Tag Archives: growth mindset

Shift Your Perspective With Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations help children to think positively and believe in themselves.

Materials

Affirmation coloring book or coloring page
Colors, colored pencils or markers
Ambient music

What is Positive Affirmation Coloring?

Positive Affirmation Coloring is a simply buying or downloading an affirmation coloring book and coloring with your child. These can be purchased inexpensively online at Etsy or at local bookstores. Coloring can have therapeutic benefits and be a fantastic mindful activity for children. When coloring is combined with the mood-changing powers of positive affirmations it doubles the calming effects.

What are the benefits of affirmation coloring?

Coloring books with positive affirmations are uplifting and can shift your child’s perspective, creating a positive mindset. Coloring coupled with ambient relaxing music can help your child de-stress and relax.

What do I say?

Let’s sit up tall and practice mindful listening before we begin. While we listen to the relaxing music we are going to color an affirmation page. Affirmations are short positive phrases that focus on what you want out of life. I’m going to pass around the coloring book and I want you to pick an affirmation that means something to you. Tear out that page. As you color, breathe in and out through your nose. Think about the words printed on the page. Say the words in your head as you color. Notice how you feel.

If you are wanting more ways to include positive affirmations in your child’s day or even a children’s yoga class, buy my book, Mindfulness for Children, it is full of simple activities to enhance positivity and mindfulness in children.

Growth Mindset

WHAT IS GROWTH MINDSET?

Carol Dweck is a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist who has spent over 30-years researching growth mindset.  Dr. Dweck reports growth mindset is the understanding that we can develop our abilities and intelligence.

WHY DOES MINDSET MATTER?

Dr. Dweck found that a child’s mindset about his or her own intelligence has a significant impact on their effort, motivation, and approach to challenges.  Those who believe their abilities are flexible are more likely to take on challenges and not give up despite failure.

WHY PRAISE SHOULD BE INTENTIONAL?

 Teachers and parents need to use specific praise that focuses on children’s effort, concentration, and strategies.  For example, next time your child gets a good grade in a class for which you know he or she studied hard, praise them for their effort and suggest they enroll in a harder class next semester.  The key is to be specific about the praise you give. Do not praise intelligence, but effort.

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SHOW?

The feedback we give children can impact their mindsets in unexpected ways. For instance, praise for intelligence, such as “You’re so smart!” is thought to be motivating and good for children.  However, research shows that it has a negative effect on student motivation and/or achievement. Researchers, Dweck and Mueller divided fifth grade students into two groups and had them work on a puzzle task. One group, after accomplishing the task, was praised for their intelligence and ability.

The other group, also after accomplishing the task, was praised for their effort, rather than intelligence. When this easy task became harder, the groups responded to the challenge in very diverse ways. Children praised for intelligence chose to continue working on the easier puzzles, while students praised for effort decided to progress to more challenging puzzles. The effort-praised group sought out more challenging tasks and reported learning goals as most motivating. The intelligence-praised group avoided challenge in favor of ensured success, and cited performance or “looking smart” as their goal. Therefore, praise for intelligence resulted in reduced persistence, reduced enjoyment, and worse performance than praise for effort. Students who are praised for high ability attribute their success to a fixed or unchangeable quality of themselves (innate intelligence), while students praised for effort realize their performance is subject to improvement, which is growth mindset.

References

 Dweck, C.S. & Mueller, C.M. (1998). Praise for intelligence can undermine children’s motivation and performance.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (75), 33-52.

Dweck, C.S. & Leggett, E.L. (1988). A Social-Cognitive Approach to Motivation and Personality, Psychological Review 95, (2), 256-273.