The Growth Mindset

— Greater Good Science Center Raising Happiness Blog
Updated on Apr 27, 2010

YOUR MINDSET about how people learn can profoundly influence how happy your kids are. There are two basic mindsets.

  • People with fixed-mindsets believe that their talents personalities are inborn, carved in stone.
  • People with growth-mindsets believe that that success is a result of effort as much as or more than aptitude.

Model the growth-mindset yourself; for example, at dinner or bedtime tell about a time when you didn’t know the answer to a question.

  • Who did you ask for help?
  • How did you learn the answer?

At breakfast, ask questions about their opportunities for learning and growth in the coming day.

  • What questions do they need answers to?
  • What do they want to learn or get better at?

Make sure to ask kids about topics other than academics or sports — children are also learning important social skills at school.

  • How are they are practicing being a better friend, and what challenges are they facing?

Talk to your kids about their heroes and role models.

  • How did they become successful? Point out the hours of practice and effort that go into success.

Link to original PDF:

Christine Carter, Ph.D., is a mother of two and the executive director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. Find more tips for raising happy kids at

Subscribe to Half Full: Science for Raising Happy Kids by Email

Add your own comment
DIY Worksheets
Make puzzles and printables that are educational, personal, and fun!
Matching Lists
Quickly create fun match-up worksheets using your own words.
Word Searches
Use your own word lists to create and print custom word searches.
Crossword Puzzles
Make custom crossword puzzles using your own words and clues.