What is a Growth Mindset in Kids?
A growth mindset for kids means that they develop their mindset to know that there is always a way to learn and improve situations. A growth mindset allows them to know there is always an opportunity for growth in every situation and they’re more likely to see new paths and opportunities in their lives.
A child with a growth mindset knows that they can learn from experiences and improve upon their skills. An excellent article on mindset from Harvard Business Review defines the definition in a significant way and applies to kids.
Raising kids to have a growth mindset can mean you encourage your child as they grow and learn and always teach them that there are many different opportunities and ways to reach a goal. It will also help them with their self-esteem and confidence.
Why is it so Important to Have?
Having a growth mindset is essential especially for kids. We want them to grow up knowing that anything is possible, and even though we all have our specialties and we do something better than others, we can all continue to learn and grow.
A fixed mindset is the opposite of a growth mindset, and it means that defeat is accepted, and a no or a lost opportunity is likely to end that endeavor. There is a lack of ambition to learn and grow and find a new path towards a goal.
Kids who know anything is possible and kids who know they can continue to thrive a grow through any situation are more likely to feel more confident and try new things. They may also become more resilient because they know that they can keep going and keep learning.
How you Can Help Develop a Growth Mindset for Kids
- Teach them that a growth mindset is something you practice, and with practice, that muscle gets stronger.
Having a growth mindset is a process and requires work to grow and implement a growth mindset in their brains.
Have this conversation with your kids from the very beginning. Tell them that trying again and continuing to learn helps us build our growth mindset to become stronger and stronger. This applies to their school work, and tasks at home.
- Teach the difference between having a growth mindset and not.
We can explain to our kids that you can have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. Give them some examples of fixed vs. growth mindset in their everyday lives like:
Suppose they get a lower grade on a test than expected. They could react with “ I’m not good at spelling.” or “I guess next time I’m going to try a new way of studying so that I can improve this mark.”
- Explain the benefits in real-life situations and examples.
We’ve all had those moments in our life where we can apply the saying, “When one door closes, another opens.”
We can remember to share these moments with our kids to see that an opportunity that is lost is not the end. It might take a new path to get where we want, but we still have the ability to preserve, and we will get there.
- Teach them about I am affirmations when in doubt.
I am affirmations are such a great tool to use to help boost confidence in kids. If you’re looking for some great I am affirmation cards, you can have a look at LovepoweredCo. They have the most beautiful affirmation cards for kids.
Repeating affirmations like “ I am strong. I am resilient. I am smart. It will help kids know that they are all of those things and help kids boost their confidence.
- Delete negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.
Having a positive mind is a very important tool to have, it teaches us to look past the negative thoughts and focus on positive ones.
Positive thinking also helps reduce stress, increases your physical well being and so much more. Source- Mayo Clinic
There are so many benefits to positive thinking so it’s a great idea to start showing your kids how to rid themselves of a negative talk by telling them that anytime they have a negative thought to think to themselves “delete, delete, delete.” Then replace those thoughts with positive ones.
This will help kids start to recognize negative thinking quickly and they’ll be able to reduce negative thinking the more they do this exercise.
- Every closed door is an opportunity to learn. They are capable of anything.
This is a learning process, if kids are raised to know that a “no” or lost opportunity doesn’t mean it’s the end of trying they will be better equipped to handle failure. They won’t dwell on it and will start to look for new opportunities and/or ways to learn. This will increase self-confidence and thinking skills at an early age.
- Praise the Effort more than the outcome.
Praising the work that your child does more than the outcome or mark will help show them that what really matters is that they try their best and work hard.
For example, getting a C where the child didn’t study or work very hard is much different than a child getting a C but they studied very hard and tried their best.
Praise the work that goes into a final outcome. Show them that working hard and learning is how they’ll continue to grow and succeed.
- Give them a mindset routine to do each day. ( 5 minutes or less )
A simple and effective mindset routine is a great way to help anyone stay positive and feel connected and happier. A quick mindset routine that consists of gratitude, I am affirmations and desires is a fantastic way to implement a mindset routine with your kids and it will only take a few minutes.
Pick one or two of the things I mentioned above and write out or say the answers out loud with your kids. Getting kids used to mindfulness at a young age is sure to help them deal with stress and hardships in the future.
- The Importance of Health
Having a healthy body and taking care of yourself is so important for our mental health and the same would be true for our kids. Moving their bodies once a day for 30 minutes a day is known to help with mental health and stress.
Have a dance party with them in the living room, it doesn’t have to be your traditional exercise, anything that gets them moving and having fun is great.
- Do it Together.
Join your kids in implementing all these strategies and have fun. Kids learn from us so it’s important that we practice what we preach. Have fun and enjoy this beautiful life with your kids.
Learn and grow with your child. Preschool and school ages kids will all benefit from this mindfulness practice and routine. It will help develop their brains and show them to keep trying.
- Practice Meditation
Mediation is great for adults and kids. It helps reduce stress, helps you deal with anxiety, and keeps you healthy emotionally. You can read more on the benefits of mediation here.
Look up mediation for kids on youtube and implement a short practice with your kids. This will help you and your child connect and relax.
I’ve recently come across an amazing app called Head Space that helps guide you with mediation, stress relief, and mindfulness. It’s a fantastic place to start and they offer a free trial for 7 days.
Educators and Teachers
Teaching school-aged children a growth mindset vs fixed mindset can help kids take what they learn and adapt it to the playground, free-play time, and all social and development situations in their lives.
A growth mindset for kids helps them build on their personal growth, problem-solving skills and they will become eager to learn something new. These are all great tips to help your child develop a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset and I hope that you enjoy implementing some of these things into your daily lives.