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Growth Mindset Gardening: The Power of "Yet"

Updated: May 5, 2020

Growth mindset is a viewpoint that our abilities are not static. It encourages risk and builds resilience through the power of "yet." As in, "I can't do that yet, but I will keep trying," as opposed to "I'm not good at it; I give up."

My toddler and I have been planting and working in our raised bed garden for about two months. Gardening itself is a practice in patience but today we finally got to harvest spring onions!

When I was an English teacher, I often used the gradual release model, also known as “I do/we do/you do” where the teacher models the concept and students have a chance to practice it with help, before doing it on their own.

Now that I’m a SAHM, I still try to remember to use this strategy to help my toddler be successful and develop resilience when learning a new skill.

In the first video, you hear him say “I can’t.” In the next clip he’s gaining confidence with “I did it.”

In this last video, he has achieved "mastery" we are celebrating his success (even the baby is cheering him on).

Would it have been easier for him to give up? Would it have been easier for me to just do it myself? Yes, on both counts. But the process is what’s important. Because I know that this will help him tackle the next challenge, cultivate a growth mindset and develop that elusive quality known as grit.

As a parent, I think about what I can do to prepare my son for the future, while my toddler, who lives in the moment, feels immediate gratification and pride in a job well done!

To learn more about how our growth mindset garden project got started, see also: Playing Preschool: Unit 14 - Plants

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