• Clarice A.

Parenting with Growth Mindset in Tagalog (Praise Effort not Ability)

Are you over using the word “galing” to praise your child? “Galing” is to be good in Tagalog, I say it all the time when Isabelle listens to me and does something good. But lately I’m making a change.

Words matter. How you say and what you say to your kids can affect their behavior. 

I want my child to have a growth mindset-the idea that 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 resilience.

Here is a handful of Tagalog phrases that can help you better communicate with your child:

I can see that you worked very hard on this.

“Alam ko na pinaghirapan mo itong gawin.”

Let me see if you can do it. Can you do it?

“Tingnan ko nga kung kaya mo. Kaya mo ba?”

Want to try first?

“Gusto mong subukang ikaw muna ang gumawa?”

You did it!

“Nagawa mo!”

You can do it!

“Kaya mo!”

I can do it!

“Kaya ko!”

Can you tell me what you did?

“Sabihin mo nga sa akin kung anong ginawa mo?”

How did you do it?

“Paano mo ginawa ito?”

Instead of empty compliments, (1) praise effort and process not ability (2) reinforce positive words (3) be specific and clear which  behavior constitutes a praise

(4) be descriptive, tell them how the behavior makes you feel. (5) use affirmations 

Growing up in the Philippines parents are not always so positive, some even use fear based parenting. How many times have you heard, “Gusto mo ng palo?” You want to get hit? How many of you got the belt?

I know I did. Now that I’m a parent I will try not to repeat the mistakes of the past and teach based on respect, love, compassion and empathy. I know I’m not perfect, but I’m always striving to be a better version of myself.


The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

Parenting Mojo - Blog and podcast on research-based ideas to help kids thrive.

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