As a parent, we constantly want to learn effective skills to help our children achieve their best potential. Have you ever heard your child say “I’m not good enough” or “I’m stupid” or “I can’t do it” to you before? It’s pretty common with children and adolescents of all ages, genders, developmental, and academic levels and you have the power to help them change their fixed mindset and turn it into a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset is achievable to teach and learn, and I am going to share with you how to do it, because as a child therapist, I know that if you change the language you use and the way you think, you can change the way you learn and live your life!
THE IMPORTANCE OF A GROWTH MINDSET
Teaching children to have a growth mindset is extremely important for their overall wellbeing. Having a growth mindset is way of thinking in a positive and forward direction. Teaching children to have a growth mindset creates a love for learning, a greater strength to try new and difficult things, and a sense of resilience when obstacles that come their way. We typically grow more when things are challenging, not when things are easy, so a growth mindset can teach your children to have persistence, determination, and confidence!
WHAT IS A GROWTH MINDSET
It’s a philosophy about how to view life through a positive and fluid lens. Having a growth mindset is more about the process, not the outcome. A growth mindset is about the effort and the attitude of a task. And a challenge, mistake, or even a failed attempt at something isn’t looked at as the end and an excuse to give up, it helps a child embrace the temporary setback, and gives them a reason to try again harder or from a different angle the next time.
EXAMPLES OF A GROWTH MINDSET VS A FIXED MINDSET
A child says. “I can’t do it”
A parent says, “I know it’s difficult, but you just haven’t figured it out yet.”
A child says, “I am stupid.”
A parent says, “You made a mistake on that math problem, but you can fix it the next time.”
A child says, “I did it, but…”
A parent says, “You did it, and…”
A child says, “I’m not good enough.”
A parent says, “I know you are disappointed and I can see you are upset. I know you can do it. Let’s take a break and try again tomorrow.”
A child says, “I’m not going to try because I don’t want to fail”
A parent says, “You will only fail when you stop trying.”
A child says, “I will read 2 books this week.”
A parent says, “I love your passion for reading. Let’s read more tomorrow than we did yesterday and see how many books we can read.”
A child says, “I want to get all A’s this year.”
A parent says, “That is a great goal. I want you to try your best and enjoy what you learn.”
A child says, “I am not good at ______”
A parent says. “It will get easier when you practice!”
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR CHILDREN
What is something easy you can do?
What is something hard for you or something that takes a lot of hard work?
What is something that you need more practice on?
What is something new you’d like to try?
Three things that make me awesome are…
GROWTH MINDSET MANTRAS AND AFFIRMATIONS
I am going to try my best today
I am going to have a good day
I am going to learn something new today
If I make a mistake, I will keep going
If I fail, I will try again
If I need a break, I will ask for one
I will make good choices today
If I make a poor choice, I will make a better one next time
I will learn from my mistakes
I am capable of achieving my dreams
If something is difficult, I won’t quit
I will work hard today
I am open to learning something new
I have a positive attitude
I will try anything at least once
All I need to do is try
I will handle any challenge that comes my way
I haven’t done it yet, but I will
I am proud of myself for giving it my all
I will be the best I can be today!
I can do it!