Three ways to teach a positive, growth mindset as early as the toddler years!

growth mindset

The secret to success is failure. 
A lot of failure!

But how do we teach this to children? How can we expect our kids to bounce back, try again or reach for the stars when it can hurt so badly when they fail??

The answer is that it’s a process. None of us wake up one morning with a positive, growth mindset. It takes practice and intention. But, it IS possible.

In this video I share three ways we can introduce a growth mindset as early as the toddler years.

A child with a healthy, growth mindset experiences the same fear and frustration as everyone else. The difference is that they can still move forward despite their fear. Trying new things, compromising with others and positive thinking are a result of practicing a growth mindset daily.

Bouncing back when things get hard is a challenge even for us adults. However, there are some simple ways we can build this skill during early childhood.

The three areas to focus are allowing children to feel their emotions, asking guiding questions that navigate your child’s thinking and encouraging the process in real time.

How many times have you jumped in when your child was struggling? How quickly have you taken over to relieve their stress? As primary caregivers, it is our responsibility to keep children safe and often our innate draw to help them actually prevents us from allowing children to experience true struggle. Without struggle, children can not learn how to navigate their big emotions and find solutions to common problems.

When children come to us for support there is a temptation to take over and hand them the solution on a shiny gold platter. But here’s the thing, children thrive when they find their own solutions. Asking guiding questions, instead of giving immediate answers can go a long way in helping your child boost their cognitive and emotional skills.

Finally, we need to be aware of how we respond to those big challenges. When the children get angry or begin arguing, do we race in and bark orders? Do we on occasion get exasperated and put them down?

“It’s not that big of deal! Be a man!”

Sometimes this comes out as a reaction before we even realise what we are saying. The third and final step for supporting your child’s growth mindset is being aware of our emotional reaction during these situations and being sure to encourage the process with patience and understanding.

Are you excited to practice a growth mindset with your child? Grab my free mindfulness bundle here and begin your family’s positive journey!


About the author

Stephanie Wicker is a child behaviour expert, parenting educator, counsellor and speaker - who has successfully guided families through early childhood for over 15 years. Through her experience with private consultancy, as a preschool teacher and special needs therapist - she has worked across the many facets of early childhood behaviour. 

Stephanie's evidence-based programs are grounded in behaviour science and her passion for Relational Frame Theory (RFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and developmental psychology all play a big role in her programs.

Stephanie’s experience covers early intensive behaviour intervention programs for children with special needs and for families newly diagnosed. She hosts live training events all over Australia, where she shares her practical solutions and language techniques, along with providing private, in-home therapy sessions for those seeking more personalised support. 

Through her company, Simply Kids she provides family resources such as digital books and educational activities, designed to keep behaviour simple. 


"By helping parents place emphasis on connection, empowerment and encouragement, I believe that all children have the ability to reach their full potential." - Stephanie Wicker


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