How To Build a Family Mindset to Reduce Stress 

family mindset to reduce stress

Did you know that kids who are praised for their hard work actually score higher on tests than kids who are told they’re so smart? The same goes for sports, music, and other talents. 

Most of us have heard about Growth vs. Fixed Mindset, but what exactly does it mean for our own families and stress? More importantly, what can you do?

Here are 5 tips for Creating a Growth Mindset to reduce stress in your home. (And it works for adults as well as kids!) 

Tip One: Celebrate the verbs, not the identity. When you want to encourage a behavior, or celebrate an achievement, focus on the action. For example, “all of your practice really shone through today when you scored those goals in the game.” Another one is, “you stayed with that piano piece and when you made that mistake, you kept going to finish well.” 

Tip Two: Be aware of your own language. Think about the things you say to yourself and in front of others. For example, “I’m terrible at math.” Instead you could say, “I never really took much time to learn math, and now I’m seeing that I can do mental math. It’s a great time to ask your kids to share what they are learning and let them teach you while you struggle a bit. 

Tip Three: Mistakes are the way we learn. Sara Blakely, the successful owner of Spanx, said her Dad would ask her a question every night at the dinner table. “What mistake did you make and what did you learn?” She said she learned that life and business was about learning, making mistakes, and then working hard to improve. Ask the same question to yourself and your kids, then appreciate the new growth you all experience. 

Tip Four: Learn from Feedback. Kids who are told “you’re so smart,” tend to not ask for help. Most teens would love to ask their teachers for help, or another student, but they are fearful to show weakness. Teaching collaboration at home leads to kids take more risks to ask for help when they are frustrated or confused. Parents can sometimes keep their work to themselves, but actually, when they share an appropriate work challenge and ask the family for input, it communicates a willingness to learn and that vulnerability is strength. 

Tip Five: Be open with your Struggles. Kids see their parents doing dishes, laundry, yard work and driving carpool. Allow yourself to share your feelings about these tasks at times, so that kids grow up learning that we all do things we don’t like to do. It seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many teenagers think they shouldn’t have to do things they find frustrating or boring. Share your thought process out loud. “I really don’t want to clean the kitchen tonight, but it’s important that you do your homework. I’m going to turn on my chores playlist and challenge myself to be done in 15 minutes.” Kids will learn far more quickly watching you than they will when you try to explain this to them. 

Developing a Growth Mindset at Home is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your children. Stress will always be a part of our lives, but with a healthy mindset, stress can work for you.