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Teach kids to have a growth mindset: Activities, Lessons

Jun 22, 2021
21st Century Skills

We all want our kids to grow up into holistic individuals who will thrive and flourish in everything they do. Having a growth mindset is the difference between successful individuals and those who aren’t. You see, people with a growth mindset believe that with the right effort, their abilities and talents can improve with time.

Thus, kids who have a growth mindset are more likely to keep working towards their goals, being persistent even in hard times to better themselves. They have greater confidence and high self-esteem and are ready to embrace challenges as learning steps. They are more willing to share their struggles and ask for help whenever they feel stuck. All of which are critical in achieving life goals and leading happy lives.

Here are 5 tips to teach kids to have a growth mindset your modern family.

How can I help my child develop a growth mindset

Praise effort and process rather than talent/ability to growth mindset for kids in early years

Most parents are quick at praising their kid’s talents and abilities. When a child passes a math test or succeeds in something, it is common to hear parents say that the kid is smart or how good they are at that thing. However, this only promotes a fixed mindset in kids.

Such praise shows that the child passed the math test because of the ability that he has. It is like he or she has it, or doesn’t. If the same child failed in a science test, he or she will be quick to think he failed because he or she isn’t good at it. The child will most likely resign to his fate and believe that he or she can never get better in science.

If you are to foster a growth mindset for kids, steer off praising their abilities and focus on praising the effort and process. You can say to your child, “I see you worked hard on the math test. It helped when you asked the help of your friend on the topic that was troubling you.” This way, you are teaching your kids that it is okay to get stuck and ask for help. You are showing them that with a little more effort and the right strategies, anything can be done.

Teach them that the brain grows stronger

Just like a muscle, the brain grows when you learn something new. You can explain to your children that they can grow their intelligence and knowledge if they keep learning and working hard.

For instance, if they are learning how to ride a bike, they keep falling and wanting to give up. You can tell them how practicing every day forms new connections in the brain to make them better with each passing day. You will be teaching them persistence in whatever they do and working hard at each step of the journey.

Visit inspiring places – growth mindset activities for kids

Kids like saying what they would like to be when they grow up. However, that can remain to be a dream if nothing is done about it. You can take the initiative to show your kids that they can become whatever they dream of becoming. Encourage them to work hard towards their dreams. Another strategy is to let them interact with people who have become what your kids inspire them to be.

Coworking spaces bring together people from different professionals. The people working there can be a source of inspiration for your kids to work harder. If you live in Phoenix, for instance, you can visit coworking spaces in Phoenix with your kids. Your kids are sure to find role models and learn something from their journeys.

Be a growth mindset model yourself

Kids learn a lot by observing their parents. If you want your kids to have a growth mindset, it is good to let them see that in you. You can do that by keeping some of your setbacks open to them.

Let them see you not giving up, working harder, and trying different strategies to overcome your hurdles. When you succeed at something, let them know how hard you worked and persisted through struggles to get good results.

Teach them the power of ‘yet’

Growth Mindset for kids  is one of the most important 21st century skills for them. Most of us were raised with a mindset that makes us let failure define us. Unfortunately, we tend to pass the same to our kids. That is why you find most kids give up so easily, saying that they can’t do this or that.

For instance, if kids are unable to read something, they will be quick to say that they can’t read. Such are golden opportunities that you need to grab to teach them about growth mindset.

Remind them to add the word ‘yet’ in such sentences. “I can’t read yet.” Adding the word ‘yet’ in the sentence makes all the difference.  The kids realize that it is only now that they can’t do it, and that totally changes their perspective.


Instilling a growth mindset in kids is a good way to start them off in a journey of great achievements. As a parent, your kids will learn to have a growth mindset if you practice it yourself. Go ahead and take them to places that inspire them to work harder. In addition, start praising their efforts and process and teach them how the brain gets stronger. Remember to remind them to add the word ‘yet’ when they feel as if they aren’t able to do something.


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