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Talent is over-rated

Natural abilities or talents are fine, but they are just a starting point.  In fact, having the "right" attitudes, or a growth mindset, is more important when it comes to success at school and in life.

People who have a growth mindset approach learning and achievement with endless possibility.  They believe that their success depends just as much or more on effort, dedication, practice and passion.  Talent is good, but training is even better!  Kids with a growth mindset try harder, hang in longer when the going gets tough, and seek out new and harder challenges. 

People who have a growth mindset aren't afraid of making mistakes. In fact, they see mistakes as opportunities to learn something which they can apply in the future.  This makes them more open and less fearful of what other's think about their performance.

What can you do to cultivate a growth mindset in your child?

  • Praise effort, not outcome.  It's better to say "you must have put in a lot of effort" rather than "you are so smart."
  • When your child makes a mistake or fails, ask what they learned and how they would apply that in the future.
  • Show your child that you value learning and improvement, not perfect performance.
  • Talk openly and honestly about mistakes you have made, and what you learned from them. 
  • Remind your child that the brain is like a muscle, it gets stronger the more you  use it!


For more information on growth mindsets and to listen to two parenting experts (who are also parents themselves) talk about learning how to praise effort to go A growth mindset.

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