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"Empowering Children: How to Foster a Growth Mindset Through Positive Parenting"

Updated: Feb 21

“I can’t do it” “it’s too hard”

“I’m just not good at that sort of stuff”

“What’s the point, I know I’m rubbish at that”

If you are like me, these are all phrases I have heard as a dad, gosh, I’ve probably also used these phrases a lot myself. But how do we combat this situation? Well sayings like this are all verbal forms of a fixed mindset. What do I mean by fixed mindset and how do I encourage or teach a growth mindset? Read on and find out more!

What does Growth Mindset and fixed Mindset mean?

Let’s first look at the two groups of mindsets that we can have.

Growth Mindset

Growth - the process of increasing in size. Or more importantly, in this case the process of developing physically, mentally, or spiritually.

Fixed Mindset

Fixed - predetermined and not able to be changed

Mindset- the established set of attitudes held by someone

A growth mindset is an attitude, a belief if you like, that if you work hard and practice something it will become easier as you develop mentally, physically, or spiritually.

A fixed mindset is an attitude, a belief that your intelligence, physicality and spirituality is predetermined and is not able to be changed.

From the definitions above, which would you like to have? Which would you like your child to have? I know I would certainly find it easier if I didn’t have the daily battles about school reading because “I’m rubbish at it, it’s so hard” conversations!

How do I teach my child the importance of a Growth Mindset? (Top ten tips for encouraging a Growth Mindset)

Well chances are your school is already doing it, but if you are anything like me it’s good to be able to support that learning at home. So, here’s our top ten tips to help!

1. Normalize struggle. Struggle is part of the learning process and emphasizing and reinforcing that idea helps children react positively when they feel challenged. Do this by sharing your struggles and achievements. A perfect time is over dinner to go along with “how was your day?” questions

Child: How was your day

Parent: it was good I had a project I had to do for work, and I really struggled with it as I have never done anything like that before, but I asked a friend for some help, and they taught me how to do it. It seemed really hard but now I know I will be able to do it easily in the future.

Parent: How was your day? Did you struggle with anything today?

2. Own up to your mistakes and celebrate your corrections. Mistakes should be viewed as

learning opportunities. Again, model in front of your children. After all we all make mistakes!

3. Encourage challenges. Present challenges as fun, exciting ways to experience new things, and easy tasks that we have done loads can become boring.

4. Change your words...Use and Love the word “yet”. If someone makes the statement “I’m not good at catching a ball” Try adding onto it a simple phrase . “You’re not good at catching a ball, yet.”

You can’t do that “yet”, but you will if you practice is a great way of getting a child into that growth mindset. No, you can’t catch a ball 100% of the time but when you practice your hand-eye coordination will get better and so will you. That’s development and growth.

5. Co-operative exercises. Working together to solve problems emphasizes process and reinforces the importance of getting help and finding solutions. Cooperative games are brilliant for this, we play games like Pandemic and Citadel of time. Family escape rooms are brilliant for a larger treat activity!

6. Don’t go too easy! If you don’t provide challenges for you little one, then they will rely on you and not have the will power to try new things. A simple example of this is if you never put your baby down and carry it everywhere, will they ever learn to walk?

7. Praise effort not intelligence . “You’re so smart and found that easy well done” is that really a praise anyway? Verses “I know you found that really tricky, but you persevered and did an amazing job, well done” Rewarding intelligence is counterproductive especially if you have two very different kids.

8. Promote the value of hard tasks to increasing knowledge. Your brain is a muscle it grows and takes in so much information all the time, its one, if not the best super computers but inside you!

9. Set Rewards for trying. We’ve all done sticker charts to represent the chores or tasks you children need to complete in order to get a sticker or a reward for something but utilise this as they get older… okay maybe not a sticker chart but with something age appropriate. We do this with Gems in a Jar. When monkey tries really hard, he gets some gems. If he fills his jar, he gets £20 (I should point out there are upwards of 60 gems!

10. Perseverance is key. Be prepared to have to go into a room and silently scream or hide in a closet and eat a chocolate bar because, without continuity developing a growth mindset will not happen, just like when you give up on a hard project you have to have a growth mindset for your children to have one too!!!

Here’s some posters we have up in our home. We have in fact got these in Dad and Dadda’s home office and in Monkey’s bedroom. After all if we expect our children to do something we should always strive to be able to do it as well.

11. Oh yes there’s one more! Be kind to yourself in parenting, 70% of the time you are going to get it right 30% of the time you will get it completely and utterly wrong! But once you realise you have got it wrong go back to tip 2!

Remember a growth mindset is believing in the power of yourself and that your brain can learn and retain new things.



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