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  • Bethel Opulencia

Growth Mindset

For many children, there are tasks that they can find challenging. This can be their school work, making friends, learning a sport or tying  their shoelaces. When they can’t do a  task, it can be common for the child to say “I can’t do this,” “I hate this,” “I don’t want to do this anymore.” This may cause a child to give up and think of themselves as a failure or someone not able to learn a specific task or learn a new skill. This is what we call a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset refers to the belief that you can’t do something and that you will never be able to do it or be good at it. It can be easy to get stuck in this mindset which may result in:

  • Being threatened by other people and their success

  • Giving up easily

  • Avoiding challenging or unfamiliar situations/activities

  • Ignoring or being overwhelmed by feedback

  • Feeling limited with their abilities

  • Having low self-esteem

  • Focusing on the output rather than the process

When working with children, it is important to ensure that they continue to achieve their goals and continue to pursue completing tasks to increase their independence. This is where a growth mindset can be developed. A growth mindset is the process of our minds viewing challenges and difficulties as an opportunity and it is a process that can be improved with practice. This can look like, instead of saying “I can’t do this,” it changes to “this is challenging but I will continue to try” or “I am finding this hard but I know I can do it with practice.” Changing the language of “I hate this” can be ” I don’t really like this but I am open to trying new things.”

When a growth mindset is developed, there is a sense of freedom, which is likely to result in:

  • Intrinsic motivation

  • Perseverance

  • Being inspired by others’ success

  • Embracing challenges

  • Accepting criticism and finding ways to improve

  • Developing a desire to learn

  • Building new skills and achieving goals

  • Increased self-esteem and confidence

  • Focusing on the process and ensure learning rather than the output

How can we develop a growth mindset?

  • Being mindful of the use of our language when speaking to our children

  • Acknowledging differences in one another

  • Modelling perseverance and openness to trying new things

  • Creating a tool box for emotional regulation (especially when frustrated)

  • Goal tracker: help them look back to something that they cannot do in the past but can do now

  • Support children with improving their executive functioning skills

  • Setting realistic and achievable goals


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