Learning how to ask the right questions is important for any learning process or experience. Asking the right questions can mean the difference between developing a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset. In order to cultivate the latter, it’s important to ask growth mindset questions. This is especially important for students who may benefit from the advantages that a growth mindset brings.
Here are 15 growth mindset questions for kids that can help them be more flexible, resilient, and receptive to feedback:
15 Questions to Encourage a Growth Mindset in Kids
While you can simply tell your kids what’s good about a growth mindset in the classroom or at home, it can also be quite beneficial to their learning to ask questions that will encourage them to think more deeply about it.
Here are questions about the growth mindset that kids will find useful:
1. What is a growth mindset, and why is it important?
When thinking of growth mindset questions to ask your children or students, it may be useful to start with something basic. By asking them what a growth mindset is and what makes it important, you are reinforcing their understanding of the concept and its importance. This makes it easier to introduce and practice other elements of a growth mindset later on.
2. What made you think hard today?
Asking your kids this question is another way of inquiring about what intrigued or stimulated their minds enough to think hard. This is a way to show them that learning and growing are both challenging processes that usually involve thinking hard about different concepts and skills.
3. What is one mistake you made today, and how can you improve on it next time?
All people make mistakes. It is simply an unavoidable fact of life. But what’s really important is how we learn from them. By sharing with your kids a mistake you made today and how you plan to improve on it, they can be encouraged to do the same. Acknowledging that they made a mistake helps kids take ownership of their own learning process. Reflecting on how they can improve upon that mistake can help them become better learners.
4. How will you challenge yourself today?
Like mistakes, challenges are an inevitable part of life. Not everything comes easy, and there will be difficulties that lie ahead of each individual. Parents, guardians, and teachers can all play a part in teaching kids how to deal with challenges. Kids will learn to acknowledge their accomplishments as they reflect on the ways they are challenged. They'll also come up with strategies for overcoming difficulties in the future.
5. When do you feel inspired to learn?
Asking kids this question will allow them to reflect on how they show growth at home, in the classroom, and in other areas of life. Having the drive to learn indicates a desire to further skills through effort and practice. This question will encourage kids to imagine the things they are passionate about learning.
6. What do you do when you do not understand something you are learning?
Some kids may feel stuck when they do not know how to move past a certain problem or difficulty. This question encourages them to think of other ways they can tackle these obstacles. If they cannot figure it out on their own, then at least they can identify what they are doing so you can help them explore other solutions.
7. Who can you ask for honest feedback?
One of the growth mindset questions for kids that is really important is “Who can you ask for honest feedback?” Knowing who to go to for honest feedback can make all the difference in a child’s development. While praise is important, you also need an adult who will tell a child how they can improve and be their best selves. At the same time, you need someone who can provide feedback in such a way that it does not feel like the child is only being criticized. This promotes better learning and furthers the growth mindset.
8. What is one change you have made recently to become a better learner?
Improving our academic and social pursuits requires that we adjust and change to better fit our needs as we progress. Making the necessary changes, such as doing one’s best or asking a classmate for help, can help kids become better learners. Ask them to think about what they have done (big or small) to become a better learner. They can reflect on how that has improved their overall growth.
9. What goal are you currently working towards?
When kids are asked what learning goals they are working towards, they are also being asked to set and self-regulate to meet these goals. This encourages growth in the form of motivation levels and achievement. It helps to have goals visible for kids, such as laminating them and placing them on the table or on the fridge at home. This allows them to make the changes needed to grow and achieve their goals.
10. What are the ways in which you want to grow?
Kids may not always be aware of the specific ways in which they want to grow, so this is one of the good growth mindset questions to ask. If they are stuck, it can help to share a growth mindset quote from one historical figure they are familiar with and then explain how that person wanted to grow and improve. They can take some inspiration from this and perhaps see how they might emulate that person or come up with their own goals.
11. How did you progress towards your goals today?
Setting goals is great for kids, but it is even more important to revisit them regularly. This ensures that your kids don’t forget about what they want to achieve. It also helps reinforce the idea that reaching your goals takes consistent effort and hard work. Recognizing their progress will allow them to stay motivated and keep working towards their goals. It helps to do a growth mindset activity centered on goal setting to review your kids’ goals together.
12. What makes you proud of what you accomplished today?
When kids area always focused on putting in the effort toward their goals and learning, it can be difficult to see the actual progress they are making. Part of growth is seeing how much you have accomplished and improved, so allow your kids the space to talk about what made them proud of themselves. This will drive them to keep going and accomplish more to the best of their abilities.
13. What is something you finished that you didn’t think was possible?
Knowing you can overcome obstacles is necessary to find the willpower and motivation to keep going despite the many challenges and difficulties that you’ll encounter. Reminding kids that they have and can still accomplish what they thought was impossible will assure them of their ability to overcome hurdles.
14. What would help you put more effort into your learning tomorrow?
This question is great for cultivating a growth mindset because it asks kids to look to the future. It emphasizes where they are today and how that can be improved tomorrow. It is asking them to chart their growth and, at the same time, challenges them to make the necessary steps to achieve what they envision!
15. What does it mean to be a good learner?
Growth is all about learning from successes, failures, mistakes, and other experiences, over and over again. What a good learner is to one child may be different to another. Ask your kids to share what they believe makes a good learner. You can ask follow-up questions, such as “Do you think you are this kind of learner?” and “What would help you become this kind of learner?” By helping your kids focus on their learning, you can support their growth all the better.
The Bottom Line
Sometimes, all it takes to encourage a growth mindset is to ask the right questions. Asking your kids the questions above will allow them to think deeply and reflect on themselves. These growth mindset questions and answers can push them to develop in all areas of life, whether that’s in the classroom, at home, or with friends. You can use these questions or growth mindset posters to continuously inspire your kids to be better and keep growing.