Inside: Worried your child has low self-confidence? Use these growth mindset quotes to help them reframe their thinking and create positive brain connections.
I saw he had written on his daily warmup the word “sadness,” a frowning emoji and the statement, “This is what I feel like in my life…”
These were the thoughts of one of my students within the first few weeks of school…It just broke my heart.
He was struggling inside but no one would have guessed. It was with this writing assignment that I learned the truth. So, I sought to get him help outside of myself but nonetheless being a role model each and every day when I have him…
Some of these kids come to school with so much baggage about things that are going on at home or within themselves. Each story is as different as pebbles on the beach.
And each year I get 150 new pebbles.
Before they enter those weird 2 years I call “the black hole” (better known as junior high), I spend my year teaching about the workings of the world through science.
More importantly, I work on teaching them to be more resilient. These pebbles come in all shapes and sizes and some with more jagged edges than others.
I work on polishing them and building them up to send them off into the world. Hopefully with a few less jagged edges than the 9 months prior.
But I can’t do it alone. As they say, “it takes a village.”
Here’s One Piece of the Village
Over the years, I’ve read countless books and probably attended enough hours of professional development to have a second degree. But I’m always trying to improve my craft.
That’s when I stumbled upon Angela Duckworth’s GRIT on a recent trip to Costco. Being in education I had heard of Angela Duckworth before but didn’t know the full scope of her work.
In her book, she paints the picture of high achievement from our kids comes NOT from talent but a combination of their passion and perseverance, in which she calls GRIT.
It all comes down to their mindset, and in particular, whether they have a fixed mindset or growth mindset. A growth mindset believes they can achieve whatever they set their mind to, but a fixed mindset says, “I can’t.”
RELATED POST: 17 Awesome Positive Affirmations for Kids
And This is What I Learned
Most students at ages 10-12 don’t have a complete understanding of their passions just yet. It’s our job to guide and nurture them but not put pressure on them.
Allowing our children to explore interests on their own will help increase their growth mindset because they will feel ownership of themselves.
This does not mean we don’t push them to try new things but rather create opportunities for them to experience a wide variety of situations.
Even when the going gets tough and they’ve found something they’re interested in, they’ll soon realize that it’s not always going to be sunshine and roses.
Grit and growth mindset stand on the premise that your effort counts twice. Eighty percent of being successful is just showing up, and it’s always that first step of a new experience that’s the hardest.
Our job is to be their biggest cheerleader and help them develop skills no matter what passion they try.
Signs Your Child Lacks a Growth Mindset
Sometimes we may mistake our child bouncing from idea to idea as a sign that they’re getting bored, but if we really look at the underlying reason, we may find something altogether different. It could be that they have a fixed mindset about themselves.
They may say, “It’s too hard,” or “I just can’t do it,” or even “I tried it but got frustrated and gave up.”
Another sign of a fixed mindset is having a super competitive child who only cares about winning. A fixed mindset can be on both ends of the spectrum where one end is no self-confidence and the other is over-confidence.
The story of my student at the beginning was a classic example of a fixed mindset. He saw there was no way his life was ever going to change. He wasn’t seeing all the possibilities in this new school year or the new classmates he would meet.
He wasn’t seeing them, YET.
RELATED POST: Use Mindfulness as a Way to Reduce Stress
6 Ways to Help your Child Increase a Positive Mindset
One of the best ways for our kids to develop a growth mindset is by modeling it ourselves. There are numerous studies that prove children learn best by observing their parents.
You are the single best teacher of your children.
Here are six other ways to help increase their mindset:
- Look at who they admire – ask them what they admire about that person. Remind them that that person did not get there overnight, and it probably took a lot of experience and training to get where they wanted to be.
- Put them in social situations – allow them to have many experiences. Sometimes these experiences will trigger an interest because they are interacting with the outside world. They may even meet a new friend.
- Teach them the power of YET – add “yet” to any fixed mindset phrases. No one likes to feel like they’re failing, but a growth mindset understands the power of YET. By adding the word “yet” to anytime they feel like they’re failing, their brain will start to rewire itself into thinking more positively. For example, “I can’t draw, YET,” or “I can’t say my math facts, YET,” or “I’m frustrated, and I want to give up but not YET.”
- Pick one thing at a time – help them focus on one new thing at any given moment. They may want to try out several new ideas, but focusing on one idea at a time will allow their brain to make the needed connections to grow and increase in power. This will also help them focus more at school and increase the likelihood they’ll stick with something.
- Learn a new word – kids love learning new words, especially when they’re foreign. This new word is kaizen which literally translates “change for better.” But it’s more commonly known translation is “continuous improvement.” We need to teach them that we’re not looking backward but forward and wanting to grow to better ourselves and the environment for those around us.
- Practice using quotes – positive affirmations have positive power. Use growth mindset quotes to help keep positive thoughts on the forefront of their minds. They’re also great for them to learn about other people who have a growth mindset.
Next steps: What to do with These Growth Mindset Quotes
To make things super easy for you to practice a grit and growth mindset with your kids, I’ve created a few growth mindset quotes you can print out.
You’ll want to use these with your kids as much as possible. The more these thoughts root their way into their mindset, the more their brain rewires. More positive connections mean more positive thoughts.
Read them, say them aloud, or even write them.
They include positive mindset thoughts from celebrities and celebrated adults in history.
Download Your Growth Mindset Quotes for Kids
These quotes and sayings will help your kids start on the path to a growth mindset. Use them for the whole family too.
- Click the button below to grab your quotes and growth mindset sayings, plus join my newsletter!
- Print out the quotes. Cardstock is best but any white paper will do.
- Set your kids up to practice using the quotes when they’re feeling stressed or in a fixed mindset.
- Create a wallpaper on their phone or device so they can have some inspiration wherever they go. *just open the pdf from your email on their phone and take a screenshot of whichever quote they want. Then turn that photo into their wallpaper.
What growth mindset quotes and sayings have you come across that are your favorite? How are you going to use them with your family?
Share in a comment below!
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