In this special kid’s POV edition of the podcast, Asher and I share one of our favorite brain science tools—the concept of a fixed and growth mindset as defined by psychologist Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset: How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential. Carol’s research shows that people with a fixed mindset “believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits,” while those with a growth mindset “understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence.” As you’ll hear in the conversation, Asher loves exploring brain science concepts, as it provides him with information about how he ticks, which is empowering for him.

The concept of a growth mindset has profoundly impacted how Asher approaches his work and gives us a language to use when he comes up against obstacles, gets stuck, or is faced with a task he doesn’t want to take on. He really wants to nurture a growth mindset and has made a lot of changes in his learning to style to achieve this goal.

In this conversation, we also explore the concept of extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation through a discussion of Dan Pink’s book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.


About Debbie and Asher: Debbie Reber is the founder of TiLT and the host of the TiLT Parenting Podcast. 12-year-old Asher is Debbie’s son and is regularly featured on the podcast. Find out more about Debbie and Asher by visiting the About Page.



  • The difference between a “fixed” and a “growth” mindset and what each looks like in a student
  • How challenges, obstacles, criticism, and the success of others are perceived depending on mindset
  • How a growth mindset can be nurtured and developed over time
  • Why learning about how one’s brain operates can be an empowering thing for a kid
  • How to “praise” a child in a way that encourages a growth mindset
  • Why external rewards don’t encourage personal growth in kids