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What Is a Growth Mindset?
The idea of mindset originated in the work of a renown Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, She was researching achievement and success. I highly recommend her book Mindset which explores the concepts of mindsets in great detail. What differentiates people with growth mindset and why do they tend to be more successful? A short summary is given in this image from Class Teaching:
How Can We Nurture Growth Mindset?The best activities to nurture growth mindset are self-directed activities where children naturally set challenges and solve them. It’s crucial to give children some unstructured time and “strew” materials that might bring them to one of these activities that I think are great for flexible thinking and growth mindset.
Make sure you rotate your toys often to encourage your children to enter "the world of pretend" where they can build their playscapes and solve problems through play. If your children are close in age or have playmates, give them board games or card games to try out. Playing board games teaches them to lose graciously and not to be threatened by success of others. I have a list of our favorite board games to play as a family and a list of single player games.
“frozen” watercolors and trying them out in “swirly pictures” than she usually gets from more “results-focused” art projects.
Encourage journal writing by giving kids good writing tools and stationary. Kids who love to write are usually creative and flexible thinkers. If your older child resists writing, perhaps he or she can enjoy one of these fine motor skills activities for older kids. They will allow children develop fine motor fluency and strength needed for writing while also having fun and doing something creative.
I love to see my daughter in a tinkering mood. Tinkering is probably one of the best activities to promote growth mindset – children get to build their own creations, test what works and what doesn’t work, overcome obstacles and find workarounds. Tinkering is flexible by nature, and even children who are more “fixed” can open up and explore when presented with engineering challenges or simply with construction toys.
Final Word – About PraiseWhen you try to “lead” your children to activities promoting growth mindset, it’s very important to hold your tongue and refrain from “evaluating” your children’s actions unless they are harmful to them, others or your property. Children should find motivation and satisfaction in their own work and their own results and not rely on others to provide them with “positive feedback”. If you want to offer some sort of feedback, praise the effort. This shift of focus from the result to the effort is really the best thing you can do every day in nurturing growth mindset in your children.
Your TurnHow do you nurture growth mindset in your children?
Indoor Activities for Big Kids
- Indoor Activities for Tweens from What Do We Do All Day
- Wooden Bangles for Animal Lovers from Adventure in a Box
- How to Learn Math with Paper Snowflakes from Thriving STEM
- Indoor Play Ideas for Older Kids from Lemon Lime Adventures
- Simple Duck Tape Bracelets from The Gingerbread House
More Parenting Ideas?
- What Is the Goal of Motherhood?
- The Truth About Strict Parents
- Using Rewards to Build Character Traits?