Teach your children to develop a growth mindset


“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Maya Angelou

We all tell ourselves stories about who we believe ourselves to be and what we believe we are capable of achieving! “The trouble with these stories is that we accept them to be true, even when they are not!” says Cindy Glass, Owner and Co-Founder of Step Up Education Centres. She adds, “We make decisions and choices based on what we think we deserve, so if our stories comes from a fixed mindset, we are unlikely to achieve the successes that we dream of. If, however, the stories we tell ourselves are based on a growth mindset, we are going to be set-for-success.”

She takes a closer look at what it means to have a growth mindset and how we can help our children develop this important life-tool. She starts by saying that a growth mindset creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for success. “People with growth mindsets see failures and feedback as learning opportunities, and intelligence and skills as something that can grow and develop.  A fixed mindset, by contrast, creates limitations, a lack of resilience and a belief that failures show a lack of intelligence or ability.”

Cindy says people with growth mindsets share the following traits:

  • Believe intelligence and talents can and should be developed
  • Believe effort is the path to mastery
  • Believe mistakes and failures are an essential part of learning and are temporary setbacks
  • Embrace challenges
  • Welcome feedback
  • See the success of others as inspirational

She gives some helpful tips to develop your child’s growth mindset:

  1. “So what, NOW what?” approach to tackling obstacles:  Mistakes and failures are always learning opportunities! It is the fear of making mistakes and reaping negative consequences that creates limiting thought patterns in our children. Teach your children to own their mistakes without judgement toward themselves or others (So what?), and assist them in finding positive, workable solutions (NOW what?)
  2. It takes time: Help your children understand that learning anything new can take time and may need lots of practice. Persistence and determination will ensure success.
  3. Lead by example: You are your children’s greatest teacher. What mindset do YOU have? It is very important that you consistently model the characteristics of a growth mindset in your home.
  4. The power of self-talk: We believe the stories that we tell ourselves! Negative self-talk examples are: “I can’t do this! This is just too hard! I am not smart enough! I can only stick to what I know.” By contrast, growth mindset self-talk sounds like this: “What am I missing? I can ask for assistance. This may take some extra time to get right. I am capable!”

“Triumph over struggle always makes us feel really good about ourselves. People with growth mindsets will seek to achieve success, despite challenges that threaten to derail their progress. Teach your children to develop growth mindsets and watch them flourish!” Cindy concludes.