It is no secret that our attitudes toward learning directly affect our ability to accomplish our goals. One of the biggest contributors to those attitudes is fixed mindset vs growth mindset beliefs. How you view intelligence and how you reinforce those beliefs to children will have a huge impact on their own beliefs and their capacity to succeed and reach their potential.
Understanding Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset
The first step in understanding a fixed mindset vs a growth mindset is breaking down what each of these things means.
Growth Mindset = Flourishing
Those who have a growth mindset vs fixed mindset believe that anyone has the ability to learn and achieve through hard work and perseverance. They do not believe that intelligence is something that you are born with but instead is something that is a direct effect of your drive and determination. On the whole, those who have this mindset have a much higher potential for growth than those who have a fixed mindset vs growth mindset.
Fixed Mindset = Limiting
Those who hold the beliefs of a fixed mindset vs growth mindset have a completely different outlook on learning. They feel that you are born with a “maximum capacity” for learning. They think that some people are naturally more or less intelligent than others and that those people are who are less intelligent will never succeed in certain areas, no matter how hard they try. When it comes to their own self-image, this mindset can be very limiting in what they are able to accomplish.
Teaching Children About Growth vs Fixed Mindset
Show kids the benefits of a growth mindset vs fixed mindset. For example, those who believe that they have the ability to achieve anything can set goals and take steps to achieve them. It is worth putting in the effort because you will eventually see the results you want.
Growth Mindset Incentives and Reminders
Give them incentives to put in the effort. Try using apps or charts that will give them recognition and rewards for participation, preparedness, and other effort-based achievements. This will reinforce that hard work gets rewarded.
Putting growth mindset notes in lunchboxes, on their desks, or tucked in jacket pockets can change the way they approach their day.
Learn From Mistakes
Help them find the lessons in their mistakes. Rather than pointing out that something is wrong, help children seek out the lessons in each of their errors so that they can learn from them. Reinforce the point that there are no failures, only opportunities to learn even more.
Celebrate their hard work, rather than a high grade for a growth vs fixed mindset. Instead of pointing out perfection or numbers, praise them for their efforts. By reminding them of the time they spent studying or practicing and how that helped them find success, they will understand the benefits of growth fixed mindset.
Reinforce Positive Self-Talk
Programs like The Mirror Habit teach kids and teens how their thoughts can change their outlook on life. Reinforce positive self-talk through daily stories, journal prompts, and art pages that help kids focus on their ability to train their brains! Find out more about The Mirror Habit HERE.
Though most people do not even consider whether they hold a fixed or growth mindset, most quickly understand the differences and the benefits of maintaining a growth mindset. Be sure that you have opened up your own mind and that you are providing the right motivation and encouragement to the children in your life.