85% of Americans think that telling their kids that they are smart is important.
Studies by Psychology Professor Carol Dweck have revealed that praising people for being smart or intelligent, rather than for effort and hard work, can be dangerous. These studies show that children who are praised for intelligence, compared to those praised for effort, will avoid difficult tasks. This is because they learn to view intelligence as a fixed entity, something which cannot be changed or increased. Carol Dweck has found that those with a fixed mindset will put less effort into tasks, will give up quickly, be more likely to lie about their scores, as well as becoming hopeless after failure and anxious after success. Dweck attributes this to the belief that if intelligence is a fixed thing then no amount of effort will change it. In contrast, those who have a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be raised by hard work; they view failure as a learning opportunity rather than as a reflection of their ability. By teaching children that the brain is like a muscle, which can be strengthened with effort, children can develop a growth mindset. To read more about Dweck and from other experts on ?how not to talk to your kids? click here