I just finished reading an online article by New York Magazine, How not to talk to your kids. It talked about a lot of research that has been done over the last few years about the effects of praise on children’s performance — how not to praise your kids’ intelligence, but their efforts. So often we hear parents say “You’re so smart!” to their kids, and according to this article, you’re not doing your kids any favours with that kind of praise, because if they fail they conclude that they’re not smart after all and stop trying. If you praise their effort, however, research shows that they try even harder, they develop strategies to overcome difficulties and eventually do better.
I found it very interesting to read as the parent of a very clever little girl who often falls back on exclaiming “But I can’t!”, and that my dealing with it by saying with her “I can if I work hard” was much better than telling her she can because she’s smart.
In any case, if you’re interested, read the article. It’s 5 pages, which is not too long if you work hard. :-) And it’s interesting!
In other news, we’re having a great time with Ben’s dad here visiting. We’re doing all sorts of interesting things that I’ll share with you sometime soon!