This month our focus is to build a growth mindset. To briefly summarize, in a fixed mindset we
believe that our intelligence and talent are something we are born with and can’t change. This
leads us to the false assumption that talent alone, without hard work, will lead to success.
Extensive research has shown that children with this mindset give up easily and often avoid
In a growth mindset, we see ourselves as growing and developing. We believe we can build any
skill with effort and this can help us create a love of learning and an excitement around new
challenges. We see the brain like a muscle, the more effort we put in, the bigger it grows.
GROWTH MINDSET TIP #1
Praise Your Child For Effort Instead of Talent
The most important thing we can work towards as parents is to praise our children for effort, not
talent. Our words tell children how to think about themselves and with best intentions when we
say things like, “Great job, you got perfect without even trying. You’re so smart!” we send our child
the message that trying hard means you aren’t as smart.
Research shows that children praised for outcome will choose easier tasks to prove they are smart
and gain our approval. Praising children for effort on the other hand, is what leads them to choose
harder tasks because they know we value effort. This is why children with a growth mindset
ultimately reach higher levels of success.
To support the growth mindset of our SJK community, please give praise freely for these growth
● Things accomplished through practice: studying, use of effective strategies,
perseverance, and concentration.
● Choosing challenging projects.
● Trying different strategies.
● Making improvement.
When your child does something very quickly and easily, recognize that the task didn’t challenge
them and say “Sorry about that. I guess that was too easy. Next time let’s choose something that
will really help you grow.”
Try to avoid praise that judges their intellect, talent and speed rather than effort. Praising these
qualities unintentionally has an adverse effect when our child faces difficult tasks, as it can create
a fear of failure, increased procrastination and cause our children to quit when things get difficult.