What Exactly Does a Growth Mindset Mean?

We all have preconceived notions about our abilities and capabilities. These ideas shape our attitude, and they influence everything from relationships to academic achievement. Having the correct mentality might be the difference between hiding from life's issues and facing them confidently.

According to research, the attitude connected with a full, happy life is known as a development mindset. Carol Dweck, a psychologist and researcher, coined this phrase after decades of researching youngsters who approached problems with interest and joy rather than fear or avoidance.

But what precisely is a growth mentality, and how can we teach it to children? Continue reading to learn a simple approach to communicate this crucial notion, as well as four key growth mindset characteristics to establish in your child and family.

Developing a Growth Mindset in Children

It's best to start with the fundamentals when introducing a growth mindset to youngsters. It is worth noting that we all have beliefs regarding our abilities or intellect. Everyone our children know has a mindset, including their peers, teachers, and family. A growth mentality is one that believes we can learn and develop through our hard work and problems.

"A growth mindset means believing in the power of yourself and your brain," you may add. Our brains, like any living thing that grows, are capable of evolving and responding to new knowledge. Our brains get stronger when we face challenges and even when we make blunders. This is why trying something new or difficult may really make us smarter."

4 Characteristics of a Growth Mindset

1. Persistence and effort are essential.

The enthusiastic students — those with a growth mindset — saw the difficulty as a chance to learn and improve. They felt that hard work and perseverance would eventually lead to a solution.

So, how can we foster perseverance? Begin by considering how you praise. Praise for effort and hard work, also known as process praise, encourages youngsters to persevere.

Process appreciation sounds like:


  • "I'm impressed by how many different strategies you tried until you got it!"
  • "I can see how much you practiced, and look how much you improved!"
  • "What a huge improvement over yesterday."
  • Growth mentality is thinking that everyone can learn and grow while also emphasizing the effort and hard work required.

2. Mistakes and failure are part of the learning process.

A child's dread of failure is frequently caused by a fixed worldview. Because they believe they are born with a specific level of aptitude or intellect, each error feels perilous. Each obstacle poses a risk to "looking smart."

Children with a growth mentality, on the other hand, like learning and everything that comes with it. Instead of avoiding mistakes and faults, they see them as an important part of the learning process. Mistakes are viewed as evidence of a growing brain in a growth mindset.

Some basic techniques to encourage mistake acceptance include:


  • Make a big deal out of your own errors and what you learnt from them.
  • Introduce "Failure Fridays" (a day of the week where you read about a notable failure).
  • When your youngster makes a mistake, give him or her a high-five and tell them, "Mistakes mean you're trying!"
  • Talk about the term FAIL (First Attempt In Learning).

Through inspiring stories, vibrant graphics, and engaging guided activities, our famous Ekdali Growth Mindset Poster helps youngsters build strong Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and growth mindset abilities. Children learn how to trust in themselves, confront problems with confidence, and utilize mistakes as opportunities to progress in this wonderfully drawn Poster set!

3. The significance of YET

This three-letter word is regarded as magical for a reason. When added to any statement, it makes a massive shift in perception: "I can't do this...YET."
No other word adequately expresses the idea of the development mentality. According to Dweck, the word "YET" might "give children greater confidence, give them a path into the future that creates greater persistence."

Encourage your youngster to add "YET" to the end of every learning statement. With the addition of this powerful word, see how their feelings transform and their potential rises.

instead of: I'm unable to compose a paragraph
Attempt: I can't compose a paragraph YET.

instead of: I'm not sure how to ride a bike
I'm trying: I don't know how to ride a bike YET.

Instead of: I can't seem to find somebody to play with me.
I've tried everything, but I can't get anyone to play with me. YET
Other ways to harness the power of YET include:


  • Make a "YET" bulletin board or a wall in your home for everything you can't do...yet!
  • "I don't know the answer yet, but I will find out for you!" model for your youngster.

YET realizes that excellent things are on their way; all it takes is time and effort.

4. Adaptability

The ability to bounce back, or resilience, cannot exist in the absence of challenges. We all endure trauma, hardships, and stresses that can help us grow.

Interestingly, research demonstrates that a development mentality enhances resiliency. When youngsters think they can grow their intellectual and social capacities, they do better academically and suffer less stress. They are fearless in the face of adversity.

Children can practice this crucial skill by doing things like jumping back up after falling off her scooter.
Consider the following suggestions for developing resilience at home:


  • Encourage problem-solving independence.
  • Discuss the Circle of Control ("In each scenario, there are things I can and cannot control. I may choose to concentrate on what I have control over.")
  • Exercise mindfulness.
  • Watch movies and read books that show people overcoming adversity.

Cultivating the correct mentality might be the difference between a successful life and one that is hampered by the dread of failure. Acceptance (and even enjoyment) of problems is part of a development mentality, as is an emphasis on the effort and hard work that leads to accomplishment. Children that have a development attitude feel they can learn anything and harness the power of YET.


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