Friday, August 28, 2009

Praise can be bad for kids.

Kids who get too much praise [for their intelligence] are less likely to take risks, are highly sensitive to failure, and are more likely to give up when faced with a challenge.

This research is fascinating and makes complete sense to me. For so long most of us have thought that if we tell our kids how smart and wonderful they are, that they will develop a healthy self esteem and go on to truly be smart and wonderful. Research says it isn't so. When we praise intelligence instead of effort, it actually does harm to our kids.

If I'm smart, it should come naturally. I shouldn't have to work for it. And if I fail, I'm dumb.

Of course, there is that kid population who has never heard that they are smart and are capable of doing great things, and sometimes they do need that little boost of praise. But beyond letting our kids know how capable they really are, we need to praise them for their hard work and their willingness to dig in and figure things out more than praising their intelligence.

Check out this article:

Why Praise Can Be Bad for Kids


tomorrowsmemoriesphotography said...

totally agree! i came to grips w/ this on my very own when our oldest was only 2 :).