The power of ‘yet’

We live in an ever-changing world, a complex world where words hold so much power. With that in mind, we need to be careful of what we say and how we say it, modelling the same for our children.

As parents, we want the best for our children. We want to see them succeed, thrive, and overcome any challenges they may face. However, for children with learning difficulties, the journey towards success may seem daunting. Cultivating a growth mindset becomes not just important but essential for their development and well-being.

Recent developments in neuroscience have shown us that the brain is far more malleable than we ever knew. Research on brain plasticity has shown how neural connectivity can be changed. With practice, neural networks grow new connections, strengthen existing ones, and build insulation that speeds transmission of impulses. (taken from

At the heart of “the power of yet” lies the concept of a growth mindset. More than thirty years ago, Carol Dweck, a psychologist, became interested in how different students respond to failure. She and her colleagues noticed that some students rebounded easily from failure while others seemed devastated by the smallest setbacks.

After studying the behaviour of thousands of children, Dr Dweck coined the terms fixed and growth mindset. A growth mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication, effort, and perseverance. Instead of viewing challenges as roadblocks, individuals with a growth mindset see them as opportunities for learning and growth. In contrast, students with a fixed mindset believe that academic achievement is due to their innate abilities and that these, along with intelligence, cannot be changed.

In her 2006 book ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’, Professor Dweck says: “This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments—everyone can change and grow through application and experience.”

One of the simplest ways to start developing a growth mindset is by modelling and using the very powerful word “yet”. How many times have you heard your child say “I can’t do this”; or “I don’t understand”? In the realm of personal growth and development, few words carry as much transformative potential as “yet.” This simple, three-letter word has the power to shift our mindset, reframe our perspective, and unlock a world of possibilities. When we add the word “yet” to our vocabulary, we open ourselves up to the possibility of growth and improvement. For example, saying “I haven’t mastered this skill yet” acknowledges that while we may not have achieved our goal, we have the potential to do so in the future.

The word “yet” also plays a crucial role in fostering resilience and persistence. In moments of doubt or uncertainty, it serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us that our journey is not yet over. It encourages us to keep pushing forward, even when the path ahead seems daunting. Instead of shying away from difficult tasks, children with a growth mindset are more likely to embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. They understand that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process and that their abilities can improve with effort and practice.

By cultivating a growth mindset, children develop resilience by learning to persevere in the face of obstacles. They become more willing to try new approaches, seek help when needed, and adapt their strategies until they succeed. A growth mindset encourages children to focus on the process rather than the outcome. Instead of being discouraged by initial failures, they learn to value effort and persistence. This mindset shift can lead to greater motivation and engagement in learning activities, ultimately leading to improved academic performance.

When children believe that their abilities are not fixed, they are more likely to approach learning with curiosity and enthusiasm. They become less afraid of failure and more willing to explore new ideas and take risks. As a result, they develop a lifelong love for learning that extends beyond the classroom.

Parents can cultivate a growth mindset in their children by doing the following:

In conclusion, the word “yet” has the power to transform our mindset, outlook, and approach to life. By instilling in our children the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through effort and perseverance, we empower them to embrace challenges, build resilience, and unlock their full potential.

By embracing a growth mindset and incorporating “yet” into our, and our children’s vocabulary, we can overcome obstacles, cultivate resilience, and unlock our full potential. So the next time you or your children encounter a challenge or setback, remember: You may not have succeeded yet, but with dedication, effort, and perseverance, anything is possible. For more information, visit Bellavista School’s website.


Article written by Lauren Lieberthal, Gr 1 educator at Bellavista School

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