How to Teach Growth Mindset To Children In 7 Practical Steps

How many times have your kids come up to you and said, “I just don’t get math.” or “I can’t understand this, ever!” Even if they haven’t directly come to you, maybe it sounds like something your little one would say?

How to Teach Growth Mindset To Children In 7 Practical Steps

You may have brushed this off, thinking this is how all kids are, or your child will get the hang of it all when they grow older. But this may not be a motivation issue; it can be your kid’s mindset.

The reaction to every challenge your child faces depends on your child’s mindset. What is their attitude like? Why is a growth mindset necessary?

How to Teach Growth Mindset to Children in 7 Practical Steps

How can I cultivate a growth mindset in kids? If you are a parent asking these questions, this article is tailored just for you.

Start reading to answer all your questions and raise healthy adults ready to face any challenge heads on!

What is a growth mindset?

Children or adults, everybody perceives themselves differently. Everyone sees themselves in a different light, and with this self-analysis, you also assess your potential and character.

Even though you are evaluating yourself, you are not the only factor that plays a role. Your environment and learnings also have a part in who you think of yourself as a person. 

All these factors determine our mindset, which, in turn, decides our actions, decisions, and everything beyond. A growth mindset is your belief in your development through effort and strategies.

It encourages the idea that when a person puts the right steps, they can enhance their potential. On the other hand, with a fixed mindset, you might think your potential is limited and can not be changed. 

Your child’s growth mindset will be a motivational factor for them to excel in life. 

Why is a growth mindset important?

There is an underlying belief that people are born with talent and specific abilities that others can not learn. A growth mindset believes that anyone can cultivate these abilities through the right efforts, and your potential increases as you work hard. 

  • With a growth mindset, kids understand the importance of hard work. They know if they put effort into something, it will pay them well.
Why is a growth mindset important?
  • A growth mindset in children increases their confidence. Kids understand they can take up anything, and even if they fail, they are still smart.
  • It allows kids to develop their interest in learning and new opportunities. When kids understand challenges are a stairway to lessons, they grow.

On the other hand, a non-growth mindset or a fixed mindset can hurt kids. It can stunt their development, demotivate them, and make them resentful. It can be an ingredient for disaster, and that’s why a growth mindset is even more critical. 

How to tell if your kids have a growth mindset?

To help your kid’s growth mindset, you need to understand their present state of mind. Not only that, but you also need to understand the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset; it will help your child make remarkable progress.

Here are the five key differences in qualities between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

  1. Persistence 

A growth mindset believes that failure is a chance for improvement. There is no concept of a stagnant place in this sphere, which means you always have to keep moving. Resilience, motivation, and persistence are some words that are commonly related to the growth mindset because it fosters these emotions.

On the other hand, a fixed mindset believes that one’s abilities are limited, so there is no point in striving too hard. A fixed mindset inhibits progress and makes it easy for you to give up. It is because a fixed mindset induces the idea that you are not smart enough, intelligent enough, or good enough to pursue something because you can not enhance your potential.

If your child possesses a growth mindset, they are more likely to persevere towards their goal. They will know if they are motivated and resilient enough to achieve anything they set their minds to.

After all, all success needs is the motivation and the right effort, and what better way to teach them than a video. Follow this TEDTalk by Angela Lee Duckworth on the power of perseverance. 

  1. Confidence

Since children with a fixed mindset believe that their potential is limited, they have lower confidence. They think there are tasks they can or can not do irrespective of giving it a try. They may identify themselves as deficient and interpret any hurdle as their shortcoming.

In the case of children with a growth mindset, they take up tasks with confidence. They know the consequence depends on their effort, and even if they fail, they can work harder the next time. Failure doesn’t crush their confidence; they find motivation and reasons to preserve instead. 

Confidence is an inside job rather than a result of all the factors outside. As soon as children accept a growth mindset, they’ll realize they have always been confident; all it takes is the right mindset.

Teach children how not to define their self-worth by their failures with this moving TEDTalk by Liz Power.

  1. Opportunity

Life isn’t always the easiest; even as children, you have to take up challenging tasks. It could be day-to-day tasks, brain development activities, and tests/exams. These challenges test your child daily, and their success depends on their mindset.

 children with a growth mindset

Your child will encounter daily successes and failures, and they will help you recognize what the current state of their perspective is. 

If they have a growth mindset, they will work hard and won’t let little failures dishearten them. No matter what your child does, homework, test, or sports, a growth mindset ensures they are enthusiastic and look at failures like an opportunity. 

If your child has a fixed mindset, it will be easier for them to get disheartened by failures. It will also diminish their urge to work hard and see success. After all, they will think it is meant to be, and they can’t accomplish any better.

A growth mindset in kids is necessary because it is their age of growth. They need to learn that every task is an opportunity to learn, no matter what the outcome is. It instills a sense of sportsmanship and happiness in children so that they face everything heads on.

Here is a quick lesson by Ananya Kundu on how students can overcome obstacles to help you out.

