Parents' guide : What you can say to your kids to promote a growth mindset for lifelong learning
Parents can nurture their children's growth mindset and love for lifelong learning by paying attention to the way they communicate, interact, and respond to their children.
Are you nurturing a growth mindset in your child? A child with a growth mindset will blossom into a lifelong learner, fully equipped with a skillset of the future that includes traits like curiosity, self-confidence, perseverance, resilience and motivation.
Here are some ways you can speak to your child to promote a growth mindset, while raising him or her to love learning for life!
|What You Say||What It Means||What Your Child Can do|
|Keep on trying!||All that stands between your child and lifelong learning is the amount of effort he/she puts in.||Choose a hobby that requires lots of practice like playing a musical instrument, riding a bike, or playing sports.|
|It’s the effort that counts!||Praising your child only when he/she succeeds promotes a ﬁxed mindset. Encouraging the effort instead will boost that growth mindset.||A challenging activity like rock climbing, where your child could either succeed or fail at the task. Continue to encourage your little one even during failure.|
|Let’s challenge ourselves today.||There are always multiple ways to do things. Doing things the easy way promotes a ﬁxed mindset that your child’s capacity to accomplish tasks is limited. Choosing a challenge shows that your child can overcome obstacles.||Go to the monkey bars at the playground and let your child choose between the fastest way (e.g. simply run under the bars) or the most challenging way (e.g. climb and swing across the bars) to get to the other side.|
|It’s okay to ask for help.||When a child struggles to ﬁnish a challenge or ﬁnd a solution, he/she may tend to hide rather than ask for help. Tell your child that failure is okay and reassure that help will be given when asked.||Set up an age-appropriate, challenging task for your child and demonstrate that it is okay to ask for help. Or, let your child watch you struggle with a task and ask for help from others.|
|You worked really hard at that, didn’t you?||This assures your child that the effort he/she continuously puts in has not gone unnoticed.||Set up an age-appropriate goal for your child. This could range from hopping on one foot, completing a puzzle, or learning to ride a bike without trainer wheels.|
|This sandcastle was a brilliant idea and you did it very well by using the right sized buckets to make it.||Be speciﬁc with your praise so your child knows exactly what he/she is doing right. Avoid using generic praise like, “You’re so smart”.||Let your child do science experiments or arts and crafts projects to see how he/she is able to use critical thinking skills and creativity.|
|Yet.||Instead of letting your child say, “I don’t know how to do this,” get him/her to say, “I don’t know how to do this, yet.” This shows your child that there is a chance to learn next time.||Riding a bike, swimming, or learning a language can be challenging and takes lots of time and practice. If your child is frustrated, remind him/her that we all struggle in the beginning but that practise makes perfect.|
|Take your time||Every child is different and you are actively acknowledging that your child’s learning pace is different from others. It shows your child you are not comparing him/her to others.||Whether it is music lessons, maths equations, or language development, the key is to encourage your child to learn at his/her own pace.|