Don’t tell me “You are so smart!”

Praising children with good performance is more difficult than most would believe. It’s very common for proud parents to say to their kids “You are so smart” after they do well on a test in school. This method is known as fixed mindset praise. So what’s wrong with that?

The problem arise next time the kid don’t do well on a test. They will think that they aren’t that smart, and it becomes a personal failure. With a limited depth of understanding and wanting to please the parents, this could lead to a downward spiral in their performance. Generally, children raised with fixed mindset praise don’t perform their optimal capacity in school, and won’t get good grades.

The “right way” to praise children is with a technique called growth mindset praise. Next time your kids are doing good in school, say “I’m proud of you, you must have worked really hard for this”. By saying this, your kid will not take the next failure personally, and will think that they should work harder next time to please authority figures.

Continually telling kids that they are smart won’t boost their confidence in the long run. Learn to use the growth mindset praise technique. I even think praising grown ups with growth mindset method will be beneficial. What do you think?