Helping Kids Change Can’t into Can

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“Mom, I can’t do it!” How many times have you heard your kids say this? I’ve heard it many times in my house. Recently, our family has been learning about using a “growth mindset.” Have you heard this buzz word? It seems to be everywhere these days. With a new year starting, I want to evaluate my mindset and let go of old ways of thinking that no longer serve me. I’m working on letting go of my “fixed mindset” this year. 

growth mindset“Growth mindset” is a concept I first learned about when I was studying family therapy in college. The terms “growth” and “fixed” mindset were coined by Carol Dweck in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. *Dweck states:

“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.” 

Alternatively, Dweck states:

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,” 

Placing the emphasis on effort and perseverance rather than innate ability has helped broaden my perspective on what is possible for myself and my kids. We have shifted our focus as a family thanks to the “growth mindset” way of thinking and I have noticed a higher level of resilience and less worry about mistakes (because mistakes help us learn and grow) in all of us!

Here are some fun resources for learning how to adopt a growth mindset:

The Kitchen Table Classroom– Growth Mindset for Kids Printable Book- this is an awesome free resource for kids filled with growth mindset worksheets. 

Learn, Grow and Succeed Mindset Journal– This journal teaches about growth mindset, invites children to write down their feelings and learn new ways of thinking. 

Big Life Journal– This awesome website sells growth mindset journals for kids, has printable activities and a podcast on growth mindset. 

Lakeshore Learning Growth Mindset poster pack– We have growth mindset posters up on our walls as a reminder when we feel like were getting stuck in a fixed mindset. These growth mindset posters from Lakeshore are awesome!

I Can’t Do That Yet– A story about a girl who takes a journey in her dreams that shifts her perspective from an “I can’t do that,” mentality to a growth mindset oriented  “I can’t do that YET!” perspective. 


What did you learn today? What mistake did you make that taught you something? What did you try hard at today?

 – Carol Dweck

*Source: The Glossary of Education Reform

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