Practicing Decision Making

Did you know that Decision Making is a Skill? It falls under Soft Skills but it is anything but soft, it's critical!

When kids are given the space to make decisions, and do so, it's important that we use that moment to credit them with that. Not the topic or actual choice that they made, but the action of choosing, making a decision, is one we want to encourage.

For my son, I want to encourage him to try new things. New food, new clothes, hair styles, friend, sports, and so on. You can see that moment in your kids eyes when they over think something and it becomes a really big, painful deal. An easy example for us is trying new food. Our son is not a fan of new food and, when we tell him he has to try it before declaring he doesn't want it, you can see the panic start to rise the longer he thinks about whether he will actually put it in his mouth or not.

The other week he asked if he could try something we were eating. That is an action we want him to do more.

Another example is what he is going to do to keep himself occupied while we work. Often it is a struggle to get him to do anything other than watch his iPad, which is very limited in our home, so when he made a quick decision to take his scooter to the skate park, we were elated!

Teaching moments are all around us, but it is so important for us, as parents, to be aware of WHAT it is we are wanting to praise. Praising results, even if the results are exactly as we wanted them to choose, are not the actions we want to praise. That is what can develop into people pleasing, low confidence adults.

Instead we want to praise the process of how they got to those decisions, the action of deciding what they wanted or thought was best, whatever that may be.


Are You Winning or Losing? Does It Matter?

Imagine your child won a Nobel Prize for giving one big idea to the world, through taking action. Do you believe this is possible? Do they have it in them to be exceptional?

I really hope you said yes, because it's true. No matter what intellectual, physical or other limitation they may have, giving the world a great idea and taking action on it is in all of our power and control, but it can be a tough road.
Developing a Growth Mindset is not just about helping them do more or become smarter kids, it's about developing their coping skills and having a healthy attitude towards difficult obstacles they will face in life.
Why is it that we love to watch biographies or hear stories about incredible people who have done incredible things? Do we just enjoy hearing about the part where they won the medal or their book was published, or they climbed the mountain? Of course not! That part is only satisfying when we can hear the "story" of how they did it.
It took how many years to write that book? And she was how old? And so broke that she was behind on rent?
Oh my gosh! You mean she broke her leg but managed to win an Olympic Medal in Figure Skating? How??
They got the idea for how to plant more tree's faster by watching their daughter play in the sandbox? So cool!
It's the story of how the band Queen came to be formed that is interesting. It's how someone like Oprah ends up becoming Oprah. It's the story of the invention of the first light bulb and Michael Jordan's rise to fame that keeps us in ah. But why?
A part of all of us believes we are capable of more than we currently present. When we hear stories of "success" and their grass roots, we are reminded that everyone starts our the same. In diapers, curious about the world and falling over and over again as we learn to walk.
Yes, we all have different upbringings. Some of us have incredibly supportive parents and others were in households of abuse. Some were encouraged in sports and had the means to pay for expensive equipment and coaches, while others had none but always loved to play. For every story of success where someone "had", there are just as many stories from someone who "had not" but still become a success.
Why weren't we those exceptions? Life is tough. End of sentence. It really is, but I don't mean in a physical sense. Bills need to be paid, yes, and that person cut you off in traffic that caused an accident, that really sucks. But when I say life is hard, I mean that no matter where you come from, the have's or have not's, we all fight battles in our heads.
"Did I do that well enough?"
"I know I could do more but I don't feel like it"
"Why are they doing better than me? Why can't I have that as well?"
"What am I doing wrong?"
"I wish I had said something differently back there. Now it's too late"
Man, it's exhausting being in ones head. Whether you appear confident or not, whether you can afford things or not, our brains are constantly questioning what we are doing and trying to convince us of false truths. It's an animal with basic needs to protect and survive. It does this to help but it is mental torture for many.
So, let's bring this back to a growth mindset in our kids. Why is it so important?
Because the commentary in a growth mindset sounds more like this:
"Wow, that didn't go as well as I thought. Now I know what they want to hear for next time"
"I'm tired today but I have almost reached my goal. I can't wait!"
"I wonder how they got all of those things? I should ask and learn from them"
"What am I doing wrong? I should ask someone experienced for help"
"I missed an opportunity to say how I felt. Next time I will remember to express myself more clearly"
Well I'm inspired. And Excited! A growth mindset uses energy to grow, not beat down and dwell on things that no longer matter.
This Weeks Growth Mindset Parent Challenge is, "I love that you didn't quit on this, even though it was tough."
The key to instilling a Growth Mindset is to keep their self identity and "pride", if you will, in the process of doing and trying, not on the results. You will notice that the phrase doesn't specify if they got an A or not. It doesn't say, I love how you won the game and didn't give up. This isn't about winning! Every top athlete has lost many games before they won. Every successful business owner has failed at numerous things before succeeding.
Encourage them never to quit, even when it get's tough. Get their brain to attached to positive emotions and chemical stimulation when they encounter something tough. That's their cue that something satisfying is here and now. Not when they get the A. The process is the exciting part.
Try using this phrase and add it to your collection from past weeks. Like all things, practice takes perfect, mom and dad. That goes for you too.

