Is praising your child for their intelligence doing them harm?

I read another blog recently where a study was mentioned that found that "children who have been told that they are smart resist doing difficult tasks because the hard work involved in completing the task is threatening to their sense of identity".

Girl at school

 I’m not sure I agree with that statement, personally.

I do agree though, if too much emphasis is placed on your child’s intelligence and not on their other talents and abilities, then maybe their other talents and abilities will be "left behind" as there is little emphasis on them?

I was told I was smart as a child, and found that I particularly excelled in things I enjoyed. If I was bored, then my grades would fall to reflect that because I just wouldn’t put in the effort to learn. It wasn’t because my identity was threatened – on the contrary, how could letting my grades fall if I wanted my identity to be that of someone who was smart? So I’m not sure that the study mentioned above has thought of that!?

Also, I believe that if you’re told you are smart, you are more likely to attempt a task as you are more likely to have the belief that you can do it. On the other end of the scale, if you’re told you’re stupid, then it’s highly unlikely you will attempt the task because you will very likely believe you can’t do it.

It’s food for thought…!

Have a great day!

Speak Your Mind