I can’t. It’s too hard. I’m not smart.
I’m not good at this. This is impossible. I give up!
How many of us have heard this from our kids? How can we help our children become more resilient? While we do our best to let our kids know how amazing they are, could we (unknowingly) be limiting their growth? Encouraging a growth mindset in kids can lead to some remarkable results. Many teachers around South Africa and the world are already doing this is the classroom. Why not your home too?
FREE Growth Mindset poster. Download here.
What is growth mindset?
Growth mindset refers to our perception of our own intelligence. Does your child simply give up when they believe something is too hard? Do they close off when it’s time for Maths because they “can’t do it?” Or perhaps they hate making mistakes and quit when they get something wrong?
Growth mindset is about believing that you are capable of learning and developing your talents through hard work, good strategies and working with others. Having a growth mindset makes for children who are resilient, hard-working and persistent. It’s about empowering your child to reach for their dreams rather than chasing after them for your child.
Growth mindset vs. Fixed mindset
A child with a fixed mindset believes their intelligence is fixed and won’t change. When a child makes a mistake they see the failure as confirmation that they do not have the skills or ability to succeed at that task. They don’t think practice will help improve these skills. These kids often avoid doing difficult tasks.
A child with a growth mindset sees mistakes as an opportunity to develop and learn. They believe that with practice and hard work they will succeed and get smarter. These kids enjoy taking risks and are passionate about learning.
Tips & Tricks for parents
Here are some strategies to help you child develop a growth mindset at home:
Change the way you praise and motivate. Praise your child on their efforts and actions, not their results. Be specific with your compliments. “You should be so proud of how hard you studied for this test!” rather than “Great job for getting 85% on your test!” By changing your praise your child links achievement to the amount of effort they put in and naturally encourages a growth mindset.
Be a role model. Show your children that you also have a growth mindset and can persevere after making mistakes. Share your fears and failures with your child and replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Show them how constructive criticism can help us learn. They are always watching and learning from you!
Challenge your child to step out of their comfort zone. Let them start to take risks. Give your child the opportunity to do things that they don’t feel capable of and help them find ways to achieve their goal. Show your child how to break tasks down and tackle each part separately. The more manageable the task seems, the easier it is to start a task that at first looked difficult.
Teach your child mistakes are opportunities for growth. Mistakes are NOT failure, but rather they are a way for us to grow and learn. Teach them not to dwell on what they did wrong but rather look at what they did right. Try turning the disappointment of a mistake into motivation and empowerment!
Encourage positive self-talk. Try encouraging your child to recognize negative self-talk and rather think more positively. “I can’t do this”, “Maths is too hard” or “I never get anything right” are all examples of negative self-talk. We all do it, even us grown-ups. Teach your child new phrases and words to use to motivate them when they are being negative. Download our FREE Growth Mindset poster to help!
Remember the power of ‘YET.’ All kids learn in different ways and speeds. Being resilient relies on a child being able to believe in themselves and their ability to learn. When you see your child feeling defeated, adding the word ‘yet’ to the end of their negative self-talk sentence can be extremely empowering. “I can’t do this!” your child screams. “You can’t do this YET” you reply. Just one simply word shows your child you believe in them and that with more effort and practice they can succeed.
Take a look at our range of Growth Mindset stickers for home or school here. Use these stickers for homework, sports, chores or life in general! Kids love to be rewarded and these stickers remind your child they are capable of more than they believe!