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What is Growth Mindset?

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What is Growth Mindset?

This school year you might be hearing a lot about ‘Growth Mindset.’ So we have compiled a shortlist on a few facts about growth mindset and how you can help your child this school year.

What is Growth Mindset?
We used to think that our intelligence was fixed, meaning we were either smart or we weren’t. However, studies have shown that fact simply is not true. Our brain acts like a muscle- the more we use it, the stronger (and smarter) our brain becomes.

Is your Mindset Fixed?
A person with a fixed mindset may do these things:
•avoid challenges
•give up easily
•ignore feedback
•become threatened by other people’s success
•try hard to appear as smart or capable as possible

What Does a Growth Mindset Look Like?
A person with a growth mindset may do these things:
•embrace challenges
•give their best effort
•learn from feedback
•become inspired by other people’s successes
•believe their intelligence can change if they work hard

Ways to Help your Child Achieve a Growth Mindset

Talk About It
Talk with your child about his or her day, but guide the discussion by asking questions like:
1. Did you make a mistake today? What did you learn?
2. What did you do that was difficult today?

Encourage Failures (Say What?!)
Your child needs to know that failure can (and often does) happen and it is okay! Remind her that each time she fails and tries again, her brain is growing stronger! Don’t step in to prevent your child’s failure- this is how she learns to persevere in the face of challenge.

The Brain Can Grow!
Remind your child that his/her intelligence is not fixed. Remind her that when things are difficult, her brain grows if she persists through challenges. Each time she learns something new her brain is making new connections. Your child needs to know this is possible.

Praise the Process
Instead of saying, “You’re so smart!” praise effort, goal setting, persisting through challenges, or being creative. You can say something like: “Wow! You must have worked really hard on this!”

Help Them Change Their Dialogue
The way your child talks to himself makes a huge impact on his mindset. If he says, “This is too hard!” help him change that to “I can’t do this yet, but I will keep trying.” Give him the words to say when he is feeling defeated by modeling it yourself.

Created by Sarah Gardner. She has 6 years of teaching experience in 1st, 4th, and 5th grades, and during those years she found a passion for creating character education resources for busy teachers. For more info on growth mindset visit Sara Gardeners’ blog!

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