I recently completed a continuing education course targeting supporting children and their parents through mindfulness techniques in speech therapy, and at home. I am going to be honest. THIS WORK WILL BENEFIT ANY PERSON! Dr. Carol Diveck, a leading researcher in the fields of personality and social psychology “suggests that children can develop a “growth mindset” through learning that successes take effort, mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow, and that this mindset encourages children to seek out new challenges.” ALSO, you can cultivate a growth mindset at ANY age! Research shows that resilience doesn’t come from rare or special qualities, but from everyday magic of ordinary, normative human resources. This suggests that resilience is a common phenomenon! These skills can be learned by anyone! Moreover, thanks to mirror neurons (what wires babies’ brains to imitate your faces, etc.) YOU as a parent can model these skills for your child!
Research indicates that people who are resilient are more likely to be healthier, live longer, be more successful at school and in their careers, feel happier in relationships, and be prone to less depression (Reivich & Shatte, 2002). Moreover, SELF-COMPASSION bears a greater impact on resilience than self-esteem does! In short let’s show our children, and ourselves some SERIOUS self-love!
Here are five simple ways to encourage self-compassion, growth mindset, and positive self-talk!
- Reframe “mistakes”: If you see your child make a mistake, CELEBRATE IT! “Yes! A mistake! This gives us a chance to practice problem solving and having a flexible brain! It’s THE TRUTH! Mistakes are learning opportunities; they are not something you need to “correct”; they are an opportunity!
- Positive Outcomes Tower: take some building blocks and have your child stack the positive moments in their day! It doesn’t matter what they are! Do this before they start their homework, or before bed! It’s a visual way to shift mindset, and practice gratitude as well! Build your own tower next to theirs, let them see you practice positive self-talk and reflection as well!
- Blow bubbles with your child. If they have had a hard day have them place a negative thought on the bubble, and then POP it!
- At dinner take time to openly talk about one thing you “failed” at today, and one thing you “succeeded” at. Ask for help on how you could maybe succeed another day with the thing that you failed at. Modeling asking for help with your child as a social competency that will serve them very well in the future!
- Compliment YOURSELFnd your child when you catch each of you working through something that is difficult. It really isn’t about succeeding immediately, it’s about acknowledging the WORK!