Creative Child

5 Strategies for Helping Your Child Develop a Growth Mindset

by Rebecca Eanes

Carol Dweck is a world-renowed psychologist at Stanford University. She has conducted decades of research on achievement and success, and her groundbreaking work on growth versus fixed mindset is sweeping the U.S. and U.K. Known as “the mindset revolution,” parents and educators are setting out to teach children how to develop a growth mindset. But what exactly does that mean?

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According to, people with a fixed mindset believe intelligence and talent are fixed traits that don’t require any work. They were born as smart and talented as they’re going to get, they believe, and so they do nothing to grow. By contrast, people with a growth mindset believe their most basic abilities can be developed and improved through dedication and hard work, and science supports this. Our brains are actually much more malleable than we used to believe and have the capacity for tremendous growth throughout our lives.

Helping children develop a growth mindset early will give them a love of learning and help them develop grit, resilience, drive, and a positive attitude which will help them be successful. Here are 5 strategies for helping your child or student develop a growth mindset.

1. Empower your kids with the knowledge that they can grow and change their brains! Teach your kids that when they work on something that they find difficult, their brains are actually growing and getting stronger! Kids need to know that they have the power to improve, and that through hard work and persistence, they can change their brains. Dweck advises, “Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.”

2. Tell them about your own struggles and reward. I might say, “I had a really tough time writing today. I wasn’t sure what to write about, and I had to think really hard about a topic and do a lot of research. I kept at it though, and now my writing is done! I feel so good that I finished it.” Relate to a struggle they may be having, like “I really struggled with math when I was in school, but what helped me was to do short drills each day with my parents. After a few weeks of doing the drills, math got a little easier!”

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