A growth mindset is something that every adolescent and child has to believe with every fiber of their being—when they embrace it, they thrive. In this article, I’ll teach you how you can cultivate growth mindset for teens.
There are compelling ways that adults can reinforce this belief and nurture the youths and children in their lives to grasp the concept, grow and prosper.
Young people must be aware that their brains can become measurably stronger over time if they put in the effort.
This may sound simple, but it has an immeasurable impact. In some children, this belief is inherent, while others believe they can’t change.
Undoubtedly, praise and encouragement are crucial for children and adolescents to elevate them to greater heights—only take note that not every praise is good.
Researchers have conducted several studies on this subject, leaving little uncertainty that various kinds of praise may be harmful to our teens and kids, even if given with loving intent.
Understanding Fixed and Growth Mindset for Teens
Mindset has remarkable effects. Below are significant differences between a growth mindset for teens and a fixed mindset.
Giving Up (Fixed) vs. Persistence (Growth)
A growth mindset cultivates persistence, motivation, and resilience, whereas a fixed mindset terminates it.
Teenagers who think that intelligence is genetic give up faster—they believe their ineptitude is because they aren’t creative, smart, or good enough.
On the other hand, children with a growth mindset are likely to continue putting effort and striving to achieve their goals despite any setbacks—they believe that it takes a reasonable amount of effort to succeed.
Lack of Confidence (Fixed) vs. Confidence (Growth)
Youngsters with a fixed mindset often translate difficulty as proof that they lack what it takes.
If success signifies that they’re clever (You’re brilliant! You made it!), failure shows they aren’t. Once youngsters take this to heart, their lack of confidence spreads to all aspects of their lives, ultimately wearing out their motivation and passion for learning.
Applauding kids for effort lifts them above when they fail to do as well as they’d love—this happens to everyone. They’ll translate failure as a call for working extra hard or trying a different way instead of perceiving it as proof of personal inadequacy.
Avoid Challenge (Fixed) vs. Embrace Challenge (Growth)
When presented with either an easy or challenging task, kids with a fixed mindset will probably lean towards the easy one.
Suppose kids are confident that their intelligence is impossible to change(fixed). In that case, it’s understandable if they pick a simple task to prove themselves—this leaves a narrow scope for the required vulnerability to learn and thrive.
Learning entails beginning at our capabilities and propelling them further. Sometimes failure will be inevitable, and other times you have to admit that you aren’t sure what you’re doing.
Kids who have a growth mindset will accept challenges, viewing them as a chance to learn new things and grow.
Failure: Personal Deficiency (Fixed) vs. Opportunity to Learn (Growth)
Youngsters with a fixed mindset are more likely to translate failure as proof of their incapability or lack of intelligence.
As for children with a growth mindset, failure isn’t bleak. They possess a healthy attitude to defeat, viewing it as a chance to learn.
Even when facing disappointment, they can retain their confidence and overcome the stumbling blocks, believing they can succeed if they accomplish the task.
Hiding the Struggle (Fixed) vs. Seeking Help (Growth)
Kids who believe that their performance is due to intelligence or another attribute that they cannot change are likely to conceal their struggles and be dishonest about their faults.
According to research conducted by Dweck, 40% of kids applauded for intelligence lied when questioned to reveal the number of blunders they made anonymously compared to kids commended for their efforts.
When youngsters think that intelligence is fixed, they label themselves as “not smart” or “smart.” Instead of seeing blunders as an indication that they should work harder, they view them as proof of a lack of innate capability and strive to prevent the world from perceiving them as incapable or stupid.
Conversely, kids who have a growth mindset will likely ask for help when they come across an obstacle, believing they are capable but require a helping hand to get it.
How Do You Cultivate a Growth Mindset for Teens?
1. Teach them That You Don’t Need Success to Be Happy
First lesson on how to growth mindset for teens. Teenagers don’t grasp what you tell them. They learn through observation. Allow them to see when you encounter an obstacle (if appropriate) and see you tackling the snag positively. Speak about what you learn during times when things do go as planned.
For instance, if you go the wrong way, highlight the fascinating things you observe now that you’ve taken a different path. Failure is normal and part of learning—it has nothing to do with your capabilities or smartness. It’s a chance to learn silently.
