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10 Growth Mindset Principles to Raise Smarter Kids

A child thrives when he believes his brain can grow stronger with time and effort. Growth mindset principle is the key to success in raising smarter kids.

Being parents, we want to see our children become the best at everything. Whether its studies, sports or extra-curricular, we expect them to be at the top because that’s what society accepts; talent, superior abilities and success. Where most of us believe that basic abilities and intelligence of a child is innate (fixed mindset), Carol Dweck, an American psychologist believes otherwise. She introduced the idea of “growth mindset”. 

According to Dweck: 

“The growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic abilities can be enhanced through your efforts. Although people may differ in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments, everyone can change and grow through hard work, learning, and training.”     

What is Growth Mindset?

On growth mindset, Carol Dweck stated:

“A person who continuously works hard despite the setbacks can acquire any given ability provided they invest effort or study. Growth mindset allows a person to live a less stressful and more successful life”

In an interview conducted in 2012, Dweck said:

“In a growth mindset, individuals understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching, and persistence. They do not necessarily think everyone is the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”

So, with growth mindset, we can raise fearless and smart children. I am a firm believer of the same ideology and practice it with my kids.

My eldest one has Big Life Journal (2017 edition) based on growth mindset principle featuring activities, illustrations and stories.

The journal is very engaging and my son loves it to bits. What I love most about this book is getting a journal buddy who can share stories and experiences with the owner.

10 Growth Mindset Principles to Raise Smarter Kids

Here are 10 growth mindset principles that you can incorporate with your parenting style or homeschooling and raise children who face the life challenges head-on. 

Embrace Imperfections:

We are not perfect and the best thing we can teach our kids is to embrace their imperfections. The sooner we learn to embrace and acknowledge our flaws, the better it is for our overall growth. Children should understand that these imperfections make them unique and special. The biggest hurdle in the way of growth is feeling incompetent. 

 Try Different Learning Methods:

Since every child is different, not every teaching/learning method works for everyone. If one learning tactic didn’t work, try another one. Adopt anything that works for your child to encourage growth. 

View Challenges as Opportunities:

Every now and then we face difficult life situations. A person with growth mindset takes those challenges as opportunities to learn new things and discover ways to handle problematic situations. When raising children with growth mindset, we don’t offer solutions, rather we allow kids to find solutions through trial and error. 

Replace “Failing” with “Learning”:

Use positive words in solving problem. When a child falls, instead of saying, “Oh! You fell”, try saying “We fall so we can get back up”. 

Don’t Seek Approval:

We are all different and learn at a different pace. When we seek approval, we are looking at someone else to tell us whether we are doing right or wrong. Every step you take is a step towards your unique destination. No one else should pave the path for you. Everything a child learns adds to his personality and turns him into a unique individual. 

Value the Process:

We often focus on the end result and forget the process. Instead of valuing the end result, we should value the efforts, the hard work and the passion that produced the result. Children achieve better results when they are encouraged. This growth mindset principle will make kids put extra effort in the process instead of worrying about the result.

Cultivate a Sense of Purpose:

Why is learning important? Real learning takes place when our kids know the purpose of what they do. If the child puts his effort to learn a life skill not only for recreation, it will make an impact in the child’s life.

Growth over Speed:

What a child learns is more important than how fast or slow he learns. Whether the child takes one day, one week or a year, what really matters is how much he has grown during this time. The growth mindset allows children to learn at their own pace instead of rushing them towards an unrealistic destination. 

Re-define Smart:

We mostly fall for visible traits and ignore the hidden ones. Every child is smart in his own unique way. We just need to discover his gift. A child may be good with numbers, while the other is with musical note. One masters Science and another is a Picasso in the making; they are all intelligent and should be acknowledged accordingly. Growth is only possible when a child discovers his strengths and gives opportunities to polish the skills.

 Use the word “yet”:

Growth is a continuous process. One stops to grow when he stops to learn. When a child says, “I have not learned it yet but I will”, he is growing. 

These are some very basic growth mindset principles. Praise, words of encouragement and appreciation are very important, however, they need to be reworded carefully. Growth mindset fosters motivation and develops a sense of accomplishment in children. 

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Growth Mindset Resources for Kids

Once you grasp the concept of growth mindset and the benefits it offers, you will never go back. Here are some resources I found that can help you raise smart and fearless children.

HoneyKICK Growth Mindset Poster

This brightly colored, beautifully illustrated poster will help children think different and think better.  

Carson Dellosa Growth Mindset Poster Set

This set of 12 mini posters encourages positive thinking in children. Each poster has a motivational message like “Progress not Perfection” and “You can do hard things”. You can get them framed for your kid’s room and create a positive environment for him.

Growth Mindset Workbook for Kids

For kids ages 8 to 12, this workbook has 55 fun activities, which will not only help train the mind but will develop problem solving skills as well. The activities are designed to build resilience and self-esteem in children.

Hey Girl! Empowering Journal for girls

Being a mommy of boys, I always look for boyish stuff however, growth mindset is important irrespective of genders. Developing “can-do” approach in girls is as necessary as it is for boys. This specially designed interactive journal includes coloring doodles, compare perspectives, record memories, empowering quotes and follow-up questions. This journal is a great way to build confidence, mindfulness and self-esteem in girls.

Other Growth Mindset Resources for Kids

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Growth mindset is not a method; it is a way of life. The sooner we learn to adopt these principles in raising our children, the more confident, resilient and brave they will be.  

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10 thoughts on “10 Growth Mindset Principles to Raise Smarter Kids

  1. What a great post, I think it’s a must-read for all parents and caregivers, love all the 10 growth mindset principles. It will definitely help raise smarter kids!

  2. This is such a great post! I taught growth mindset to my 5th grade class last year. it really helped them get into the right frame of mind for learning.

  3. I have always believed in the growth mindset and yes, it is also applicable to our parenting style. #3 is actually may favorite. In the lens of gratitude, it is important that view challenges as opportunities.

    Will definitely keep in mind the word “yet”

  4. Great post! I am trying to teach my children the same thing. Growth mindset is very possible for us all when we do the work and think positive.

  5. Great advice for kids is to let go of perfection and face the failures. These lessons are so important for real adult life. Thanks for reminding.

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