One of the most powerful tools for success you can have in life is a growth mindset. Having a fixed mindset means that you believe you are the way you are and there is no changing it, and having a growth mindset means that you believe you can grow to be better.
There’s no surprise that having this mindset is important to living a happy and fulfilling life. Instilling a growth mindset in your child is likely one of the most important things you can do for your child. And while it may not seem like an easy task, it is easier than you would believe. Here are 9 simple ways to build a growth mindset in your child.
1. Emphasize the fact that brains can grow stronger.
The more your child realizes that their brain can continue to grow and to become stronger, the more they will realize that there is always room to grow. And the fact of the matter is, there are billions of connections and pathways in the brain, each of them serving a new purpose and paving the way to a new path. By showing your child there are limitless possibilities, they will stay open.
2. Encourage effort.
Rather than rewarding effortless good results above all, reward your kids for hard work first. For example, if they take an easy class and put forth no effort and make an A, but work their hardest in math and only make a B, praise them for the B. This may seem counterintuitive, but you are encouraging them to continue putting forth effort.
3. Give them the right kind of praise.
When praising your children, be careful about how you choose your words. Rather than saying, “You are so gifted- I knew you would pass your test!” Say, “You worked so hard to pass that test. I am so proud of all of your hard work.”
4. Emphasize the links between effort and outcomes.
When you notice your child putting effort into a project and seeing results, make sure they notice it too. This will teach them that where they place their focus, they will improve.
5. Teach them that failure is part of their journey.
Time and time again, I notice parents scolding and punishing their children when they fail. While this is a normal thing- that doesn’t make it right or productive. In life, it’s not only expected that you will fail sometimes, it is necessary. Failure is what teaches us how to win. Without failure, we learn nothing.
6. Use the word yet often.
If you notice your little ones saying “I can’t do it!” about something they are trying to learn, correct them and say “No, you just don’t know how to, yet.” Yet is a powerful word, and the more they hear you say yet, the more it will stick in their mind and become present in their self-talk.
7. Help them see the big picture.
Constantly encourage your kids to see the bigger picture. Yes, there will be obstacles, roadblocks, and hardships, but that is part of it. There is always a bigger picture, and as long as we are all here, there is more work that can be done.
8. Challenge them.
When your child passes a class with little effort, avoid praising them for that. Instead, say “Okay that was too easy, let’s find something more challenging for you.”
9. Don’t just talk about it, be about it.
Rather than being all talk and telling them the importance of trying harder, help them set goals. Then, help them make actionable plans towards their goals and encourage them to make check-points and to track their progress.