Have you ever heard the term “Growth Mindset“? Learning how to push past limiting beliefs and grow your mindset is an incredible tool to help you live intentionally… But how do you help your kids have a growth mindset? (Especially when they’ve think that Everything is Awful?)
“I CAAAAAAAN’T DO IIIIIIIT!!!!!” she wailed as she looked at the “impossible” math paper on our dining room table. “It’s TOO HARD…”
I watched my 6-year-old begin to melt in her chair as the fear-center of her brain started to activate.
I know that if I let her, those limiting beliefs will stop her from making progress. From trying something new. A stuck mindset will keep her from doing SO MUCH in her life… all because she decided that it was “impossible,” or, “too hard.”
As I’ve worked on my own growth mindset and limiting beliefs, I’ve been ACUTELY aware of my kids’ mindsets. When a poor mindset crops up, I’ve struggled to find ways to get through to them, and worked to teach them how to pull down those barriers that could hold them back in life FOREVER. And here’s what I’ve learned (so far!):
3 Ways to Help your Kids have a Growth Mindset:
Encourage them to speak TRUTH.When my kids are ready to start wailing over the “impossible” situation (which usually isn’t impossible) I try to shift their mindset about their ability as SOON as I can. I’ll snag their attention, and say something we know to be true. Sometimes it’s a Bible verse, a statement about WHO they are, or even something as simple as “This is easy!”
The trick with this is to encourage them to say it after (or with) you, and try saying it a few different ways until you notice their body language change. Sometimes we add some silly faces, make “strong-man” arms, or I’ll tickle them in between each statement. Even if they don’t believe it at first, speaking possibility over themselves will change the negative thinking… and you get the fun of watching their outlook change in front of your eyes!
Speak to their PERSONALITY.This one can be a bit tricky, because this isn’t about “labeling” your child with a personality type! It’s not meant as a label (or an excuse!)… but the Enneagram or MBTI can be a great tool for training a growth mindset. I’ve seen so much change in my kids when I speak to the fears or desires of their personalities! My daughter is fiercely protective over her freedom, but she also gets scared when she thinks she has to do it ALONE. My son LOVES to control the situation, and hates when he feels out of control or vulnerable. Using these strengths and weaknesses as a jumping-off-point for my words can make a MASSIVE difference.
Straight Up: There’s NO easy way to help you uncover this except for to do the research yourself. If you’re a personality-typing “newbie” I always recommend starting with MBTI. Learn about how the test works, and what each letter means. Do some research, and watch your kids to see which attributes they seem to favor!
Use their Love Language!This can make such a big difference! Speaking directly to your kids Love Language “fills their love tank” and that can make such an impact on their mindset. My daughter is definitely a “Words of Affirmation” girl, while my son is “Acts of Service.” Using these gifts and speaking to them can go a LONG way in building them up and giving them a growth mindset.
Not sure which Love Language your child has? Watch how they interact with others! Do they give compliments all the time? Do they love helping you, or want to buy/give presents to their friends?
Another perk of learning how to help your kids have a growth mindset? You’ll notice your own stuck mindset SO MUCH MORE. You’ll see when you’re feeling down on yourself, when you’re in a stuck mindset, and when you’re beating up on yourself. Sometimes the teacher learns just as much as the student, right?