Growth Mindset, emotional intelligence, life coach’s, and masterminding are a HUGE part of the 5 Hour School Week for our family.
I never learned it! I’m 36 years old and honestly the concept of “emotional intelligence” was completely lost to me until nearly 3 years ago. Embarking on this journey of knowing and understanding my emotional self has been an adventure I wish I would have gone on years ago. It is the one singular area of my life that I can easily look at and say I NEEDED to know this!
To be happy, to be healthy, to be a good mom, a present wife, a great friend …this growth mindset piece had been missing and I didn’t even know it! Additionally its like anything that is important and useful: to be good at it, you need lots of healthy practice! Unfortunately 25 years of unhealthy emotional habits proves to be hard to break. Slowly i’m making some awesome progress but I refuse to let my kids develop these same negative habits!
Here’s what scares me:
Its NOT taught in schools! Which is a huge disservice to our kiddos!
I can almost guarantee that your kid will come out of 12 years behind a desk knowing nothing about emotional triggers, limiting beliefs or the science of re-wiring negative transmissions in our brain to positive ones. There is no time to focus on affirming the person we want to become, or what that even means. We are rarely taught what it looks like to respond to emotions instead of instantly react to them. We never sit in a classroom and talk about anxiety, depression, or anger….instead we wait for a kid to combust and then try to clean up the mess.
Why does this matter?
Honestly the questions should be “ How does this NOT matter?”
In this world where 12 year olds are committing suicide, children are addicted to anti-depressants and every time we turn on the news another school tragedy takes over our living room….it baffles me! I’m not going to stand on my soap box and preach all the devastation that is affecting our nation, I’m guessing you are fully aware. But I am going to say what we should already know.
If we ever want to see this broken world restored, we need to equip our children to not only survive but armor up and be warriors for change!
However if the despair of this world we live in, is still not enough to convince you that the study of emotional intelligence in our kids is important : Consider this
Employers are no longer seeking impeccable grades and outstanding test scores. In fact many are throwing out college degree requirements. Instead looking for new team members that can be flexible, intuitive problem solvers who are additions to the culture of the business. Innovative, out of the box thinkers are in high demand and originality is key!
Most recently I read an article stating any curriculum of value for its students will include developing critical survival skills such as:
Leading by Influence
Analyzing given information
Lets be honest curiosity and imagination is pretty much beat out of kids by the time they leave elementary classrooms. When the environment they are in is always the same, always dictated and set for them, how in the world do they learn how to remain flexible and adaptable in changing situations? How can we expect effective communication and leaders, when we forgo teaching the skills that embody confidence and self awareness! We don’t!
It didn’t become glaringly obvious to me until we started our own business and had to hire employees .
We would get these amazing resumes, young adults with master degrees, coming from prestigious colleges and all the right answers on paper. However sit them down and ask them: “What are you passionate about?” “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” “What makes you happy?” Rarely were we impressed with their answers. Mostly we got blank stares or the reciting of their perfectly typed resume.
How does this look for us?
This is new thinking for our family. Only in the last 3 years or so have we really dug into the power of our minds and the impact of our emotions. As I said I didn’t learn this stuff growing up, most of us didn’t! The information was different then it is today, and our accessibility to that information is also much different.
So I’m on a personal journey, a journey to heal old wounds, soften the areas that my heart has been hardened, and step more into the person I am meant to be. Its impossible to be negative & bitter while thriving & growing at the same time.
This is true in EVERY area of our lives! We are either growing in our faith or dying! We are either growing in our marriage or dying! We are either growing as parents or dying! Yeah that’s super scary, but it can motivate to seek MORE! Seek more in yourself, because I promise its there!
I’m doing something a little crazy: I’m taking my kids on this journey with me!!!
Growth mindset is NOT just for adults! Learning how to respond in a healthy way to feelings instead of automatically reacting is learned with much more ease at 7 then at 30. The negative phrases we tell ourselves can be changed to positive mantras in a 5 year old simply. As a 36 year old who had accepted my unworthiness years ago I find it much harder to change the story that used to play on repeat in my head.
Its all about habit, its all about mindset! There is scientific proof that we can re-wire negative habits into positive, and the earlier we start the easier it is! Yes math, reading, history and science are super important, and I promise your kids will get plenty of opportunity for such academics, but embrace adding more to their education! Hand them the tools of confidence and the power of knowing who they are.
If this is a journey that is also new for you, that’s ok! Lean in, stay open minded and figure it out together with your little humans. Daily this journey brings us closer together as a family, with open communication my kids know I am also just learning and this is something we get to do together!!!