How our Mindsets Prime our Brains–for Better or Worse–Part 2

We need to stop saying how smart they are, how talented they are, or even how lazy they are. Dweck’s research has shown that praising abilities lowers a child’s IQ score.

The Growth Mindset empowers us, helps us live with purpose, and leads us to success and fulfillment. And that helps us have a sense of wellbeing and feel the joy of being alive.

To help our children get to that state we need to embody it. Equally important, we need to let our children fail. We need to let them struggle and work hard over extended periods of time. We even need to let them get hurt.


We need to stop saying how smart they are, how talented they are, or even how lazy they are. Dweck’s research has shown that praising abilities lowers a child’s IQ score.

Instead, children need their growth process praised. Dweck demonstrates what it could look like for different kinds of students:


That homework was so long and involved. I really admire the way you concentrated and finished it.”
“Everyone learns in a different way. Let’s keep trying to find the way that works for you.”
“I know school used to be easy for you and you used to feel like the smart kid all the time. But the truth is that you weren’t using your brain to the fullest. I’m really excited about how you’re stretching yourself now and working to learn new things.”
“You read that sentence in the book — you worked so hard to learn how to do that and now you can! Congratulations!”

What helps me is remembering that hard work and making mistakes is the way we learn. It also stretches our brains, expands the Growth Mindset center and builds confidence.


Let’s help our children embody the Growth Mindset by embodying it in ourselves and communicate in a way that helps our children embody it in themselves.

© 2019 by Linda Boverman