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According to Carol Dweck, an American psychologist, a growth mindset is when students understand that their abilities can be further developed. People with a growth mindset believe that they can always improve, catch up or be as talented as those with inborn talent, according to her. Students with a growth mindset constantly work to enhance their skills, which leads to more growth and success. People with a growth mindset trust that their most basic abilities can be developed via dedication and hard work, whereas intelligence and talent are only the starting point. This mindset fosters a passion for learning as well as the perseverance required for great success.

Here are some ideas for parents to help their children develop a growth mindset.

1. Accept Mistakes as Part of Learning Journey

One of the most efficient ways to instil a growth mindset in your children is to be open about your mistakes and what you have learned from them. Convey your own mistakes and struggles to them in a positive way, for them to understand that learning involves risks and mistakes. Parents should also encourage children to accept failure as part and parcel of life and emphasise the importance of play in developing a growth mindset. Failure allows children to reflect on their processes to see what worked and what did not, which helps them identify different strategies to tackle the problem at hand.

2. Encourage Positive Self-Talk.

Positive self-talk empowers children to reframe their thoughts, develop resilience and build self-esteem. At the same time, it is also an effective mechanism to help them develop a positive outlook on life, identify their strengths, instil self-confidence, empower them to handle obstacles and provides them with the courage to set goals and pursue their dreams. While it’s common for children to have negative thoughts, it’s vital for parents to teach them to recognise that they are thinking or saying negative things about themselves, and then help them engage in positive self-talk. In order to demonstrate what positive self-talk is like, parents should model it first by brainstorming with them on the different ways of approaching a challenging situation.

3. Praise the process

When parents praise their children for being smart, it sends a message that their inborn talent is the reason for their success, not their effort or the learning process. Many parents believe that praising their children how smart and talented they are would help them feel better about themselves. However, research conducted by Dweck revealed that when we praise children for who they are instead of for what they do, they tend to develop a fixed mindset. They are also more prone to experiencing low self-esteem when they’re faced with an obstacle. Instead of saying things like “You’re so smart!”, you should praise their process, which refers to the effort and strategies they use to get the job done. You can say, “You’ve been working all day on your project. Keep up the good work!”. When parents praise their children’s processes, children learn to value hard work and effort and are more likely to develop a growth mindset.

Establishing a growth mindset in your child is all about allowing your child to make mistakes, praising efforts over results and always encouraging them to grow, learn and strive to be their best selves. The triumphant look in your child’s eyes as they master a seemingly impossible challenge is priceless. Helping your child to develop a growth mindset now will set the stage for a life filled with curiosity, bravery and resilience.