February 13, 2023

Why Is a Growth Mindset Important  for Students?

Your child's mindset plays an important role in how they view the world around them. It determines how they react to setbacks, their attitude when faced with new challenges, and how resilient they are when things don't go according to plan.

You have the ability to nurture and encourage a growth mindset in your child, which can unlock an entire world of opportunity for them. But first, let's look at what a growth mindset is and how it differs from a fixed mindset.

Growth Mindset vs. a Fixed-Mindset

Growth vs Fixed Mindset

There are two basic types of mindsets; one that will help your child flourish and one that could keep them from achieving their full potential. A growth mindset is focused on learning and improvement, whereas a fixed mindset believes that intelligence and abilities are predetermined and unchangeable.

People with a growth mindset live with the knowledge that their skills and abilities are not set in stone. They can continue to work on their skills and expand their knowledge, despite any number of obstacles or failures. 

On the other hand, individuals with a fixed mindset believe they are limited to their current intelligence and skill level. They often give up in the face of difficulty and are less likely to take risks that could lead to growth.

When it comes to your child's education, a growth mindset can make all the difference.

The Benefits of a Growth Mindset for Students

Benefits of Growth Mindset

A Growth Mindset Can Yield Better Grades

Studies show that students who've adopted a growth mindset tend to achieve better grades than those with a fixed mindset. These students are more likely to persevere in the face of difficulty and seldom give up when faced with challenging material.

In a PISA study, students with a growth mindset scored significantly higher than their fixed mindset counterparts. On average, those with a growth mindset scored an additional 27 points in science, 23 points in math, and 31.5 points in reading. 

It Encourages a Love of Learning

People with a growth mindset view learning as an opportunity to grow and develop rather than something that is only done in order to achieve good grades. This attitude can foster a love of learning that will last a lifetime and benefit them in their future career.

Growth mindset students are more likely to enjoy school and feel engaged in their studies, whereas their counterparts tend to view education as an obligation. Fixed mindset students are less likely to pursue academic success and are more likely to give up when they encounter difficulty.

Students are More Accepting of Critical Feedback

Students with growth mindsets are more receptive to critical feedback. They see it as an opportunity to learn and improve rather than a personal attack.

Students with a fixed mindset will often view feedback as a reflection of their intelligence or abilities. They interpret it as confirmation that they are not smart enough or talented enough to be successful. This type of thinking can make students feel discouraged and see them ultimately give up on their goals.

How to Nurture Your Child's Growth Mindset

nurture growth mindset

As your daughter begins to explore her identity, it's important that she feels confident expressing herself. A locking diary can help her to feel more comfortable expressing her thoughts and feelings, enabling her to truly find her voice and develop a strong sense of self.

When she has a safe space to express herself without judgment, she can experiment with different aspects of her identity without fear. As she writes, she'll begin to develop a better understanding of who she is and what she believes in. Journalling can be a powerful tool in building her self-esteem and confidence, away from distracting electronics and the pressure of her peers.

Fortunately, mindset isn't something that's fixed at birth. You can help develop your child's growth mindset by modeling it yourself and instilling these beliefs in them from an early age.

Here are some things you implement to encourage a growth mindset in your child:

Teach Your Child the Benefit of Mistakes

One helpful lesson you can teach your child is that making mistakes is a normal and essential part of learning. When they make a mistake, they should see it as an opportunity to learn, not a reason to give up. Work together to devise a plan to fix the mistake or overcome the challenge and help them understand that everyone makes them - even you!

Developing this healthy approach to mistakes will encourage your child to embrace new challenges rather than shying away from them. And, when they do encounter difficulties, they'll be more likely to see them as something to overcome rather than a reflection of their intelligence or abilities.

Encourage Them to Challenge Themselves

If there's a new skill or activity your child has shown interest in, encourage them to give it a try. It's okay if they're not good at it right away - that's part of the learning process!

Help them understand that it's okay to feel a little uncomfortable when they're trying something new. In fact, it's often a sign that they're learning and growing. Encourage them to persist even when things are tough and celebrate their effort and improvement as an achievement.

If your child has a particular talent, see if there's a way you can make the activity more challenging. This could involve setting higher goals, trying a more challenging level or version of the activity, or adding an element of competition.

Keep in mind that it's important to strike a balance and make sure your child is still enjoying the activity. They should feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction when they finally overcome the challenge, not just relief that it's over. Coaxing them out of their comfort zone a little will help them understand that there is always room to improve and that the rewards are worth the challenge.

Help Them Develop Their Problem Solving Skills

Problem-solving is an essential life skill and one that is closely linked to a growth mindset.

Help them understand that there is usually more than one way to solve a problem, and it's often a matter of trial and error to find the best solution. By teaching them to approach life's obstacles from various angles, you'll help them develop the flexibility and resourcefulness they need to overcome any challenge.

Another element of problem-solving is knowing when to ask for help. Once they've exhausted their own resources, encourage your child to reach out to others for assistance. This could involve asking a teacher or coach for help, talking to a friend or family member, or doing some research online. Collaboration is an effective tool they'll use throughout school, the workforce, and their relationships, so start by teaching them how and when to ask for help.

Teach Them the Value of Patience and Perseverance

Children, by nature, are not the most patient little humans, but growth takes time. They need to be taught the value of taking their time, being patient, and persevering even when they feel like giving up.

They need to understand that some things take time and that the process can be just as rewarding as the end result. The following example may seem silly, but baking is a great way to teach your child the value of patience.

Making cupcakes together is a ton of fun, but children need to take their time and measure out the ingredients carefully. Waiting for cupcakes to bake can be agony for a child, and allowing them to cool before icing them can feel like an eternity. Once you reach the decorating stage, they may make a mistake and need to fix it or start over. They'll need to learn to persevere through these little mishaps rather than getting frustrated and giving up. In the end, they'll be rewarded with a delicious treat they can share with others.

Of course, not all tasks will be as fun as baking cupcakes, but the same principles apply. 

Growth Takes Time

Growth Mindset Takes Time

The effort you put in today will help set your little one up for success in the future. Remember that mindset shifts and development time, so don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. Every child develops at their own pace, so trust the process and enjoy watching your child grow!

For more parenting tips and activities to do with your child, visit our Life is a Doodle Blog.

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