Did you know that your child’s brain has elasticity, meaning it can change? You may often associate change with learning in school, but the way they think about themselves and their abilities can change, too. For instance, if you have a child who thinks in terms of limitations, you can help them retrain their brain to think in terms of unlimited possibilities. There are simple strategies you can use to help your child rewire thought processes within the brain to ultimately have them thinking differently.

There are two types of thinking that any of us engage in at any given point in time – faulty thinking and functional thinkingFaulty thinking makes us need to constantly prove our ability. Functional thinking helps us understand that our ability can grow and develop over time. It keeps us functional in ways that are serving us and setting us up to achieve more.

Here are some examples of faulty thinking:

  • “This is too hard so I won’t even try.”
  • “I’m smart because I got an A without even studying.”
  • “She’s a better soccer player than me and I will never be that good.”

These examples do not leave room for personal growth and development. They do not create the belief that a person can get better with practice and over time. Instead, these statements focus on limits and not possibilities.

Let’s look at these statements from a functional thinking frame of mind:

  • “This is definitely a challenge. Let me see how I can solve it.”
  • “I got an A without even studying because I wasn’t really challenged.”
  • “She’s a skilled soccer player and with time and practice, I know I will get a lot better.”

These examples are focused on personal growth and development. They focus on thinking about what can happen with more time and effort. It is so important that we pay close attention to how we use the power of words to help our children think differently about challenging situations.

Here’s your challenge: Pay close attention to what your child tells themselves. Model more functional language by repeating back the statement reframed and closely aligned with functional thinking.

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