Creative Child

5 Strategies for Helping Your Child Develop a Growth Mindset

by Rebecca Eanes


3. Praise the process, not the result. When you say, “You got that quickly! You’re so smart,” kids sometimes hear “If you don’t get something quickly, you’re not smart.” Praise is good if we use it properly though. Instead, try saying “You really worked hard on that and you did it!” Praise effort, strategies, focus, perseverance, and improvement rather than intelligence, talents, and inherited “gifts,” says Rebecca Chicot, Ph.D.

4. View failure as an opportunity. It really helped my son to know that Edison failed more than 1000 times when trying to create the lightbulb. It helped him to see that even the brightest minds struggle and err. Teach kids that mistakes are just learning opportunities and are nothing to be ashamed or fearful of.

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5. Use growth mindset language. Correct kids when they use negative language like “I’ll never get this” or “I can’t do it.” Teach them to say “I don’t understand this yet” or “I can’t do this yet.” “Yet” leaves open the door of possibility.

“If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.”

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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