Productivity Mindset Prompts for Kids
We know its important.
We know we need it.
We know we want our kids to have it.
But, how do we get it? And how do we teach our kids to have more of it?
We can all probably agree that we want our kids to be productive. But, how do we teach this skill and how do we help them to see the importance of productivity in the pursuit of a healthy life. Here's a few things I do
Here’s a list of 5 different prompts you can use with your kiddos when talking about productivity.
The first thing we want to do is define the word so they have a clear idea on what productivity means. Here’s how I would do it, 1. Teach them that the idea of being productive means they are doing their best work no matter what the task is. I like to have them tell me specifically what best work will look like for whatever task we are doing so they know the exact steps they should take to do their best work. 2. Help them to see when they are getting distracted, which is very common, and then discuss how that is affecting their ability to do best work. The more we can teach kids to focus on one task at a time, the more productive they will be. 3. Give them a goal to work towards. This could be, getting their work done before the timer goes off, or finishing their job before you finish yours. Whatever it is, make it something specific they can work towards. Remember, the goal with productivity is not to create little work-a-holics, its to help kids know how to work hard at the things they need to do so that they are better able to spend time on the things they want to do! Productivity is the key to a life lived on purpose.
3 ways to get better.
It's never too early to be intentional about helping our kids to learn the process for learning a new skill. In fact, the earlier we teach kids that learning something takes TIME and WORK the more capable they will be to push through even when they face something that is hard.
We want kids who see something they can't do and know the proper steps to take in order to learn it instead of running away.
Take some time and talk with your kids about something they want to get better at. Then discuss some different ways they can work on that skill. Make a quick list and then spend some time, even if its just 5 minutes, working on that skill. A small step to get better each day is a small step on the road to learning that skill.
Did you know that multi-tasking isn’t actually a skill?
I know, I’d like to argue this point as well but brain research seems to agree that our brains don’t actually multi-task, they just quickly shift from one task to the next and they are never actually working on the same task at the same time! Which means that when we are trying to do 2 things at once we are actually only using part of our brains to accomplish the task. I’m sure you can imagine what this means for the quality of your work you are putting out when you try to do 2 things at once.
The same is true for our kids. When they are distracted, watching TV and writing a paper or setting the table and trying to play with a toy, something is going to suffer. And, typically that’s the work that requires more brain power.
So, how can we help our kids? One thing is to first help them to recognize when they are distracted. Help them to see that they are trying to do too many things at once and their quality of work is suffering. Recognition is one of the first steps. Then help them come up with a solution for what they can do when they are distracted. Maybe a code word you can tell them when you notice they are trying to multi-task or a simple practice such as 5 deep breaths when they see that they are distracted. Come up with some small steps they can take in order to help their brain focus and therefore be more productive!
Name the things.
Think about the future and name the things your child would like to be better at by the time they turn another year older. What types of things are they hoping to be able to do and know? What can they not do today that they would like to be able to do in another year?
As you discuss these different things, help them to see that by practicing these skills a little bit each day, they will naturally become better, however, if they choose to not work on these things then the chances of them improving greatly decrease.
We want kids who can see far enough into the future to have a desired task to work on and present enough in today to actually work on it.
Let’s help our kids see the power in taking the small steps to get to the big wins.
“Do your best work” is a very common phrase in our house. We use it on repeat throughout each and every day. Our kids know what it means and know what is expected of them when we use it.
However, they haven’t always known and sometimes we have to review what it looks like when they are making choices that are NOT best work.
In order to help teach kids about “doing best work” I’ve done the following:
Define best work before they begin. Simply saying “clean your room” usually ends with a partially cleaned room and a frustrated parent. In order to help remedy this scenario, set the kids up for success by defining what exactly it would look like if they did best work in this scenario. Help them to visualize and articulate exactly what it would look like for them to do best work and then let them do it!
Set up some sort of “why” for doing their best. This could simply be because you need to leave the house in 15 minutes and it must be done quickly and efficiently. Or, it could be because a clean room helps them to focus and play more deeply. Whatever it is, help them to see the why behind doing best work.
Give them praise for a job well done especially when you see them doing their best work without a reminder. The ultimate goal is for a child to independently do their best work and by helping them to see that you recognize the work they are putting in, you will motivate them to continue.
Productivity can and should be taught to our kids. Let’s help them to see that a productive life is not one spent doing “all the things” but instead a life that is spent doing the things we love because we have done all the things we had to do in an efficient and productive way.
Let's be productive!