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Insights | Growth mindset – the seven habits of happy children

13 Jun 2018

In 1989, Dr Stephen R. Covey penned the first edition of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. To date, the book has sold over 25 million copies worldwide and is identified as a powerful tool for those who wish to lead and live by principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. Recognising that these habits cross cultures, countries, organisations and families and are common to every society that ‘prospers and endures’ his son, Sean Covey (www.seancovey.com) applied the habits to a younger audience and in 1998 published ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens’. Realising the potential power for a growth mindset at all ages, ‘The 7 Habits of Happy Kids’ came to print. The 7 habits speak to emotions, strengths, friendships, meaning and accomplishment. The qualities reflected in children are identified here:

Habit 1 Be Proactive – ‘YOU ARE IN CHARGE’

  • I am a responsible person
  • I take initiative
  • I do not blame others for my wrong doing
  • I do the right thing without being asked (even when no-one is looking)

Habit 2 Begin with the end on mind – ‘HAVE A PLAN’

  • I look for ways to be a good citizen
  • I plan ahead and set goals
  • I am an important part of my classroom
  • I do things that have meaning and make a difference

Habit 3 Put first things first – ‘WORK FIRST, THEN PLAY’

  • I say no to things I should not do
  • I am disciplined and organised
  • I spend my time on things that are most important
  • I set priorities, make a schedule and follow my plan

Habit 4 Think win, win – ‘EVERYONE CAN WIN’

  • When conflicts arise, I look for the alternatives
  • I make deposits in others’ emotional bank accounts
  • I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want

Habit 5 Seek first to understand, then to be understood – ‘LISTEN TO OTHERS BEFORE YOU TALK’

  • I listen to others without interrupting
  • I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings
  • I try to see things from their viewpoint
  • I am confident in voicing my ideas
  • I look people in the eye when talking

Habit 6 Synergise – ‘TOGETHER IS BETTER’

  • I value other people’s strengths and learn from them
  • I work well in groups
  • I get along well with others, even people who are different from me
  • I am humble
  • I seek out other people’s ideas to solve problems because I know that by teaming with others, we can create better solutions than any one of us can alone

Habit 7 Sharpen the saw – ‘BALANCE FEELS BEST’

  • I spend time with my family and friends
  • I learn in lots of ways and lots of places, not just at school
  • I find meaningful ways to help others
  • I take care of my body by eating right, exercising and getting sleep

Adapted from www.psychologytoday.com/blog/positive-psychology-in-the-clasroom/201506/7-habits-happy-children