Growth Mindset Books for Littles, Parents & Teachers

You've probably heard of a "Growth Mindset" and associated it with sports psychology and modern theories of human behavior.... if not, then welcome and let me introduce the concept to you!

Growth Mindset is the perspective that I can improve through my efforts. My skills, abilities, and talents aren't existent or non-existent. I have the ability to grow and change.

The opposite of Growth Mindset is a Fixed Mindset. If you have a Fixed Mindset, then you are either good at something or you're not. It's a black and white way of thinking where there's no purpose in trying to improve because it isn't possible.

We probably all want to think that we have a growth mindset and are teaching our kiddos to think this way and to consequently develop resiliency. As with many things, it's not always as straight forward as it seems.

You may have overheard a child say, "I don't get it. I'm never going to be good at math. Why am I even trying?" This is a Fixed Mindset. If you next overheard their parent say, "Yeah, math is really hard. I didn't get it either. Luckily, you don't have to take any more math classes after 10th grade" then the parent is unintentionally validating their child's fixed mindset, agreeing that progress isn't possible, and putting a seriously negative spin on math.

To promote a Growth Mindset, this frustrated child's parent could:

  1. Validate Emotions
    1. "I can see that you're having a hard time. I feel frustrated too when something is hard to understand."
  2. Encourage Effort
    1. "I remember when you were in learning the piano that you felt frustrated because it was difficult. But you asked for help, kept trying and practicing, and now it's really easy for you! You can do the same thing with math. Let's break it into smaller steps and keep trying til we get it. I know that with practice you can understand this too."

You probably give your child pep talks like this all the time! #1cheerleader

You naturally have the role of cheerleader, you're your child's secure base from which to explore the world! #shout out to attachment theory

Books for the Littles

Modeling and "walking the walking" are good strategies to develop your child's Growth Mindset. But sometimes you need to be specific and explicitly teach concepts to your child.

These books are a way for your two to spend some cuddle time together as well help your child develop a Growth Mindset and support their budding resilience.

  1. My Strong Mind: A Story about Developing Mental Strength
  2. I Can Do It
  3. I Will Try!
  4. I Can't Do That, YET: Growth Mindset
  5. Your Fantastic, Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It
  6. Bubble Gum Brain
  7. The Bear and the Fern
  8. Still I Fly
  9. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
  10. Not Yet

So your three-year-old may not fully internalize Growth Mindset from one book reading but as you incorporate stories like these, a Growth Mindset can become infused into just how your family is 🙂

Resilience and a Growth Mindset are core values I'm trying teach to my little guy. This is way I have the next list, "Books for Parents." We gotta talk the talk and walk the walk when it comes to raising and teaching the littles.

Books for Parents

To help our kiddos, first we need to understand this Growth Mindset business ourselves. If we don't demonstrate it ourselves and incorporate it into our perspective and choices, then how can we teach our children to be resilient?

I think we have to acknowledge that 'failure' is an inherent part of a growth mindset because there would be no need to great if there isn't 'imperfection.' We don't 'do failure' in our culture generally so developing a growth mindset can take some intentional introspection and willingness to put ourselves out there... sounds kinda scary, huh?

Here are some great books for your 'me time' when you're waiting in the car at soccer practice or piano lessons.

I recently finished Brene Brown's Daring Greatly and absolutely loved it! Seriously, you should read it.

  1. Mindsets for Parents: Strategies to Encourage Growth Mindsets in Kids
  2. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
  3. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
  4. The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage
  5. Present over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

Books for Teachers

I've heard the general advice (and you probably have too!) that we should praise effort instead of achievement. Here are some books to help you really teach a Growth Mindset to your students as well as help develop it yourself so that you can model it in the classroom.

  1. The Growth Mindset Coach: A Teacher's Month-by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve
  2. The Growth Mindset Playbook: A Teacher's Guide to Promoting Student Success
  3. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
  4. In Other Words: Phrases for Growth Mindset: A Teacher's Guide to Empowering Students through Effective Praise and Feedback
  5. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Thank you for reading and I'd love to hear how you encourage resiliency and a growth mindset in your child! Comment and share your good vibes!

Want to keep reading? Check out this post on popularity and theory of mind.

(P.S. This post contains affiliate links 'cause momma's gotta bring home the bacon. As an Amazon Associate, I may receive a negligible compensation for qualifying purchases. Thank you!)

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