Do you focus on the “power of yet” when helping kids with developing a growth mindset? A subtle mindset shift can do great things when it comes to shifting perspectives. Here, we’re covering what the power of yet means and how to help kids use this strategy in every day tasks with a printable power of yet worksheet.

The Power of Yet activities

The power of yet

When we make a decision to learn new things, we are fostering the power of yet.

When we struggle at a task but persist and keep trying, we are putting the power of yet to work.

When we look forward to doing something, we exercise hope and optimism.

All of these examples describe the power of yet!

The power of yet starts with a growth mindset. A growth mindset is “the understanding that abilities and understanding can be developed” (Mindset Works, n.d.).

Those with a growth mindset believe that they can get smarter, stronger, and more talented through putting in time and effort.

According to Susan Jerrell, founder of Time out for Teachers,

The power of yet teaches students:

  • they can learn
  • learning takes time and effort
  • results come from hard work
  • giving up isn’t an option 

the power of yet carol dweck

This way of thinking became popular through the work of Carol Dweck in her book (Amazon affiliate link) Mindset.  She teaches about the “power of yet.”

This mindset shifts the focus away from all the things one can not do, to what one can not do YET.  As therapists, the population we serve is acutely aware of all the things they can not do.  It is easy to get bogged down by shortcomings and endless goal setting. This can be discouraging, and lead to shutdown or failure.

When developing this growth mindset and encouraging the power of yet, be mindful of the four traps to success

  • People don’t set clear goals (and don’t break down goals to achieve them)
  • They feel discouraged
  • They feel overwhelmed
  • They are not ready to change

Ask yourself, is my learner ready to change?  Is this a goal I want for them, or they want for themselves?  This might also be a good question to ask of the parents.  Are THEY ready for change? 

Is it worth all your time and effort to teach your learner to fold laundry, if the parents are just going to do it themselves?  Should you problem solve and set endless goals to get your learner out of their parent’s bed, if the parents are really not ready for this change?

Young people may not care about change, or the work entailed in growing may not seem worth all of the effort.  In this case, you will need to get creative if this change is important to their growth. 

Shoe tying is a great example.  This is an important skill, however try telling that to a six year old who just loves his Crocs!  In this case, some creative goal setting, and a great incentive at the end might help nudge them along. 

Power of Yet Activities

Goal setting IS important, however it is crucial to go about it the right way, or this too will end in failure. The OT Toolbox has some great posts about Goal Setting and Goal Ladders

Check out this cute video from Sesame Street with Janelle Monae singing about this “power of yet”.  This is a great tool to share with young learners about embracing change, and being able to learn new things.   

Courtney Ackerman of Psychology Today gives the following tips to teaching the power of yet:

  • Work on your own growth mindset first. It is difficult to teach the power of yet 
  • Go beyond the “mindset jargon” and inspirational quotes to really focus on what the power of yet means
  • Praise properly, focusing on their efforts rather than shortcomings or natural talent
  • Embrace the word “yet;” use the word “yet” with children to give them a sense they can make a change
  • Take advantage of mistakes children make; be ready to praise them for their efforts but also point out any issues in their approach and brainstorm better ways to handle the situation with them
  • Let kids fail; another vital part of growth in children is to let them fail instead of showing them how to do everything or saving them from making mistakes

Free Power of yet worksheet

Today’s free printable worksheet teaches learners to embrace what already makes them awesome, along with recognizing the power of yet.  I am not able to ride a unicycle YET.  I can not speak fluent Spanish YET.  I am awesome at riding a two wheeled bike, and can speak moderate Spanish.  

Harness the power of yet, set attainable goals, embrace skills along with shortcomings.  Use the power of yet printable to brainstorm goals, focus on awesomeness, and develop a plan for growth. From a treatment planning objective, this task goes beyond just introspection and planning for the future.

Think of the other skills that can be addressed during this activity:

  • Social/Executive Function – Following directions, turn taking, task completion, orienting to details, neatness, multi-tasking, attending to task, and impulse control
  • Handwriting- Letter formation – correctly forming the letters top to bottom.
  • Letter sizing – correctly fitting the letters into the provided space. Spacing, line placement, directionality, and spelling are also addressed
  • Fine motor skills- strengthening, hand development, and grasping pattern
  • Scissor skills- Cutting on the line ( if you choose to add this step), within half inch of lines, in the direction of lines
  • Bilateral coordination – remembering to use their “helper hand” to hold the paper while writing.  Using one hand for a dominant hand instead of switching back and forth is encouraged once a child is in grade school or demonstrates a significant strength in one or the other.
  • Strength – core strength, shoulder and wrist stability, head control, balance, and hand strength are all needed for upright sitting posture and writing tasks.
  • Social function – working together in a group, problem solving, sharing materials and space, turn taking, talking about the activity

How do I grade this Power of Yet activity?

When I use the word “grade,” I mean make it easier or harder, not give it a letter grade or score it.

  • Lowest level learners can dictate what they would like written
  • Middle level learners can write one or two words about their awesomeness and goals
  • Higher level learners can write an idea about their goals, then create a goal ladder, checklist, or graphic organizer.  This turns into a multilevel activity to use during many sessions.  
  • Talk about the the power of yet, growth mindset, setting goals, and introspection/self reflection
  • Project this page onto a smart board to work as a group
  • More or less prompting may be needed to grade the activity to make it easier or harder.
  • Make lines within the larger boxes to provide borders and boundaries to write in. Many learners struggle to write legibly in a large box

Growth mindset is interesting in that some people feel they are flawed and will forever need work, while others believe they are perfect just the way they are. Try and find that balance between the self defeated attitude and the “I am perfect” belief. We all have room to grow and new things to learn. 

A therapist I worked with for many years did not say, “practice makes perfect” as things are never perfect.  Instead she would say, “practice makes better.”  

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Free Power of Yet Activity

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    NOTE*The term, “learner” is used throughout this post for readability and inclusion. This information is relevant for students, patients, clients, preschoolers, kids/children of all ages and stages or whomever could benefit from these resources. The term “they” is used instead of he/she to be inclusive.

    Victoria Wood

    Victoria Wood, OTR/L has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.

    The power of yet