- “You’re really smart.”
- “You’re an awesome soccer player!”
- “Your drawing ability is remarkable.”
In Po Bronson’s article, “How Not to Talk to Your Kids”, he describes an experiment by Carol Dweck which found that students praised for their intelligence instead of their effort were far less likely to choose a more challenging puzzle. According to Bronson,
Dweck had suspected that praise could backfire, but even she was surprised by the magnitude of the effect. “Emphasizing effort gives a child a variable that they can control,” she explains. “They come to see themselves as in control of their success. Emphasizing natural intelligence takes it out of the child’s control, and it provides no good recipe for responding to a failure.”Parents who expect their children to fail as part of the learning process and who also guide them in overcoming failures give their children a wonderful gift.