How to Develop the Growth Mindset in Your Child

Mon, 31 May by Kunal

develop growth mindset for kids

The growth mindset is a theory developed by Carol Dweck, a celebrated psychologist at Stanford University and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Her work over the last 10 years has established the existence of two mindsets – a Growth Mindset and a Fixed Mindset.

Parents, this quick test is for you!

Do you think intelligence and talent are inherent qualities? That you are born with them?


Do you believe you can do anything with grit, hard work, and resilience?

If your answer is yes to the first question, then it's likely that you have a fixed mindset.

If your answer is yes to the second question, then it's likely that you have a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset can achieve success in ways you never dreamed of.

You may have figured out your child's learning style, but if you are also able to cultivate a growth mindset in your child, you will raise a successful kid, a high achiever in school and beyond. That's the power of a growth mindset.

Before we talk about how to develop a growth mindset in your child, let's understand the difference between growth mindsets and fixed mindsets.

Growth Mindset

Fixed Mindset

Believes that challenges are learning opportunities and that failure is an opportunity for growth.

Believes that you are limited to your talents, skills, and traits.

Focuses on progress and process and are always on the lookout for opportunities to push their limits.

Focuses on the limitations and concludes that they can’t possibly learn anything new.

Embodies a passion for learning. People with this mindset do not have the hunger for approval. They believe that the basic qualities can be cultivated through efforts.

Avoids difficult situations and refuses to accept challenges. People with this mindset evaluate every situation to see if they will succeed or fail and look smart or dumb.



People with a growth mindset learn that



  • Trying and failing is part of the process.

  • Learning involves stumbling, correcting, and growing.

  • You don’t have to know everything.

  • Putting in efforts and building your skills are important than having talent.

  • You’re always a learner; you are always a beginner.

  • Life is a continuous learning process.


3 ways to foster a growth mindset for kids

  • Use encouragement and not praise

    How you respond to your child's efforts is going to decide your child's likelihood to succeed. Keep in mind that encouragement should not be confused with praise. Encouragement is acknowledgement without judgement, whereas praise focuses on what is believed to be their natural talents or traits. Staying focused on your child's efforts will help them succeed.

  • Setbacks are opportunities to learn and grow

    How we respond to our child's setbacks, challenges, and failures is one of the key factors that decide their future success.

    Problems and setbacks present a perfect opportunity to encourage your child to come up with solutions. Offer help only if needed.

  • Be a parent with a growth mindset

    It's important that you model your own learning, growing and making mistakes with your child. Share the challenges you face, the setbacks you experience and how you overcome them. Your child will love to hear your stories and learn from them.

What to Say and What Not to Say to Your Child [With Reasons]



“I have seen you work so hard on this!”

Why: It helps your child understand that you value the efforts.

“You are so intelligent and smart!”

Why: It makes your child think intelligence is a fixed quality.

“Maybe it’s time to try a new method.”

Why: It lets your child know that choices can be made and outcomes can be controlled.

“It’s okay. Maybe that’s not your cup of tea!”

Why: It makes your child think that improvement is not possible.

“I like to watch what you do.”

Why: It conveys a message that your child should not worry about the outcome and enjoy what’s at hand.

“You're a natural at that!”

Why: The next time your child fails or makes a mistake, it may be difficult to convince the child that outcomes do not matter, but efforts do.

“It seems that it was too easy for you. Let’s find something challenging.”

Why: It teaches your child not to be complacent, and that learning is a continuous process. So, challenge your brain for it to grow.

“You did it so quickly and easily; well done!”

Why: Praising for tasks that are done without much effort encourages a fixed mindset.

“That’s not right. You have not understood this yet. What can you do to understand it better?”

Why: Be honest about what your child knows and doesn’t know. Trust your child’s potential to improve.

“That’s not right. It doesn’t seem like you pay attention in class? You’re not even trying to understand.”

Why: It may prevent your child from working hard in class.

“That was really hard. Your efforts paid off! Next time, you’ll be ready for another challenge like this!”

Why: Your child should remember that efforts are required to overcome challenges. That realisation fosters a growth mindset.

“That was really hard. Glad that it’s over. Hope you don’t have to do that again.”

Why: Challenges are there to test you. Your child should be confident to have and use the tools needed for what comes next.

“You’ve worked hard so hard to become a good football player. You should challenge yourself by joining a football academy to learn skills you don’t know how to do yet..”

Why: Putting your child in the challenge zone fosters a growth mindset.

“You have a real talent for football. You should join an academy because you’re so good at it.”

Why: Your encouragement should not deter your child from taking risks and learning new things.

A growth mindset comes easily to some people, while some may have to cultivate it. Having said that, a growth mindset for kids is a potential success story. So, help your child experience it.

Developing a growth mindset for kids is an ongoing process, which involves learning from their mistakes, getting and taking feedback from others, and finding new ways to approach difficult tasks. But it's a valuable way to help your child learn that failing at something shouldn't stop them from working to improve. Setbacks in life can actually provide a way forward and help discover new talents.

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