How to develop a positive growth mindset

Learn about: How to develop a positive growth mindset from Carol Dweck, PhD,...
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How to develop a positive growth mindset

The good news is that you can help your child develop the positive growth mindset from the beginning or even later. And one important way to do this is through your praise. You may not realize this but every time you praise your child's intelligence or talent, you are creating a fixed mindset. You are telling your child, "I want you to have a fixed, a high amount of intelligence or a high amount of talent." Suddenly, they become worried about making a mistake and not looking smart. They stop trying challenges. They stop being able to cope with setbacks. So, what's the alternative? Praising the process that your child engages in. Praise their efforts, their strategies, their choices, especially their choices of hard tasks. Praise their perseverance, their focus. Say things like these: "Great struggle. You must have learned a lot." "Wow! Look at those choices. Can you tell me about that?" "Look! You kept your eye on the ball and you got a hit." Or "remember, we talked about trying many things and you did it and you solve the problem." When you focus on the process that the child engages in, you teach them how to be successful and what to do if they encounter failure. Just engage in that process again in a slightly different way. If you praise your child's intelligence and then they had an obstacle, what can I do now except think they're not smart. They don't know what to do. So, focus on the process, the effort, the strategy, the passion, the enjoyment, all in the context of learning and growing.

Learn about: How to develop a positive growth mindset from Carol Dweck, PhD,...


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Carol Dweck, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Carol S. Dweck, PhD, is a leading researcher in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford. Her research focuses on why students succeed and how to foster their success. More specifically, her work has demonstrated the role of mindsets in success and has shown how praise for intelligence can undermine students’ motivation and learning.

She has also held professorships at and Columbia and Harvard Universities, has lectured to education, business, and sports groups all over the world, and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and to the National Academy of Sciences. She recently won the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the highest award in Psychology. 

Her work has been prominently featured in such publications as The New Yorker, Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, and The London Times, with recent feature stories on her work in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post, and she has appeared on such shows as Today, Good Morning America, NPR’s Morning Edition, and 20/20. Her bestselling book Mindset (published by Random House) has been widely acclaimed and has been translated into 20 languages.

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