“i can’t do it”… YET!

For only having 3 letters, “YET” is a very powerful word that encourages the development of a growth mindset which, for children, is especially important. A growth mindset is when our train of thoughts allow us to accept that we can grow with time and experience. Having a growth mindset means that we equate success with effort.

The opposite of this is called a fixed mindset and can be a very difficult state of mind to break free from. When we have a fixed mindset, we believe that our qualities cannot be changed and success can only be found through talent.

This is why it is vital that children are encouraged to develop a growth mindset from an early age. While there are many ways to help your child along this path, there is something to be said about using the power of that little word “yet”.

“Yet” can do so much by simply concluding an “I can’t” statement. Using the word “yet” expresses patience and belief in one’s self. It confirms our ability to realize that some things take work and time to achieve. It allows us to take responsibility for our progress without blaming outside factors.

using the power of YET
Children are not intrinsically wired to appreciate the importance of challenge and failure. Actually, some adults have a hard time grasping this concept. Because of this, children get easily frustrated when they are unable to complete a task or advance their skills. This frustration urges them to simply give up – make the feeling go away.

As parents we can encourage our children to continue, to strive and to reach their goals through praise and goal-focusing. However, we can also help them work through their frustrations by teaching them the word “yet”.

I am not good at math…yet.
I can’t draw a butterfly…yet.
I can’t put on my socks…yet.

Remember, “yet” means having the patience and grit to not only reach a goal but to continue skill development. Read more about instilling grit in my previous blog post, mistakes are for LEARNING.

“Everyone is a genius but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it’ll live its whole life believing it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

Are we setting our children up for failure? What if our child is striving to accomplish something they are absolutely not capable of?

We are not setting them up for failure if we are celebrating their efforts toward success. Success does not have to be defined by reaching a specific goal – I want to be a professional soccer player. I want to be a famous actor. I want to write a book.

Instead, success can be defined by reaching an achievement – I want to make it onto the soccer team. I want to audition for the school play. I want to come up with an amazing story idea.

As your child’s abilities develop their goals may change. This is why it’s important to focus on the journey and not the destination.

the power of books
There are many wonderful books that can assist you with instilling a growth mindset and perseverance into your child. Some I have personally shared with mine include Bubble Gum Brain by Julia Cook which shares the power of YET in a fun way with 2 characters (Bubble Gum Brain and Brick Brain) who could not be more different, She Persisted: 10 American Women Who Changed The World by Chelsea Clinton beautifully shares the amazing accomplishments of historical women that made the decision to persevere and Mindset Matters (Without Limits) by Bryan Smith similarly shares the power of “yet” with the “gonna get it done” mindset through the story of a young girl who learns to overcome challenges.

For helpful resources and activities to teach your children about a growth mindset, we also highly recommend Big Life Journal. This program provides journals, printables and other great resources to help guide children and parents towards achieving success.

YET is the power of YOU
Your child has the ability to develop their own skills and take responsibility for their achievements. Giving them the power of “yet” and helping them to develop a growth mindset will help them to continue their efforts throughout their entire lives.

coloring fun
Please enjoy this free Tot Tails coloring page to help share this message with your child.

share with us
We would love to hear your experiences and advice on teaching your children perseverance and how to have a growth mindset. Are there any books or resources you feel can help? Thanks so much for reading and feel free to comment below!


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