Unlocking Potential: Teaching Kids and Teens the Power of a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through practice and learning. It is the understanding that challenges, setbacks, and mistakes are not negative things, they are opportunities for growth and improvement.
Why should we teach kids and teens about a growth mindset?
Teaching kids about a growth mindset is a game-changer that empowers them to embrace challenges, and fosters a love for learning. By encouraging the belief that abilities can be developed through effort and practice, children become resilient, motivated learners who thrive in the face of adversity.
How do we encourage our kids and teens to develop a growth mindset?
- Start with the basics - introduce the concept by explaining that their brains are like muscles that become stronger when they practice something.
- Use examples they can relate to - like the way they learned to walk, or ride a bike. When they first started this was challenging but with practice and perseverance they got better and now it’s easy for them.
- Reframe what “challenges” are - they are an important part of learning and growing, not something to avoid or be discouraged by. Rather than reasons to give up, they are actually opportunities for learning and improving. One of my favourite quotes to use as an example is “Mistakes are proof that you are trying.” (Jennifer Lim).
- Teach them the power of “yet” - adding “yet” to the end of statements like “I can’t do it” or “I don’t know how to do it” shifts the mindset to a growth-oriented perspective, emphasising that they can improve and achieve whatever it is they’re wanting to do.
- Encourage effort - create a supportive environment that focuses on progress and enjoying the learning rather than the outcome, so they know that growth and learning is as valuable and worthy of celebration as the achievement.
Having a growth mindset is such a powerful perspective for our kids that will support them in all aspects of life as they grow, and allow them to embrace challenges with confidence.
If you’re wanting extra support in encouraging a growth mindset in your kids and teens, our Grow Journals are full of inspiration and activities that support the creation of an optimistic, confident, and resilient mindset. You can find them here.