Chapter 7: Parents, Teachers and Coaches: Where do Mindsets Come From?

  1. Do you praise your children’s intelligence to make them feel smart? Think of the last time you did this. Now how could you have given growth-oriented praise instead?
  2. Do you excuse your children’s failures so you won’t harm their self-esteem? Think of times you’ve done this, and then think about how you could use the occasion to teach them a growth mindset (and help them succeed!).
  3. People who send fixed-mindset messages to their children –even positive ones—often have children who feel judged and who may become anxious about achievement or even start avoiding effort and challenges. Have you seen signs of this in your children?
  4. Have you used discipline to “teach your child a lesson”? What was the message you were hoping to convey? What was the message you did convey? How would you handle it now?
  5. Think about the ideals, standards, and expectations you set for your child. Now think hard: Are these the kinds of ideals that make your child feel judged and afraid of disappointing you? Or are these ideals that make your child feel inspired to learn?
  6. What did you parents do that fostered a fixed or growth mindset in you?
  7. Are you a teacher or a coach? What are some ways you could put the growth-mindset strategies into practice right away? What’s your very first step?