If you’ve been hanging around Facebook at all, you’ve probably heard talk about Growth Mindset. It’s a buzz word, for sure, but a really and truly positive trend in parenting and teaching and so one that you absolutely want to be in the know about.
So why all the buzz about growth mindset?
I’m going to dig into that right here, right now as well as share an amazing Growth Mindset resource that you can start using today AND share three things with you that every parent of young children should do to instill growth mindset in their children from the get-go.
But first, let’s start at the very beginning.
A fascinating article on Mindset Works explains that after studying the behavior of thousands of children, Dr. Carol Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the beliefs people have about themselves and how these impact how people act, and how they behave.
The article says that, “[Dweck’s] research showed that when students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement.”
But as a mom and as a former classroom teacher, I have to tell you that there’s so much more to it than that! While initially viewed as a reasoning behind success and effort, I’ve seen firsthand that growth mindset can be the answer to self-esteem, positive attitudes, and even positive relationships in children (and adults!).
And because of all of that, I’m so excited to introduce you to Alexandra Eidens!
Digging Deeper: A Growth Mindset Resource For You
Alexandra Eidens is the co-founder and CEO of Big Life Journal, where she helps children develop a resilient, growth mindset.
And an amazing resource for you is Eiden’s free Facebook group where she supports parents who want to raise kids with a growth mindset.
Eiden explains that there are three things that she wishes she could get every new mom to try with growth mindset with their very young children.
The good news is that all three tips are simple and accessible so that you can try them all right away.
3 Growth Mindset Tips To Try With Very Young Children
“Praise children to promote a growth mindset by focusing on their actions and effort rather than accomplishments or results.”
In Quartz magazine, Dr. Dweck is quoted explaining, “The key to instilling a growth mindset is teaching kids that their brains are like muscles that can be strengthened through hard work and persistence. So rather than saying ‘Not everybody is a good at math. Just do your best,' a teacher or parent should say, ‘When you learn how to do a new math problem, it grows your brain.'”
“Teach kids the power of YET, i.e. help them to reframe ‘I can't' to ‘I can't YET!'”
In the same article, Dweck is cited explaining how to put this one into action like this, “Instead of saying ‘Maybe math is not one of your strengths,' a better approach is adding ‘yet' to the end of the sentence: ‘Maybe math is not one of your strengths yet.'”
“Celebrate their mistakes so that they grow up knowing mistakes are a good thing because this is how they learn and grow.”
And this is a process that has a high impact from the very beginning. The Quartz magazine article explains that research that Dweck is doing looking at how mothers praised their babies at ages 1-3 years old found that process praise predicted the children’s mindset and desire for challenge five years later.
This tells us just how early a fixed and growth mindset forms!
Eiden has done so very much of the growth mindset legwork for parents like you and me. Why? Because it’s super effective and can truly and deeply impact how our kids succeed, think, feel, and do life. And, that, is indeed something buzz-worthy!