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How to help your child to be more motivated: The Growth Mindset

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Sometimes children find particular activities and skills really hard, and they give up in favour of other things that they adopt more instantly. However, we want our children to be able to learn most things and not give up, and this is especially important to embed for their time at school. The growth mindset is a theoretical magic that can assist a child to learn to do things they find more difficult or would otherwise give up on. Read on to understand the tricks.

What is the Growth Mindset?

Imagine a world where abilities are not fixed, where talents are not predetermined at birth. That's precisely what the growth mindset is all about. Coined by renowned psychologist Carol S. Dweck, the growth mindset is a belief system centered on the idea that our abilities, intelligence, and talents can be developed through effort, learning, and perseverance.

Unlike its counterpart, the fixed mindset, which believes that our abilities are fixed traits, the growth mindset embraces the notion that we can cultivate and expand our potential. It's like having a superpower that enables us to adapt, learn, and overcome challenges, ultimately leading to personal growth and achievement.

How Does the Growth Mindset Work?

The growth mindset operates on a set of principles that empower individuals to navigate the complexities of life with confidence and resilience. Let's explore the key elements that make the growth mindset thrive:

1: Embracing Challenges

Rather than shying away from challenges, those with a growth mindset view them as opportunities for growth and learning. Challenges become exciting stepping stones to discover new abilities and expand their horizons.

2: Persistence and Effort

Individuals with a growth mindset understand that success doesn't come effortlessly. They embrace the value of hard work, dedication, and consistent effort to achieve their goals. They see setbacks as temporary roadblocks, not permanent failures.

3: Failure as a Learning Opportunity

Failure is not the end; it's a chance to learn and improve. The growth mindset encourages individuals to analyze their failures, extract valuable lessons, and apply them in future endeavors. It's the ultimate recipe for resilience and growth.

4: The Power of Yet

The growth mindset acknowledges that not being able to do something right now doesn't mean it's impossible. By adding the word "yet" to their vocabulary, individuals believe in their capacity to learn, develop, and achieve their goals over time.

5: Cultivating a Love for Learning

Embracing the growth mindset means fostering a lifelong love for learning. Curiosity becomes the fuel that drives individuals to seek knowledge, explore new ideas, and continually expand their understanding of the world.

6: Positive Self-Talk and Self-Belief

A growth mindset thrives on positive self-talk and a belief in one's ability to overcome challenges. It replaces negative self-doubt with affirmations that reinforce the belief in personal growth and potential.

7: Seeking Feedback and Collaboration

Those with a growth mindset value feedback as a tool for improvement. They seek constructive criticism, embrace different perspectives, and collaborate with others to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Right, we understand the theory. But how do I put this into practice?

There are particular words and phrases that cultivate a growth mindset in your child that may influence you as well.

Phrases to try out in your parenting

"I'm proud of the effort you put into this." By recognizing and praising their hard work, you show them that effort is just as important as the outcome. It encourages them to keep trying their best.

"You haven't mastered it yet, but you will with practice." Embrace the power of "yet" to instill the belief that skills and abilities can be developed over time. It inspires resilience and a growth mindset.

Rather than, "Why did you DO that?!", try instead: "Mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow." Encourage your child to see mistakes as valuable learning experiences. Help them understand that everyone makes mistakes and that it's okay to learn from them.

"I love seeing how curious you are about the world." Foster their curiosity by acknowledging and celebrating their inquisitive nature. Encourage them to explore, ask questions, and seek answers.

"Remember when you faced a similar challenge before? How did you overcome it?" Remind your child of their past triumphs and the strategies they used to overcome challenges. It boosts their confidence and problem-solving skills.

"You're making progress, and I believe in you." Celebrate every small victory along their journey. Let them know that you see their progress and that you have faith in their abilities. It builds self-confidence and motivation.

Takeaway to embed a love of learning

So, dear dads, equip yourself with these empowering phrases and watch your children soar with a growth mindset. With your love and guidance, they'll be more motivated, develop the confidence and resilience to overcome obstacles, and reach for the stars. Together, let's foster a mindset of growth and endless possibilities! You've got this!

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