What is Growth Mindset?

Posted on December 12th, 2016 9:06pm
By: prepacadtutors

What is Growth Mindset?

We used to think that our intelligence was fixed – meaning we were either smart or we 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.

Is your mindset fixed?

A person with a 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

Ways to help your child


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?


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!”


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


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.


Then 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 the words to say when he is feeling defeated by modelling it yourself!

source: Sarah Gardner 2015