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Praising children’s intelligence harms their motivation and harms their performance

Praising children’s intelligence harms their motivation and harms their performance Praising children’s intelligence harms their motivation and harms their performance
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Mindset
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Mindset
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Listen for the message in the following examples :

“You learned so quickly! You’re so smart!”

“Look at that drawing. Martha is the next Picasso or what?”

‘You’re so brilliant, you got an A without even studying”.

If you’re like most parents, you hear these as supportive, esteem-boosting messages. But listen more closely. See if you can hear another message. It’s the one that children hear :

If you don’t learn something quickly, you’re not smart

I shouldn’t be drawing anything hard or they’ll see I’m no Picasso

I’d better quit studying or they won’t think I’m brilliant

How do I know this? Remember chapter 3, how I was thinking about all the praise parents were lavishing on their kids in the hope of encouraging confidence and achievement? You're so smart. You're so talented.  You’re such a natural athlete. And I thought, wait a minute. Isn’t it the kids with the fixed mindset — the vulnerable kids—who are obsessed with this? Wouldn’t harping on intelligence or talent make kids—all  kids—even more obsessed with it?       

That’s why we set out to study this. After seven experiments with hundreds of children, we had some of the clearest findings I’ve ever seen: Praising children’s intelligence harms their motivation and it harms their performance.

How can that be? Don’t children love to be praised?

Yes, children love praise. And they especially love to be praised for their intelligence and talent. It really does give them a boost, a special glow—but only for the moment. The minute they hit a snag, their confidence goes out the window and their motivation hits rock bottom. If success means they’re smart, then failure means they’re dumb. That’s the fixed mindset.

Agree. trying to convince your children of their competence is a way a to tell them how talented or untalented they really are through success and failure, and as a result, to overly focus on the results

By Martijn_P | 01/07/2019

Saying “well done” is actually hurting our children's development? isn’t it supposed to build child’s confidence? and motivate them to keep on trying had and overcome challenges? 

By j17m | 01/07/2019

I think words of encouragement can have a positive effect on kids, but I see parents praising them all the time and it's killing me. They don’t know what they are doing and keep on congratulating them on any (insignificant) occasion, for things kind do that are barely worthy of acknowledgment.

Now are those harmful? well if “science” says so 😊 

By WenU | 01/07/2019

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