What is a growth mindset anyway?

A growth mindset is based on the premise that our intelligence and abilities can be improved – with effort and rehearsal.

A fixed mindset, therefore, is based on the belief that our intelligence and abilities are set and unchangeable.

By labelling both types of mindsets it helps us to recognise the differences between both a growth and fixed mindset. We can then help our children to do the same. Motivation and success, for both children and adults, can be hugely impacted by the mindsets we foster.

Here are 5 ways to introduce and cultivate a growth mindset in your home:

1.) Provide regular opportunities for reflection

Finding a regular time each day to reflect on what we’ve learnt can be an incredible way to end the day. See if, as a family, you can integrate this practice in to your routine. Helping children to reflect on what they did at school and what experiences they have/can learn from can help to reframe situations.

2.) Celebrate effort not outcome

It’s really important to reward hard work first before an inherent skill. Reminding our children that they are working hard or making smart choices can be a subtle but powerful switch. Adopting phrases like “you have worked really hard and have now learnt how to do it” can be helpful.

3). Use the word “yet.”

Encouraging children to focus on learning and mastery, rather than failure and mistakes. Adding the word “yet” can be helpful. For example, “you can’t do that.. YET”

Viewing all errors as learning opportunities can also be a great re-frame. Reminding ourselves that learning helps to create new neural pathways and that with practice these neural pathways strengthen allowing us to complete the task in future with greater ease.

4) Make a new goal for every one accomplished.

We are always learning. A growth-minded person is more likely to recognise this and know how to regularly review, update and create new goals to keep themselves stimulated and motivated.

5) Take ownership over your attitude.

Once you’ve developed a growth mindset, own it. Remind yourself that you are the only one fully in charge of your attitude (and mood actually!) In realising this it can bring with it a sense of power.

Some simple growth mindset statements you can use at home:

Fixed Mindset Vs Growth Mindset

“This is too hard” vs. “This may take more time and effort”.

“I can’t do this” vs. “I am going to train my brain to do it”.

“I’m not good at handwriting” vs.“My handwriting is not as neat as I would like it to be – yet”.

And a less obvious one…

“I’m good at this” vs. “I’m going to learn how to be great at this”.

I’d love to know about some of ways you already cultivate a growth mindset in your home. Leave a comment and let me know what works for you and your family.