I just read a great article about the difference between telling kids they succeeded because they’re smart and telling them they succeeded because they worked hard. The research concludes that the latter yields better results, i.e., that kids told their success was a product of hard work were more likely to embrace new challenges and succeed when the going got tough. I was shocked at the part of the article that discussed parents doubting the research because I could completely relate to the first kid discussed, who was extremely smart but therefore afraid to fail. Having been labeled a “smart kid” in fourth grade (when I dominated the class spelling bee – as if spelling is indicative of intelligence), a fear of failure has been ever-present in my life and has kept me from doing or at least trying countless things. As a parent, one of the things I want to do most is save my children from the problems that have plagued me (I realize they’ll just end up with a whole different set of issues but I don’t see any way of preventing that). Now I have one more tool to help me.
How You Praise Your Kids Matters
February 16, 2007 by