  1. Learning

Kids’ brains are as active as they are. By the time your little one turns 6, 90% of their brain has already developed. That means the mindset you sow into their brain at an early age bloom throughout their life. 

If you teach your kids that every failure is a chance to get better the next time, they will have a growth mindset. They will cherish any task that’s given to them and work harder towards achieving their goal. If your child’s attitude inclines more towards a fixed one, you’ll realize they may not be as keen to learn, and they will keep doubting themselves.

A fixed mindset also means your child will see any hurdle in their way as a lack of their intelligence or capability. This is an unhealthy attitude, and it will pave the way for disappointment.

  1. Seeking help

As it is said, a leader knows it is okay to take help, just like it’s alright to extend a hand for support. Reputed research shows that nearly 40% of kids praised for their intelligence lied about the number of mistakes they made when asked anonymously, compared to 10% of the kids praised for their efforts. 

If you relate your child’s performance directly to their intelligence, there is a higher chance that they will not be open to share about the struggles and mistakes.

A fixed mindset emphasizes a trait and forces kids to attach their identities to it. If they feel they won’t be seen as smart or intelligent (as this is what they are praised for), they will feel like they are not good enough. This will strengthen their idea that they do not have the inherent potential. 

Whereas, in the case of growth mindset in children, the same situation is seen as just another day-to-day event. Even if they feel they don’t know something or have committed a mistake, your child will know it is okay to ask for help. It doesn’t make them stupid; it just makes them human eager to learn.

How to develop a growth mindset in children?

Now that you know what a growth mindset, its importance, and how it affects your child is, it’s time to learn how to cultivate a growth mindset in children. To make your journey super easy, here are 7 actionable steps every parent needs to follow for a strong and confident mindset in children. 

  1. Teach them about mental growth

Children believe their parents and teachers much more than they’d believe the facts of the world. If you’d tell them the Earth is flat, they’d proudly boast about it to everyone like it is the only fact known to the world. Yes, this is the impact you have on your little ones.

When your child shows faith in you, why not sow the seeds of a growth mindset into their brains? Tell them about the impressive power of their brain, what it can do, and how they can use it.

Teach them the brain is just like a muscle; the more you use the brain, the more it’ll grow. Your brain doesn’t possess a finite potential; it can grow stronger, faster, and smarter.

Once your child understands this, they’ll know the key to their success lies in their head. Their brain can empower them and strengthen them in ways they aim to be.

If your kids keep practicing for what they want to achieve, they will realize practice makes perfect indeed. Your reinforcement will help them feel capable of things they set their mind on.

You can teach your kids about growth and a fixed mindset. It’ll show them what they need to have and what they don’t. To teach your kids a growth mindset, show them this fun Sesame Street growth mindset video with Bruno Mars, they will love it!

  1. Praise effort

Your child may often encounter people at school and gatherings that appreciate the result much more than the preparation behind it. For example, either your child scores a 10/10 or a 2/10, the focus is always on the grade.

teach your kids a growth mindset

It doesn’t even come to mind the preparation they did or the circumstances that lead to the final grade. Perceptions and habits like these may give your child the idea that their worth is just the result they produce.

Anything earned through hard work, no matter how insignificant, deserves appreciation.

Learn to praise your kid for the effort they put into things. As an adult, you have a better understanding of your child’s task’s circumstances, efforts, and results.

If you know your child prepared for something, like a test, art, or even a song, show them that you see them. You care and admire their effort will motivate them, even more, to do better the next time. 

All you have to do is say, “I am proud of the time you put into this.”, “That is a very great painting, I love it.”, or “You didn’t give up, that is all that matters for now.” If you see your child beating themselves up, you can even treat them with something they like.

They’ll feel seen and understand they are much more than a grade, a failure, or a phase. It’ll be a strong foundation for your child’s growth mindset.

Tip: Instead of vague praise, try to be specific. So when you want to appreciate your child, instead of saying, “You’re intelligent,” say, “It was brilliant how you found a different approach to solve the problem, nice job!”

  1. Foster healthy attitude

As mentioned above, sportsmanship is a healthy trait everyone must learn in life, especially your children, for a growth mindset. You must be thinking, how does sports link to a growth mindset in kids? Well, sportsmanship is fair and generous treatment of yourself and others, and you’d want it in your children when they are faced with a failure or immeasurable success. 

There will always be another mountain for your kid to climb. A failure might be a comma, but it definitely isn’t a full stop.

Failure is bitter for all, irrespective of age, but it is unavoidable too. Your kid will come to you regarding a bad grade, a failed test, or their inability to do some task in general; then you need to help them understand it is completely fine. They may not be able to do their best this time, but it won’t be the same way always.

  1. Cultivate patience 

One thing you must know to be able to teach your kids is that growth isn’t quick. Nothing changes overnight, and even if it does, you won’t get the results you seek so soon. When it all boils down to hard work and changing your habits, you need to take things slow and steady little by little.