Labeling Your Kids to Shape Their Identity

Parents Growth Mindset Challenge Week #2!
How did it go last week? Did you practice using the Growth Mindset Phrase?
It takes practice but WOW! What a difference you will see in your kids.
Try to actively use this weeks phrase. This Growth Mindset statement is doing 2 things.
Firstly, it is positively reinforcing great behavior, which in this case is asking for your opinion. Kids, and all of us, want to do good things. We all want positive attention and be praised for good behavior. Asking for other peoples opinion is a great skill to have. It demonstrates leadership, helps others feel valued, and can build incredible teams who can do incredible things as a strong unit. Humble people ask for others opinions; Insecure individuals and those with inflated egos do not.
Secondly, this phrase is labeling them as a "Considerate Person". We are helping to ground their identity into a positive personality trait. By pointing out that they are in fact a considerate person based on the action they just displayed, it is not an empty comment. They will feel like the compliment has been validated in their minds and, therefore, must be true. When humans can tie their identity to a trait, they act in accordance to it naturally without effort. New connections are made in their minds to display this behavior and every time they act in accordance with it, it reinforces it further. It becomes who they area.
But be careful, it works both ways. If you label your child negatively, the same thing will happen. We never mean to do it, but it does happen. Perhaps they are playing with another child and take the other child's toy away. You want to immediately correct this behavior but stay something like, "Don't do that. You aren't not a good sharer." That statement is just as effective as the positive label. They will believe you and find opportunities to prove that phrase is correct.
Or perhaps you ask them to clean their room for the 10th time and finally say, "You are a terrible listener!" or "You are so messy!"
We never intentionally mean to hurt their identity, but it happens. Everything worth doing takes conscious practice until it becomes an unconscious, positive habit.
Try this weeks Growth Mindset Parent Challenge. Intentionally use it. Find opportunities to use positive labels with your child and watch them develop almost overnight.
Stay tuned for next week!

How to Instill a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is one that enjoys a challenge, doesn't give up and believes that they can learn and accomplish anything with the right effort, focus and practice.
As a parent, you have a significant amount of influence on whether they will develop a strong growth mindset. No Pressure, right?!
We want to help. Using the right language is one of the biggest, if not the most effective, method for instilling a growth mindset in a child. When done consistently, the results can be almost over night! Watching them grow and take on challenges is one of the most fulfilling things I can watch my child do.
So how do you do it? What are those magic words?
Like a any new skill, it takes focus, effort and practice. So here's what we want to do. We are going to provide 1 new Growth Mindset phrase each week for you to mindfully use with your children at every chance you get.
Practice and be present when the opportunity strikes to use one of these Growth Mindset Statements. Soon, it will become natural.
To see our Weekly Parent Growth Mindset Statements, Follow Us on Facebook or Instagram

Never Tell Your Child They Are Smart

That's right! No catch. No bait and switch. Truly, never tell your child they are smart.

