Activity: Use growth mindset language

Everyone falls into fixed mindset thinking sometimes. The first step toward fostering a growth mindset in our children is to become aware of language that signals one mindset or the other.

Here are some questions to think about:

  1. How often do you notice and praise effort, strategies, and progress?
  2. What thoughts did you have this week when your child struggled? How could you frame their struggle in a growth mindset way by helping them understand that this is when their brain is growing most?
  3. What thoughts did you have when your child excelled? How could you frame their success in a growth mindset way, e.g., by talking about the process that went into their success?
  4. What kinds of fixed and growth-mindset statements did your child make?

Action Ideas

  • When you hear or provide praise, ask yourself "What is being praised?" Is it effort, strategy, persistence, focus, and improvement, or does it sound more like a fixed trait or ability?
  • When you or your child makes a mistake, ask yourself “How does my reaction influence my child’s future behavior?” Does it encourage learning and growth, or does it encourage them to avoid challenges in the future?
  • When something you or your child says or does signals a fixed or a growth mindset, write it down! You may be surprised how often mindset statements come up. Keep a chart on your fridge for a week then see if it changes at some later time.
  • Use the Raise the Bar Parents conversation tracker to schedule some time to talk about your child’s effort and progress this month.
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