Building Successful Kids: Teaching a Growth Mindset

Building Successful Kids: Teaching a Growth Mindset

Earlier this week, I wrote about a recent Business Insider article that highlighted seven parental factors that can point to success in children. I focused the first of my blogs on this article on “avoiding junk time with kids.” Today, I’d like to focus on the importance of teaching kids about success from a “growth mindset” versus a “fixed mindset.”

A fixed mindset assumes that character, intelligence and creative ability are static “givens” which we can’t change in a meaningful way; thus, success is determined by that intelligence.

The article points out that parents of successful kids tend to focus more on a growth mindset – which thrives on challenge and sees failure as a springboard for growth and stretching abilities. Importantly, how kids think about success and where it comes from – either fixed or from one’s own ability to push themselves – can also predict their success later in life.

This difference is important as we mentor today’s youth. Our methods cater to the “growth” mindset.

It is through this mindset and these methods that we are able to shape our future leaders by developing character, citizenship, leadership and physical and mental fitness – the aims expressed in our core values in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Scouting encourages young people to expand their abilities and be rewarded for their achievements by earning rank advancements and through adventures that feed their natural curiosity, imaginations and eagerness to explore and lead. Failure is not an indicator of future success. Rather, it is a challenge to pick oneself up, dust off and try again. Through our methods, we see Scouts accept new challenges and grow in self-confidence, resolve and ingenuity, which leads them down the path to personal success.

To continue to ensure this approach reaches more kids, it’s important that we seek opportunities to connect to more young people to provide those experiences only Scouting can provide – whether indoor or outdoor – that employ the methods that develop these positive growth traits.

We must continue to innovate – with the help of our Scouts – to offer fresh, new experiences that appeal to them while continuing to rely on the methods that instill the values of Scouting to help them grow into terrific contributors to their communities and the nation.

With our methods firmly in place, I look forward to seeing new generations of remarkable Scouts who seize opportunity to grow, and with a little guidance from Scouting, map out their own paths to success.

Yours in Scouting,


Nathan Johnson

As a member of the Communications team at Boy Scouts of America, Nathan Johnson enjoys finding and sharing the stories that inform, inspire, and delight the Scouting family.


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Building Successful Kids: Teaching a Growth Mindset
Building Successful Kids: Teaching a Growth Mindset
Building Successful Kids: Teaching a Growth Mindset