2. Teach Teens to Focus on Journey and Not the Destination
Fueled partly by friends, the current culture, social media, and being young, teens are infamous for zeroing down on the ultimate destination.
“When I go to college, I’ll be in charge of my life.”
“When I have my wheels, I won’t be begging my parents constantly to drive me to places” “When….”
Teenagers don’t get that the gradual and steady progress they’re making every day is where most life teachings are. Their journey is marked by the incredible transformation taking place in their life.
By being mindful and appreciative of their current position in life, where they are from, and what lies ahead, they know how to fall in love with the journey—the triumphs, challenges, ups, and downs.
3. Focus on the Effort, Not the Result
It’s vital to commend the effort put in by your teens. For instance, if your kid failed a few math quizzes, applaud their effort in solving the questions instead of focusing on the incorrect answers—appreciate the time they took to work on the problems.
Additionally, you should praise the process instead of the result: this will instill a growth mindset in your kid.
You must teach your kid to enjoy the process of learning. Educate them to embrace obstacles or slight delays in the course of their work, and encourage them to view it as a chance to learn.
4. Motivate Them When They Fail
Setbacks and failures occur all the time since they are part of life. To cultivate a growth mindset for teens, encourage your children to perceive failure as an exciting chance to make improvements and figure out a way forward.
Inspire them to put extra effort and teach them how to believe in their capabilities.
For example, if your kid doesn’t get a good grade on a science test, don’t say, “It’s alright if science isn’t your subject, you can discover what you’re good at.”
Instead, say, “We’ll come up with something and get a solution to this.” This will motivate and encourage your teen to do better next time.
5. Let them Focus on Growth, Not the Speed
It’s common for people to compare themselves with their fellows, and teens are no different. It’s common to hear them say:
“I was first.”
“I solved the problem before you.”
And many such statements.
Dissuade them from statements like these and focus on growth instead of how quickly someone is growing.
Let your teen come to terms with the fact that everybody learns at their speed, and there’s enough room for blunders when growing.
6. Develop a Reading Culture Into Them
Reading gives way to various possibilities and opens a new world to children. Instill a reading habit in kids early enough. You can accomplish this by engaging your children in fun reading activities and games.
You can teach your children many things such as etiquette, growth mentality, and good habits through stories.
You can use stories to demonstrate growth mentality in action. You can introduce the topic slowly by using moral narrations.
7. Emphasize the Word “Yet”
An excellent way to cultivate a growth mentality in your kids is by explaining to them the importance of the word “yet.” When your child confides in you they do not have a particular skill, educate them on adding “yet” to the phrase.
For example, if your child says, “I find math a bit challenging,” ask them to say, “I am not yet good at math.” This coaches your child to put in greater effort and work harder to get better at something they are not skilled at.
8. Prevent Them From Seeking Lots of Approvals
Kids usually want support and approval from their caregivers and parents. Nevertheless, to cultivate a growth mentality in your kid, coach them to trust their gut and judgment. Looking for too much approval can limit their possibility for development.
Kids who are trained from an early age to be self-assured and seek less acceptance from those who surround them grow into independent people as they mature.
9. Let Them Know That Learning Never Ends
Individuals with a development mentality keep on learning throughout their lives. Help your teens understand that learning is a continuous process.
As they continue to involve themselves with other individuals and traverse the world around them, their grasp grows, and their habits transform for the better.
In addition, motivate them to set new objectives. Individuals with a growth mentality realize setting new objectives that are exciting.
Cultivating a child’s growth mentality is the burden of caregivers, teachers, and parents. There are various methods by which you can coach your kids about the significance of hard work and effort over innate talent.
Parents who want their kids to develop this mentality must embody it in front of their kids. Kids who believe in their capabilities have a chance into successful and hardworking individuals.
10. Let Them Learn From People’s Mistakes
Kids should not compare themselves to others. Nevertheless, they could always explore and learn from their errors and even those around them.
Children should understand that no one is perfect, and everyone makes errors. However, making mistakes doesn’t make you a failure.
11. Don’t Label Your Teens
It doesn’t matter how talented your kid is, don’t stereotype them. Steer clear of statements such as:
- “You are so gifted.”
- “You are so intelligent.”
- “You are indolent.”