To slowly incorporate a growth mindset in children, you need to introduce your children to patience. It can be done in many ways, but the best actionable way you can do this is by using the word “yet.” Yes, it’s that simple! When your kid comes to you when they can’t solve a problem, make a drawing, or study, encourage them.

Help them understand if they keep working towards your aim; it is just a matter of time before they master the activity. At the end of their problem, use the word yet.

“I don’t know how to solve this question.”

“I don’t know how to solve this question yet.”

“I can’t seem to draw a flower.”

“I can’t seem to draw a flower yet.”

“I can not study.”

“I can not study yet.”

Once you get the hang of it, encourage your children to use this magical word too. External and internal affirmations combined are a powerful combination. Keep doing it with a combination of smart activities for children, and soon your child will have a whole new growth perspective towards even the smallest of tasks.

Tip: Don’t let your kids overwork themselves. Teach them it is important to rest and have a fun time in between; after all, all work and no fun makes Jack a dull boy.

  1. Allow failure 

As you grow older, you know it’s okay to fail sometimes. Setbacks don’t define your life; it human to not be at their best all the time. But kids do not understand it yet. 

Yes, you can preach to your kids about failure and success all you want, but if they don’t see it for themselves, it won’t be effective. The best way to teach your kids that it’s okay to fail is to model this kind of behavior to them. Share some of your little failures with your kids, of course not in a boastful manner, in a considerate way. Let them know,

 “Failure is not the end of the world; it is a part of it.”

You know what, failures are a good chance to have a hearty conversation with your children. Not only will you teach your kids a lesson, but you’ll also bond with them while you talk. While you explain your failures, tell your kids what you learned from them.

 “Failure is not the end of the world; it is a part of it.”

Let them know it wasn’t a waste of time and if you had a good time nevertheless. Nurture them to acknowledge that a failure doesn’t make them stupid or not-good-enough.

Ask your little one to share a story when they failed, or encourage them to journal their success and failures. This set of activities will teach kids a growth mindset on their own; it will enable them to assess their feelings and develop their own mind map to strengthen themselves. 

  1. Cherish the journey

The destination of a task matters a lot; if you win or lose, you consider it the conclusion of a task you’ve taken up. But, as adults, you know this is not the case. The learnings from any task aren’t just its failure or success; it is the accumulation of everything you learned during the process.

Explain to your child that there are stages to every task they do. When they do their homework, when they go out to play or even try to have a lazy day, the same stages are followed, preparation of the activity, the activity itself, and the result. During each of these stages, you learn a lot about the task you’ve taken.

For example, you want to play any outdoor support. The preparation includes knowing the rules, dressing up for the game, gathering the necessary items, and building up the confidence for it. When you reach the next stage, the activity, you learn about strategy making, how to play, stamina, and much more.

Finally, whether you win or lose, you have an accumulation of the knowledge you learned during each stage. Isn’t it wonderful how much you learn even from the smallest of the activity? This is a growth mindset for kids

If your child wins, don’t make it all about their intelligence. Appreciate them and tell them they did well and they need something more challenging to be better.

If they fail, let them reflect on how much they’ve learned. Encourage their resilience and motivation to be better the next time with brain teasing activities and crafts for children

Insight: Success isn’t just about the efforts; it’s a combination of the right efforts in the right direction. The right efforts in the wrong direction and wrong efforts in the right direction are a combination of failure. Focus on your kid’s approach, and they will be good to go!

  1. Be real

Every parent wants to set a perfect example for their children. You want them to look up to you, and it’s normal.

But when you set such high standards for yourself, your child must also follow the same. Kids will measure themselves on the same scale of perfection as you do.

The final step of teaching a growth mindset to children is to do what you preach. When you tell your kids it’s okay to fail, let them know about your failures too. If you want them to be persistent, you need to stop giving up on things easily, and if you want them to learn, you need to pave the way for them.

It can be a hard path to take but in this case, showing your kids your real self is a gift. Kids learn what they see, and if they see a growth mindset, they’ll follow a growth mindset.

Liked this article? If you did, check out these free activities for children of all ages to enhance their brain and motor skills while having fun. 


What is a growth mindset?

A growth mindset is your belief in your development through effort and strategies. It encourages the belief that when a person puts the right efforts, they can enhance their potential. 

Why is it important?

A growth mindset in children teaches them hard work, enhances their confidence, and emphasizes learning.

How to tell if your kids have a growth mindset?

How to tell if your kids have a growth mindset?

  1. They are persistent.
  2. Your kids are confident even if they fail.
  3. Kids see every new experience as an opportunity.
  4. They take setbacks as lessons.
  5. They are not afraid to ask for help.

How to develop a growth mindset in children?

  1. Tell your kids mental growth is possible.
  2. Praise their effort irrespective of the outcome.
  3. Foster sportsmanship into their mindset.
  4. Teach them failure is alright, and it doesn’t make them incapable.
  5. Use the word yet to teach your kids patience.
  6. The preparation for a task is as important as the outcome.
  7. Share your experiences of failure and model the same mindset.
How to Teach Growth Mindset to Children in 7 Practical Steps

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