Today I am going to share 3 ways you can inspire a growth mindset in your young child.
Developing a Growth Mindset
Today, I'm going to be talking about a simple growth mindset strategy. Basically, a growth mindset is the idea that you can change the way things are. Your current situation is not set in stone. A fixed mindset means that you think things are just the way they are and they're always going to be like that no matter what.
With a growth mindset, you believe that with hard work, perseverance, and lots of practice you can always improve and get better. You believe you can learn how to do new things or tackle difficult challenges.
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We like to promote a growth mindset in our house. You can also check out our post about 5 tips to promote a growth mindset.
I have a question for you. Do your kids ever feel stuck when they're up against a challenge or something's hard for them? Do they ever shut down and say things like, "This is too hard. I can't do it"?
This can be frustrating when we want our kids to persevere and try new things. I know this because my son used to say, "I can't" all the time.
I even went so far as to make "I can't" a bad word in our house. And I would say, "Don't say, I can't." But the problem with making "I can't" a bad word is that it accurately describes a lot of things.
I mean, right now my son can't tie his shoes. So, when he says, "I can't tie my shoes" that's actually legit.
1. One word to say daily
However, the problem with saying "I can't" is that it seems so finite. It sounds like it's never going to happen. So instead of just outlawing the word “can't,” try adding a word. There is one word we suggest encouraging your child to say daily that can help inspire a growth mindset. By adding this word to the end of an “I can’t” sentence, positively impacts mindset.
That one word is "yet."
Teaching kids to incorporate the word "yet" is very powerful. Suddenly, something they struggle with sounds like they will eventually be able to do it.
2. Create a plan
Another strategy to inspire a growth mindset is to help your child create a plan for how they can tackle the problem. For instance, if your child can’t tie their shoes, ask them,
“What are some things you can do to learn this skill?”
Help them by offering suggestions. For instance, suggest having them watch youtube videos to see how people tie their shoes. Or start practicing five minutes every day.
Help your child come up with a plan to tackle their goals. When kids make a plan on how to reach a bigger goal, it doesn't seem unattainable anymore.
Chunk the problem down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
3. Model a Growth Mindset
The other day I was outside with my family. My husband and I were talking about Blimey Box stuff and he was telling me, I should start doing live videos to educate parents on learning strategies that we feel passionate about. However, I told my husband, “Oh, I can't. I can't do live video because I’m way too shy.”
The next thing I know, I hear my son say, “Mom, you can't do live video... yet.”
And I just thought, oh crap, he’s so right. How can I be all preachy and tell him to be using the word yet when I am not even doing it?
That is one thing that is hugely helpful for kids... parent modeling. They look up to us. We need to model for them the behaviors we want them to do.
I told my son, right then, that he was right and live video is something I can’t do yet.
So, I decided to do some live videos to help me overcome my fear.
My final tip is to talk to your kids and model growth mindset behavior. Think of something you want to get better at and talk to your kids about it. Let them know that you struggle with something, but you are going to practice anyway. Your kids will love that you are sharing your vulnerability with them.