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:
- How often do you notice and praise effort, strategies, and progress?
- 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?
- 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?
- What kinds of fixed and growth-mindset statements did your child make?
- 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.