I, like many parents, have an innate fear that I will screw up my child in some way. One day, I will say that one thing that completely screws them up. I will be having a bad day, my patience will be low and BAM. It will fly out of my mouth and I will never be able to take it back. Their confidence will plummet, they will throw it back at me when they are 18 and angry at me, and any sadness they have, I know it will because I failed them that day.

Well, that may happen, but I have something significantly more scary to share with you. In fact, you have almost with certainty, already "screwed" them up and it was during a moment that you were calm, thoughtful and even fully conscious of the words coming out of your mouth. You deliberately said these words with the intention of helping them, boosting their confidence and making them smile.

One of the greatest books I have read on parenting is not really a parenting book at all. It's called Mindset and it's by Carol Dweck. I read this book upon recommendation by someone I trust and it is one that I believe every parent, employer/boss, teacher or influencer of any kind should read. In fact, even if you are not an influencer to others, you are to yourself. You determine your own values, self worth and potential. The trouble is, most of these "decisions" that you made around these topics, were suggested to you by others, and you adopted them to heart.

Do you remember that time they got an A in spelling and you told them how smart they are?
Or what about that time she hit the baseball and got a home run and you told them they were the best player that day?
Oh, and what about that time he did that school play and you told them, "you're a natural! I can't believe how great you are at that. I am so proud of you!"

Well, If you have said any of the previous statements, you have screwed up your kids. Crazy right?!?! I know! It scared the poop out of me so I wanted to understand why.

To save my typing and missing some key points, I very strongly encourage you to watch the video below. It is a summary of a study on Praise for Intelligence vs Praise for Effort and the INSTANT ramifications of it. If you have a Fixed mindset yourself, which most of us do, this will be troubling. But if you have or want to develop a Growth Mindset, you will find this incredibly empowering and want to learn more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWv1VdDeoRY

This was such a simple study that was all done in one day that had such dramatic results, for better or worse. Can you imagine days, weeks and months of this subtle change in praise and the positive results that could come if they heard it from teachers, coaches and of course, parents?

Build a Biz Kids trains our facilitators in a growth mindset and are continuing to learn more and more about our impact on students. We would like to encourage the parents of our students to join us in learning and practicing the subtle difference and see the incredible results.

My son would often give up very early on projects and not want to strive to go the extra mile on something like handmade birthday cards, school projects, and yes, even his business when taking our program. But once we discovered that some of this lack of effort might actually be our fault, we made a change, and the results were immediate!

Last week he, not only sat with no iPad or TV in the background, he completed his first ever model airplane. He painted and glued and and did everything he could until he had to wait for everything to dry. He even had a bit of a meltdown when he thought he broke a piece but the next time he was home with time to work on it, he couldn't wait to get back to it! Now he is looking to find the perfect model car to take on next.

We still catch ourselves when talking about how he played at baseball or in his school play wanting to tell him how amazing the results were, but we are getting faster and faster to catch ourselves and praise him on the effort he put into going to baseball practice each day; working really hard on remembering his lines for the play by reciting them in the car on the way to school and how impressed we are by the effort and creativity it took for him to come up with such unique ideas for his handmade birthday cards.

While not everyone in his life may understand fixed vs growth mindset or praising on effort rather than results, as parents, it starts at home. To date, this has been one of the most important blogs we have written and we really hope you will watch the video above to learn more. I really hope you will read the Book Mindset as well. We get zero dollars by promoting it.

Lastly, we hope that you realize that as a parent, an employee, as a friend, an artist, an entrepreneur and all of the other titles you hold, you, too, may have a fixed mindset based on fixed praise and values you were given as a child, and even as an adult. But with awareness and persistence, you can reprogram yourself to want more, do more, and have greater confidence to take on new challenges.

We wish you growth