the characteristics of a growth mindset is being able to view failure as a learning experience. When an adult displays this characteristic, children will learn in a sustainable manner.

4. Give Praise for Effort Too

Most parents make the mistake of praising the outcome – a positive outcome. One of the sure-shot methods of instilling a growth mindset is to praise effort. So rather than tell a child that she/he is smart, it would be far more inspiring to complement the effort they put in to solve problems. This reinforces the fact that success is an outcome of effort and perseverance- the traits that a child can control. Praise for the effort is more powerful in promoting a growth mindset, than praising for some fixed skill or talent. It’s important to encourage kids to pat themselves on the back for making an effort, such as auditioning for a play even if they do not get the part.

5. Stay Away from Comparisons and Labels

Comparisons and labelling both depict fixed mindsets. We are talking about both positive and negative comparisons and labels. As adults, it’s important to remember that labels and comparisons are self-limiting. It can lead children to narrow down their thought processes. We need to praise children’s effort and replace negative self-talk. This would help to build and sustain a growth mindset, and even change a fixed mindset.

In Conclusion:

Our brain is a lot more impressionable and persuadable than we believe. Kids and adults are more likely to behave positively when they know that their brain will grow. We need to inspire kids to develop a growth mindset early on. This is possibly one of the best gifts we can give them.

Don’t forget to share this post!
Explore More Topics
Character Building
Nature and Kids
Social and Emotional Learning
Yoga and Kids
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Bring out the angel in your child

You May Also Like
You May Also Like