Labeling your child makes them develop a closed mentality. If you want to cultivate a growth mentality in your child, congratulate and appreciate them without tagging them.
12. Let Them Take On Challenges
According to Elbert Hubbard, the greatest mistake one can make is living your life in constant fear of making mistakes.
Elbert regards the teenage years as the most error-prone, where self-assurance is low. Putting themselves out there and making mistakes isn’t the preferred path for most teenagers.
Consider the initial steps: shut down pessimistic self-talk that hinders you from taking the necessary steps, and find the nerve to tackle difficulties, although there is a possibility of them failing.
13. Teach Them to Avoid Negative Words
Kids have to learn how to shun defeatist phrases such as “won’t,” “impossible,” “difficult,” “unmanageable,” and “can’t.” Such words lead to a negative mindset.
To cultivate a growth mentality in your teen, substitute these defeatist phrases with motivational words like “I am getting to know how to.”
As much as this is difficult, it’s also fun. I’m gaining so much from it,” and “I can accomplish this.” Let your kid know the hurdles, difficulties, and hardships are a part of life, but they have to stay on and fight through them to win.
To assist your kids in cultivating a growth mentality, you should set an example. Go into details of the challenges you’ve come across and how you rectified or overcame them.
15. Encourage them to Develop a Growth Mindset
Motivating your children to embrace a fluid growth mentality might need you to grow your mindset; how you express difficulties or talk about your teenager’s battles matters.
If you tend to make situations difficult, your teen probably won’t share their difficulties with you, and they may shy away from taking on new challenges.
Struggling with developing a growth mentality is allowed. Inform your teenager that you will work together to cultivate a growth mentality.
16. Get Your Teens to Write Their Ambitions and Dreams
Every teenager has dreams and goals. However, no amount of dreaming, wishing, or wanting will help them realize their ambitions—without adequate planning.
Even accomplished individuals recognize that even the boldest teenager dreams can be realized, provided they note them down.
A study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, established that individuals who note down their goals have a 42% chance of achieving them.
Additionally, it can assist your child’s dreams, goals, and ambitions by making them much more concrete and helping them stay focused and motivated.
17. Praise Pliable Efforts
You’ve read books on the importance of recognizing your child’s efforts. However, if you want to teach a growth mentality to your child, it goes deeper than that.
Cultivating a growth mentality is about acknowledging that they can be control things through their efforts.
Growth is noticed in their resilience in the face of challenges, their hard work even when they felt like throwing in the towel, their intent on trying out new things when they were afraid, their resolution and growth in school, at their job, or in sports.
18. Foster Grit in Them
The best-selling book on grit is Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, a seventh-grade mathematics teacher.
In her book, The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Dr. Angela says that having grit is a powerful indicator of professional and academic excellence.
Grit is yearning and determination for long-term goals, having resilience, seeing through your goals daily, and working very hard to make that future actual.
Grit is perceiving life as a marathon and not a sprint.
The next time your teenager wants to throw in the towel, motivate them to persevere and keep their eye on the end goal. That perseverance will differentiate them from the rest and eventually assist them in achieving their objectives.
19. Encourage Them to Tackle New and Difficult Classes
Another important lesson for growth mindset for teens is to motivate your teenager to take up difficult classes that prepare them for college and their profession.
Stress on the importance of having a growth mentality and how it will assist them in facing difficulties head-on and asking for help in determining more suitable approaches to succeed.
Dare your teenager to take on novel interests where they have to strive to be good at their undertaking.
20. Challenge Stereotypes
Teenagers and young adults usually form their views based on interactions with their peers, adults, and society.
Developing a growth mentality challenges gender, ethnic and racial cliches about intelligence.
Assist your teenager in finding suitable role models from whom they can learn. The best role models overcame challenges such as sexism and racism.
These labels are hindrances that erode confidence in individual abilities.
Time for Action
All these growth mindset for teens measures are fundamentally essential for teenagers. Most teens believe that they have fixed abilities throughout elementary and middle school.
Intellect isn’t rigid. It can be developed if you put in time and effort.
Cultivating this belief in kids is among the best things that adults can do and will assist the children in realizing their potential.
Adults must build the belief that putting effort will pay off eventually.
Let teenagers exercise having mindful mindset with 10+ Mindfulness Activities for Teens.
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