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Do You Make This Mistake When Praising Your Child?

Praising your child can go a long way in encouraging desired behavior and outcomes. But, according to Psychologist Carol Dweck and, it makes a huge difference how we praise.

Praising Your Child Is Trickier Than You Think

Do you praise your child’s ability and intelligence?

Though well meaning, this could be misguided. Carol Dweck says to praise your child’s efforts instead. When you praise a child’s ability he or she tends to not try as hard the next time. Why make a greater effort if your ability is fixed?

According to Dweck’s research, praising children for their ability – “You’re so smart! You have such an ear for music! You’re a math whiz!” – can actually lower IQ and make children stop trying to do better. After all, smart people or naturally gifted people already have “the goods,” right? ~SmartParenting

Instead, you can say something like “I’m really proud of how hard you practiced today.” Do you see the difference? You are honoring the effort put into a task.

The difference is subtle but can make a huge difference.

Carol Dweck – A Study on Praise and Mindsets

praising your child

It’s about teaching children the “Growth Mindset.”

When children have a fixed mindset, they think their intelligence is what it is and do not want to rock the boat to grow. When children have a growth mindset, they believe that they can improve with effort and practice. Children with a growth mindset go beyond “smart and dumb” and tend to focus more on honing their skills and abilities. In this way, children learn more and take on more challenges that help their development.

So, how can you teach your children the Growth Mindset? Watch this inspiring video of Carol Dweck speaking at Standford…

Teaching a Growth Mindset – Carol Dweck

Ready to teach the Growth Mindset?

Created Featured Image From YouTube


Freelance Blogger at
Lori Hil is a freelance blogger and content curator with an AAS in Early Childhood Education. She now gets to combine her love of writing and teaching through the written word. You can find her all around the web, but especially enjoying the freelance life at
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