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How A Growth Mindset Can Help Girls Embrace Challenges

How a "Growth Mindset" Can Help Girls Embrace Challenges

JANUARY 16TH, 2020

Have you ever wondered why some kids give up easily or refuse to try, while others embrace challenges and seem destined to achieve more? Stanford psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck believes a lot of it comes down to mindset. The good news is that we can help girls be motivated and achieve more by teaching them to embrace a “growth mindset”. This extra boost can be hugely valuable, especially for girls. 

What Is a Growth Mindset?

In her landmark book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Dweck talks about how people tend to have a “fixed mindset,” a “growth mindset,” or a mix of the two. People with a fixed mindset believe that people are basically born smart, talented or successful. These folks feel like they’re always having to prove their worth, and will quit or refuse to try when they worry they might not be successful.  

People with a growth mindset believe that any person can improve their skills and abilities with hard work. These folks tend to embrace challenge because they see it as a means to improve themselves. In short, "People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed.”* 

How To Instill a Growth Mindset

Here are a few things you can do to give girls a growth mindset.

Model a Growth Mindset

From mindsetworks.com, "As parents, you play a huge role in influencing the mindset of your children, so it’s important for you to model a growth mindset.... Showing your children that you are excited by challenges, see mistakes as learning opportunities, and understand the value of practice and trying different strategies will go a long way in cultivating their growth mindsets!"

Praise Effort

The way you praise a girl can have a big impact on her mindset. Mindsetworks.com has some great recommendations for praising effort. Here are a few of their suggestions:
  • Say "I can see you worked so hard on this!" not "You are so smart!"
  • Say "It seems like it's time to try a new strategy" not "It's okay, maybe you're not cut out for this."
  • Say "It looks like that was too easy for you. Let's find you something challenging so your brain can grow." not "That's right! You did that so quickly and easily; great job!"

Talk to Girls About Mindset

We’re big fans of sitting down with kids and having in-depth conversations about things that really matter. This is one of those things! Talk to girls about how mindset can impact them, and how every person can improve on their abilities. If you need backup, Dr. Dweck offers a program for girls in grades 4-9 called “Brainology for Home” that uses animation to teach kids about mindset.

Check Out “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success"

We’ve highlighted some of Dr. Dweck’s book here, but there's nothing like reading the book yourself. It’s packed with real-life examples that make it easy to incorporate the growth mindset info your own life.

Embracing a growth mindset has had a huge impact on our own family members. We hope you get as much out of it as we have!

How a "Growth Mindset" Can Help Girls Embrace Challenges

JANUARY 16TH, 2019

Have you ever wondered why some kids give up easily or refuse to try, while others embrace challenges and seem destined to achieve more? Stanford psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck believes a lot of it comes down to mindset. The good news is that we can help girls be motivated and achieve more by teaching them to embrace a “growth mindset”. This extra boost can be hugely valuable, especially for girls. 

What Is a Growth Mindset?

In her landmark book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Dweck talks about how people tend to have a “fixed mindset,” a “growth mindset,” or a mix of the two. People with a fixed mindset believe that people are basically born smart, talented or successful. These folks feel like they’re always having to prove their worth, and will quit or refuse to try when they worry they might not be successful.  

People with a growth mindset believe that any person can improve their skills and abilities with hard work. These folks tend to embrace challenge because they see it as a means to improve themselves. In short, "People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed.”* 

How To Instill a Growth Mindset

Here are a few things you can do to give girls a growth mindset.

Model a Growth Mindset

From mindsetworks.com, "As parents, you play a huge role in influencing the mindset of your children, so it’s important for you to model a growth mindset.... Showing your children that you are excited by challenges, see mistakes as learning opportunities, and understand the value of practice and trying different strategies will go a long way in cultivating their growth mindsets!"

Praise Effort

The way you praise a girl can have a big impact on her mindset. Mindsetworks.com has some great recommendations for praising effort. Here are a few of their suggestions:

  • Say "I can see you worked so hard on this!" not "You are so smart!"
  • Say "It seems like it's time to try a new strategy" not "It's okay, maybe you're not cut out for this."
  • Say "It looks like that was too easy for you. Let's find you something challenging so your brain can grow." not "That's right! You did that so quickly and easily; great job!"

Talk to Girls About Mindset

We’re big fans of sitting down with kids and having in-depth conversations about things that really matter. This is one of those things! Talk to girls about how mindset can impact them, and how every person can improve on their abilities. If you need backup, Dr. Dweck offers a program for girls in grades 4-9 called “Brainology for Home” that uses animation to teach kids about mindset.

Check Out “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success"

We’ve highlighted some of Dr. Dweck’s book here, but there's nothing like reading the book yourself. It’s packed with real-life examples that make it easy to incorporate the growth mindset info your own life.

Embracing a growth mindset has had a huge impact on our own family members. We hope you get as much out of it as we have!

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For easy ways to empower girls, fun activity ideas, alerts about new Hopscotch Girls products, and more, join our email list.

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