Monday, February 26, 2007

STOP telling your kids they're smart!

Apparently, telling your kids they're smart sets them up to be underachieving failures. Fascinating!


  1. Yes, this was on the Unconditional Parenting (another Alfie Kohn book) yahoogroup, and the AAH yahoo group. It's just so hard to find that balance...or so we're being made to believe.

    I know I could use someone telling me every so often, "Good job, Moxy Jane! You're a great parent!!!"

  2. I really liked this article. I remeber reading alot about praise junkies when Nightowl was about 3. We started trying to rethink our statements to her and we saw the most tremendous results. Her tendency toward perfectionism (which I'm sure is inherited - ha!) became less troublesome and her anxiety decreased.

    I'm glad to read about this again. It's a good reminder.

  3. Growing up as a "smart" kid I think this article rings true for me personally. I was (and often still am) a chronic underachiever. I have to remember that it is ok if I am not the best at everything. Thanks for the reminder (that would be the third time someone has pointed this article out to me and I finally read it!)

  4. This article made me realize what a disservice public school was for me. I was also one of those "smart" kids that skated through, and then when I got to college I just kind of choked. Effort? Failure? It was all new territory.

    For me the question isn't only 'How do I speak to my children?' but also, 'How much should I challenge my children? How far do I push that envelope?'


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