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Growth vs Fixed Mindset: Instil This in Kids

A Growth Mindset is all about bringing the belief that we can grow and continue to learn

new things. Irrespective of the conditions we face, we understand that through effort,

practice, and hard work, we can grow in our capabilities to emerge stronger, faster, and

smarter.


A Fixed Mindset is the opposite. It is all about believing that we will struggle to learn new

things and in difficult times, we crumble. We believe that we do not have the power to

influence our conditions.


A classic example of a growth mindset is the brain being like a muscle, just like when we

lift weights. When we exercise our brain, it will get bigger and stronger.


It is also important to teach children that people with a growth mindset have a “can-do”

attitude. Sporting icons are a classic example of this: they overcome challenges or failures to learn and grow. Phrases like, “I can’t do it,” “I’m just not good at this,” and

“This is too hard” is not a part of their language.


Instead, people with a growth mindset say, “I may not be able to do it, yet”. “This is hard,

but I will try,” and “I can learn how to do this!”


It is all about shifting the narrative from negative to positive thoughts and retraining the

brain’s thinking. Instead of viewing challenges as obstacles, we can view them as

opportunities for growth.


To nurture a growth mindset in others, educators or guardians need to have a growth

mindset themselves.


Providing children with personal examples of when a challenge was overcome or

something that was learned can also help encourage a growth mindset. Framing our

language for children to reflect a growth mindset positively affects students’ theories of

self-belief.

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