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Language to foster a growth mindset

Foster growth mindset

Language is ever powerful. It affects the way we start to see ourselves. Parental language is hugely important for kids and tweens as they figure out who they are in this world. While we want kids to learn, grow and achieve their full potential, parents will need to learn how to speak to them to spur this growth mindset.


5 Tips for Fostering a Growth Mindset in Kids

 Encourage Effort and Persistence

1. Encourage Effort and Persistence

One of the most effective ways to foster a growth mindset in children is to encourage effort and persistence. Instead of praising your child's intelligence or natural ability, focus on the effort they put into their work. For example, instead of saying "You're so smart!", try saying "I'm proud of the effort you put into that project!".

Embrace Challenges and Failure

2. Embrace Challenges and Failure

Help your child understand that challenges and failure are a natural part of the learning process. Encourage them to see failures as opportunities to learn and grow. For example, if your child is struggling with a math problem, instead of saying "I can't believe you got this wrong!", try saying "It's okay, mistakes happen. Let's look at the problem together and figure out where we went wrong."

Focus on the Learning Process

3. Focus on the Learning Process

Help your child focus on the learning process rather than just the outcome. Encourage them to take risks and try new things, and remind them that progress and growth take time. For example, instead of asking "Did you get an A on your test?", try asking "What did you learn from studying for your test?".

Positive self talk for growth mindset

4. Use Positive Self-Talk

Encourage your child to use positive self-talk to boost their confidence and self-esteem. Help them reframe negative thoughts and turn them into positive affirmations. For example, instead of saying "I can't do this!", try saying "This is a challenge, but I can figure it out with some hard work and perseverance.

Avoid Labels and Stereotypes

5. Avoid Labels and Stereotypes

Avoid labeling your child or others as "smart", "dumb", "talented", or "not talented". These labels can create a fixed mindset and limit a child's potential. Instead, focus on the effort and progress they make. For example, instead of saying "You're so talented at soccer!", try saying "I can see all the hard work and practice you've put into your soccer skills. Great job!".


Using language to foster a growth mindset in children, especially in their tween years, can help them learn, grow, and achieve their full potential. By encouraging effort and persistence, embracing challenges and failure, focusing on the learning process, using positive self-talk, and avoiding labels and stereotypes, parents can help in fostering a growth mindset in kids that will serve them well throughout their lives.


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