Not sure how the Discovery Family Program works?
GOAL: Learn to focus on 'process' and 'growth' in the language we use with each other.
Practice using phrases that focus on process and growth as you communicate with each other over the next 2-3 weeks.
Encourage family members to brainstorm ways to 're-phrase' their words when they forget and use fixed mindset phrases.
Allow family members to help you brainstorm ways you can re-phrase your words when you forget. Kids will love helping you, and it will be good for them to see that you are willing to 'learn' as well.
Ensure that any kind of brainstorming or re-phrasing is done in a positive, respectful way. Avoid anything that would make family members feel 'wrong', 'dumb' or 'criticized'. Remember-- everyone is learning together and the point is to develop this habit together.
Acknowledge family members when you hear them using growth mindset language!
Help family members recognize the gift they are giving to each other by helping to create a home where a growth mindset is the foundation of family communication.
Review the ideas in this graphic:
Choosing the right words in our communications with each other is an important part of helping family members create a growth mindset.
Remember that a growth mindset is the belief that you can get smarter or get 'better' at something when you work hard. Even if something is really difficult, you keep trying. A fixed mindset is the belief that a person can't change their intelligence or abilities. People with a fixed mindset tend to give up more easily.
Let's help each other learn to use the right words. This will be a tremendous gift for young children in the family if they can grow up in a home where the correct language is used and not have to re-train themselves once they become parents. For older children in the family and parents, remember that no matter how long you've been using fixed mindset language, YOU CAN CHANGE!
Over the next 2-3 weeks you will work together as a family to develop a growth mindset within your home.
❓Do you want to be the student who isn't afraid of a challenge?
❓Do you want to be able to help solve a problem rather than reacting to problems?
❓Do you want to be the parent who gives truly motivating feedback?
Learning to choose the right words is an important stepping stone in the process of achieving these goals, and more importantly, developing a growth mindset.
Praise is something that can mold how each family member sees themself. For example, if a child is consistently praised for being "smart" that child may have the tendency to base his/her worth on his/her intelligence. When the child makes a mistake or "hits a snag" their motivation will hit rock bottom. Failure may cause them to feel like they are no longer smart. This fear of failure often prevents us from persevering during challenging times!
Review these examples and discuss how they appear to be very positive, but in reality may unintentionally send the wrong message. After reviewing the examples brainstorm some additional 'compliments' that you use in your home and identify if there are 'hidden messages' in them.
The alternative to praising talent or intelligence is to send messages about process and growth. Training your brain to focus on these will help you develop a growth mindset. A growth mindset will help you have a better relationship with approaching challenges and learning from mistakes!
The following activity will help your family learn how to use language with each other (and with friends!) that will create a growth mindset. Discuss as a family how each phrase focuses on process and growth and how that may help family members develop a growth mindset:
❏ You tried really hard on that.
❏ You have such a positive attitude.
❏ You have really improved on . . .
❏ What a creative solution to that problem.
❏ You never gave up, even when it was hard.
❏ You work very well with your classmates.
❏ What a great friend you are!
❏ I love how you took ownership of that.
❏ That was a very responsible thing you did.
❏ I like the way you are doing . . .
❏ I admire the way you . . .
❏ You really handled that situation well because . . .
❏ It was brave of you to . . .
❏ I love that you are always prepared for class.
❏ You did a great job of helping ____ with her assignment.
❏ You have taken great care of your ______.
❏ You remembered to _____. Great job!
❏ I know I can trust you because . . .
❏ I can tell you studied/worked very hard.
❏ I appreciate how helpful you were when you . . .
❏ You did a great job of participating today.
❏ I could tell you worked well with ___ because . . .
❏ It is so nice that you value other people's opinions.
❏ I can tell you tried your very best because . . .
❏ You really encouraged ____ today when you . . .
❏ You really thought outside the box on that one!
❏ You are not afraid of a challenge. I like that!
❏ You thought of that all by yourself. Great job!
❏ You remembered _____ (specific skill or strategy)! Great thinking!
❏ I am so proud that you made that choice!
Follow-up Activity Idea #1:
❏ Print this list of phrases off HERE.
❏ Have family members take turns choosing one phrase and tell about a time in the family (or in their interactions with friends and others outside the family) when that phrase could have been used.
→ This could be done by allowing family members to choose their phrase based on a specific situation they can think of OR
→ you may choose to have family members pick blindly and then work together as a family to try to think of a situation where the phrase would have worked in a real life situation.
Follow-up Activity Idea #2:
❏ Print the phrases and leave them somewhere that each family member has access to them
❏ Have family members look for specific situations throughout the day where they could use one of the phrases. When they use a phrase they pin or tape it to a designated location and are invited to share with the rest of the family about the experience.
❏ Encourage family members to add 'new phrases' that they use throughout the day that show a growth mindset. Be sure to leave a few empty strips of paper for this.
Follow-up Activity Idea #3:
❏ Give each family member a certain number of a special treat (i.e. small pieces of candy, small toys, etc.).
❏ Have family members watch for other family members to use 'growth mindset' language and award that family member with one of their awards. They can be given out until they are gone.
❏ You could also use something that is not consumable (beads, marbles or even home-made 'tokens') and watch the game go on and on. While family members are awarding others, others will be awarding them back, so no one ever really runs out.
However you decide to practice this important skill, be sure to HAVE FUN with it, and adapt it to the needs and style of your family!
Follow-up Activity Idea #4:
Use the growth mindset affirmation calendar in the 'Teens' section to have a daily focus for the next 30 days and help everyone develop a positive habit of replacing all negative self-talk with growth mindset phrases and beliefs.
The younger you start helping little ones learn to have a growth mindset the better! Here are some activities you can enjoy with your youngest Adventurers:
Use these phrases to brainstorm options we have in these situations:
Review these phrases with your child and use them often in your interactions with each other.
Community Engagement Adventure
Ready to take what you have learned to the community?
Share what you have learned about using growth mindset phrases and words with 3 of your friends and invite them to help you catch yourself if you use 'fixed mindset' language, stop, and turn it into 'growth mindset'!
As teens you are ready to take responsibility for your own future and your own 'growth' mindset. Use the following calendar to focus on one 'growth mindset' belief each day for the next 30 days. Whenever you catch yourself having negative self-talk, replace it with the phrase of the day. By the end of the 30 days you will have set a habit of thinking with a growth mindset perspective!
You may also want to get some friends to do this with you. It's always more fun when you do it together!
by Words Matter