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Embracing the Growth Mindset

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A mother and daughter flexing together for the camera

For several years now, the term “growth mindset” has been cropping up. It’s very likely your kids have heard about it from teachers who want to inspire confidence in students. What is a growth mindset and how can we instill it in our kids?

Dr. Carol Dweck, author of the best-selling “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”, coined the term and defines it like this: “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,”

A young boy working intently on his laptop

At Till, we are big proponents of the growth mindset; afterall, our whole platform is about learning by doing. We believe that practicing key skills, including making mistakes is an important part of kids growing up and that this applies to many things, from money management skills to school studies, to sports and beyond. In this article, we explore a few areas in a kids’ life where a growth mindset comes into play.

Challenges and failures are viewed as opportunities to improve learning and skills.

Rather than focusing on natural talents and success, the emphasis of the growth mindset is on effort and perseverance. Challenges and failures are viewed as opportunities to improve learning and skills. In a nutshell, the growth mindset encourages you to:

  • Praise process & hard work
  • Focus on effort, rather than natural ability or outcomes
  • Face emotions - new things can be scary
  • Embrace failure as an inevitable part of growing
  • Talk about mistakes and what you’ve learned from them
  • Stretch yourself to try difficult things

As our kids grow, they will have so many opportunities for learning, and these transformative experiences can spark lessons that may last a lifetime.

A young girl at soccer practice while her coach looks on

Stretching with Sports

Involvement in organized sports is a great way for kids to apply a growth mindset. The philosophy behind team sports is to practice and put in effort, rather than rest on what natural abilities you have. The best coaches praise kids for working hard at practice, embrace losses as learning opportunities, and encourage kids to push themselves, and to learn from their mistakes.

Learning through Travel

In the teen years, your kids may do some traveling with school or other groups. Traveling is another way to instill a growth mindset. Going somewhere new can be stressful, it’s unfamiliar, sometimes uncomfortable just because it’s not home or there’s a different language to navigate. There are new people they may be traveling with, new foods they are eating, new experiences all around. How to navigate this? Talk about risks you’ve taken, mistakes you’ve made while traveling. Lessons you’ve learned. Think of some possibly unfamiliar situations, ask your teen what strategies they might use to tackle them.

The Till app and debit card was designed to foster exactly this kind of learning.

Growing with Money

The growth mindset is very useful when kids are learning about money. Kids need to gain real-life experience, practice taking risks and making decisions, and then reflect on those decisions with their parents and caregivers. The Till app and debit card was designed to foster exactly this kind of learning. With their own Till debit card, kids can begin to make their first solo transactions, with guardrails. You get real-time notifications, so you can see what is happening. Together, you can set savings goals, and track progress in the app. When you take the time with your kids to review challenges, look at their spending history, talk through strategies, and recognize growth, you are supporting thoughtful financial decision making.


Here are some questions to spur conversation:

What did I spend my money on?

What am I saving for?

How did I progress toward my goals?

Where did I stumble, and what are some strategies I could use next time?

Are there supports I could use to reach my goals?

Where did I put in effort, where did I improve, what did I learn?


Growth in Life

There are so many opportunities for kids to develop a growth mindset. These transformative experiences can turbo boost learning and independence. To learn more about how to foster financial learning through earning, spending,and increasing independence with money, read our other posts.

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Banking services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. Till accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. The Till Visa Card is issued by Coastal Community Bank pursuant to license by Visa U.S.A. Inc. Apple®, App Store®, and iPhone® are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

Banking services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. Till accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. The Till Visa Card is issued by Coastal Community Bank pursuant to license by Visa U.S.A. Inc. Apple®, App Store®, and iPhone® are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.