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Want a good student? Stop praising your kid, don't tell them they're smart

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Small Town Guy, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    Feel like I'm infringing on Dick's ground but a fascinating story in New York Magazine about the perils of overpraising your child's smarts.

    It's about the breakthrough research by a woman named Carol Dweck.


    Self-esteem is still important, but the way praise is offered is more important than whether it's given. Really interesting piece that also presents the viewpoints of parents, who, obviously find it difficult to put this type of thing into actual practice and still doubt it's the way to go. The author, Po Bronson, puts the techniques to use himself and finds them effective.

    EDIT: This story is from 2007. I'm dumb. But it's still interesting!
  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's been out there for a while. We always praise for "working so hard."

    Still doesn't fucking listen to anything we say, though.
  3. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    Everyone thinks his or her child is exceptional.
    I have noticed this keenly on Facebook.
    If everyone is exceptional then no one is.
  4. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    My son just got his PSAT scores back, and on one section he scored at the 98th percentile. I told him, "Way to go, only 70,000 kids did better than you!" Wonder if I've set him up for a lifetime of failure by being so overly effusive in my praise.
  5. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    what kind if parent are you? you should've told him, 'how the hell did you let 2 percent of your peers score better than you? you'll be chasing them for the rest of your life, you lazy slacker!'
  6. Wenders

    Wenders Well-Known Member

    Obviously, my extended family works for this psychologist. They've been telling me that being smart is the worst thing you could possibly be for close to 25 years now.
  7. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    I'll say.

    Published Aug 3, 2007
  8. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    I struggle with this - largely as I gave up trying to be perfect a few months ago and it's been quite calming, especially at work.

    I'm trying to tell our 4.0 GPA son that he doesn't need to beat himself up if he gets a 93 on a test. He does...and I hate it because I know it really doesn't matter if he gets a 93 or a 100.

    Yet each child is different. Our daughter needed to be built up to get her math to a 90. I had to tell her that she is smart - but using her non-math successes as evidence.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think it's a fine line. I wonder if the thinking is, "If you tell them they're smart, they'll think they won't have to work as hard..."
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    That's a big part of it, I think. Also - and this is related closely - it's futile to praise someone for an innate quality. Would you praise someone for having brown hair? You might compliment them, but you wouldn't be PROUD of them for it.
  11. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    Think of the millions of people who will, on their deathbeds, lament that they complimented and encouraged their kids too much.
  12. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    AGH. It was the featured story on NY Mag and the top-read one so figured it was the feature in the new magazine. That's what I get.


    I'm an example of what happens when parents tell their kids they're smart -- they get dumb when they get older.

    Hey, anyone hear about the Patriots apparently getting caught spying on the Jets or see this video of Kobe talking trash about Bynum to some random dudes in a parking lot?
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