Parent Resources

Growth Mindset

Talk About It

Talk with your child about his or her day, but guide the discussion by asking questions like:

  • Did you make a mistake today? What did you learn?
  • What did you do that was difficult today?

Encourage Failure (Say What?!)

Your child needs to know that failure can (and often does) happen and it's okay! Remind her that each time she fails and tries again, her brain is growing stronger! Don't step in to prevent you child's failure – this is how she learns to persevere in the face of challenges.

The Brain Can Grow!

Remind your child that his or her intelligence is not fixed. Remind her that when things are difficult, her brain grows if she persists through the challenge. Each time she learns something new her brain is making new connections. Your child needs to know this is possible.

Praise the Process

Instead of saying, "You're so smart!" praise effort, goal setting, persisting through challenges, or being creative. You can say something like:

  • "Wow! You must have worked really hard on this!"

Help Them Change Their Dialogue

The way your child talks to himself makes a huge impact on his mindset. If he says, "This is too hard!" help him change that to "I can't do this yet, but I will keep trying." Give him words to say when he is feeling defeated by modeling it yourself!

Is Your Mindset Fixed?

A person with fixed mindset may do these things:

  • Avoid challenges
  • Give up easily
  • Ignore feedback
  • Become threatened by other people's success
  • Try hard to appear as smart or capable as possible

What Does A Growth Mindset Look Like?

A person with a growth mindset may do these things:

  • Embrace challenges
  • Give their best effort
  • Learn from feedback
  • Become inspired by other people's successes
  • Believe their intelligence can change if they work hard

What is it?

We used to think that our intelligence was fixed – meaning we were either smart or weren't. Scientists have proven again and again that simply is not true. Our brain acts like a muscle – the more we use it, the stronger (and smarter) our brain becomes.

©Sara Gardner 2015